In collaboration with the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership (McCormick Center), the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (NYECPDI), Exchange Magazine, Leadership for Educational Equity, and Houlton Mifflin (HMH), ECEC commits to identify the strategies needed to build and sustain a cadre of highly effective early childhood leaders with both instructional and administrative acumen.
Specifically, ECEC will conduct surveys/polls of its 9,100 early care and education program centers to determine the educational levels, specialized knowledge, experience, and competencies of the workforce leaders. Effort will result in a white paper outlining policy recommendations for instructional and administrative competencies supported by an implementation tool kit with case studies that include best practices of instructional and administrative leadership; language for legislators, policy makers and higher education/credentialing programs to use in revising/developing licensing standards, regulatory policies, higher education, and professional preparation programs; and identification of supporting in-service training materials including credentialing and training program directories.
The projects pilot phase will implement and analyze the effectiveness of models that seek to strengthen early childhood program leadership within multi-site and regional operational frameworks and where appropriate in collaboration with state partners.
June 2015 August 2015: Develop in-depth project plan, indicating specific partnership roles, project scope, outcome measures, key deliverables, CGI reporting dates, and timelines.
July 2015 October 2015: Conduct literature review, analyze existing competencies frameworks, draft proposed definition/description/ of highly effective early childhood leaders and evaluation protocols
September 2015: Design series of surveys/ polls to determine core instructional and administrative skills and competencies needed to build capacity of highly effective workforce site leaders.
October 2015: Conduct initial poll/survey
November 2015 December 2015: Analyze poll/survey findings.
December 2015 March 2016: Develop and publish white paper that defines competencies and organizational outcomes of highly effective center based early childhood leadership and identifies best practices in the dimensions of instructional and administrative leadership .
January March 2016: Annual CGI reporting update
March 2016 June 2016: Staff and release policy recommendations and tools to early childhood policy and practice stakeholders. Include steps that support stronger alignment with K-12 education, and strengthen articulation with community colleges, senior colleges, local and national technical assistance centers, and professional credentialing programs for workforce leaders
October 2015 July 2016: Develop and release implementation guide and tools that provide multiple systemic pathways to achieve core center /workforce program leader professional competencies to include sample job descriptions, legislative and regulatory language.
July 2016: Identify supporting resources for early childhood center directors/workforce leaders. Include directories of educational programs and funding resources that support in-service options, credentialing, and higher education 2-year, 4-year and graduate degree institutions that address the professional competencies demonstrated by the highly effective leaders identified through the ECEC CGI Phase 1commitment.
May 2016 September 2016: Develop Project Plan for Implementation Pilot to include recommendations from literature review, data from partner surveys, , identified / confirmed state partners and participating programs, specific partnership roles, key deliverables, and reporting dates and timelines.
October 2016 June 2017: Conduct ECEC Commitment Pilot Project.
January March 2017: Annual CGI reporting update
June 2017 July 2017: Release pilot project findings to stakeholders through social media and presentations
On site Early Childhood Workforce Directors play an integral role in establishing and sustaining high-quality, well managed environments in the center settings they directly oversee. Research shows levels of education and specialized training in child development and program administration are key program quality indicators and correlate to effective administrative and instructional leadership practices.
State licensing standards focus on teacher requirements with little attention to addressing these dual competency requirements for directors who have both instructional and management leadership responsibilities for their center workforce. This leadership gap is especially troublesome because increasingly directors need to interact as professionals with elementary school principals. A 2007 New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at City University of New York and Cornell Universitys Early Childhood Program study found 93% of New York City early childhood directors had no education, training, or experience in program administration before they assumed their roles as directors. The relevance of many professional preparation options for directors exacerbates this gap, since the focus is primarily on preparing students as classroom teachers.
Core competencies of highly effective site based early childhood leaders are not exclusive to educational attainment. Alternative pathways to include competency-based pre /in-service professional development options must be considered as state legislators and policymaker craft clear and comprehensive qualifications, expectations, and dimensions for early childhood workforce leaders.
The Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) serves as a unified collective voice for providers of high-quality programs and services that support working families and their children from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. As a non-profit alliance of large Multi-State Providers, key State Child Care Associations and national Educational Services Providers, ECEC members encompass 9,100 centers serving over 1 million children in all 50 states and thousands of additional staff and children benefit from ECEC member educational products and services that support continuous quality improvement.
McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University provides professional development for more than 4,000 participants, representing 48 states and DC, and disseminates Research Notes, and E-blasts to 15,000 directors, policymakers, teacher educators, researchers, and other leaders.