Early Childhood Education Advocates names new Board President

Early Childhood Education Advocates on Thursday said it selected Gigi Schweikert as its new board president.

The Iselin-based nonprofit organization is the legislative voice for the child care industry in New Jersey.

Schweikert, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of Lightbridge Academy in Iselin, is replacing Guy Falzarano at the helm of ECEA. Falzarano, the founder of Lightbridge Academy, who started ECEA in 2019, announced his retirement on July 8.

“I am excited about my new role with ECEA, as there are many pressing issues in New Jersey that require a strong, steady voice from the child care industry,” Schweikert said. “I have had the opportunity to work with Guy since 2014 and watch him lend a knowledgeable voice in support of our industry. I look forward to amplifying his work and ensure the state’s child care industry continues to have a vital seat at the table.”

Besides her volunteer role as ECEA president, where  she oversees the lobbying efforts for about 3,000 child care centers in New Jersey, Schweikert will work with the ECEA Board of Trustees, with representatives from a number of other child care centers in New Jersey.

The team also has a management arm, as well as lobbying and public relations services to help re-enforce key messages. The ECEA is proud to work closely with the national Early Care & Education Consortium.

In her tenure, Schweikert has overseen all aspects of Lightbridge’s strategy, leadership, governance and operations. She has been instrumental in growing the company to 64 franchise units, with expansion into seven states and has helped create a foundation of clearly defined values, a deep culture of care and emerged as a leader in the educational child care sector.

Schweikert’s advocacy work extends internationally and includes serving as a board member for the Early Care & Education Consortium, an advisory board member for Marco Polo World School and Seton Hall University in South Orange.