Alumni Spotlight: Fran McIntyre-Dalmau
In 1992, alumna Fran McIntyre-Dalmau founded the highly successful Childrens’ Creative Learning Centers (CCLC), an early childhood education company.
Fran McIntyre-Dalmau (Human Development, '90)
During her tenure at CCLC, she provided executive leadership and support for several new center openings, design and construction, long-term strategy development and client relations. McIntyre-Dalmau has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood education. Her passion has been developing both corporate child care programs and working alongside HR professionals, helping them create the most valuable benefits for their employees.
Over the years, McIntyre-Dalmau has participated in various roles with both state and national child-care organizations. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and serves on boards such as Cal Poly's Psychology and Child Development Department advisory board. In 2005, she was named Alumni of the Year at Cal Poly. In 2015, McIntyre-Dalmau founded her own consulting firm, Pendulum Dependent Care Solutions, where she is able to further her passion in advising both HR and early childhood education professionals to ensure that they are providing the highest quality offering.
McIntyre-Dalmau has stayed connected with the Psychology and Child Development Department as a mentor to students and as a generous donor. A substantial gift she made a few years ago supported the redesign and construction of the outdoor areas of the Preschool Learning Lab to better address children’s developmental needs. This spring she provided a donation that helped support our ability to send 22 students to professional conferences. She currently serves as the chair of our newly formed advisory board, which met for the first time this May.
We asked McIntyre-Dalmau a few questions to get to know her better:
What is your current profession?
FM: Founder and managing director at Pendulum Dependent Care Solutions. As a consultant, I advise both HR and early childhood education professionals to ensure that they are providing the highest quality offering.
How did your child development education contribute to your success?
FM: Studying child development helped me understand the value and importance of providing care and education for children under the age of five. Because of the wonderful foundation that I received at Cal Poly, I felt empowered to start my own child care organization. In addition, I truly believe that the Learn By Doing philosophy was instrumental in preparing me for my professional journey.
You generously give both resources and time to the Psychology and Child Development Department. Can you describe your passion for the department?
FM: My involvement and support started in small ways such as speaking to students about choosing a profession in early childhood education, which then lead me to serve on the alumni board for the Psychology and Child Development Department. Both helped me feel connected to Cal Poly and the resources it offers as I was building my organization. Over the years, I was able to recruit many talented Cal Poly graduates who in turn helped contribute to my organization’s success. After selling my company, I felt strongly about giving back to Cal Poly. For me it was about completing the circle. Cal Poly had helped me become successful, so I wanted to give back and help others. The best way for me to do this was by honoring my favorite former head of the Preschool Learning Lab, Dr. Josie Stearns, who inspired me to take the leap and start my own organization. The Preschool Lab playground was in need of an upgrade, and I could not think of a better way to keep her memory alive. Today I am still actively involved with both the department and now as the board chair for the newly formed advisory board.
What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate?
FM: Talk to your professors; ask questions about how you can best prepare for career opportunities after graduation. Pursue what you are passionate about and find a profession that will allow you to affect change. In addition, it is ok to make mistakes. I believe that success is built by both failures and mistakes. I have made many over the years, and I believe that they contributed to who I am today.
What impact would you like to see alumni have on our students?
FM: Alumni can provide the greatest impact by dedicating time to serve as a resource, professional connection and advisor for students that are exploring their professional opportunities. They can also offer internships at their place of work. If possible, they can donate to their department which will help support both faculty and student professional development and other priorities.
How do you think alumni can be more involved with Cal Poly?
FM: Alumni can be more involved by staying in touch with former professors and keeping them updated on what they are doing professionally. They can volunteer to speak to a class about professional opportunities and/or offer to be a resource for internships or informational interviews.