Janet Gonzalez-Mena is the author of many early childhood education texts and articles. A focus has been adult education and helping teachers work with parents and guardians of young children. She started her early childhood career in a cooperative preschool as a parent volunteer back in 1966.
She then became a Head Start volunteer and ended up as a teacher in a preschool for Spanish-speaking children and their families in 1970’s. She has also helped open several pilot programs including a therapeutic child care program and a home-based bilingual preschool program. When Magda Gerber came into her life in the mid-1970’s, Janet signed up for an internship with her at the Children’s Health Council in Menlo Park, California. As a result of that experience, later, when she became a child care director, she was able to incorporate much of what she learned into her work and was influential in expanding that program to include an infant center.