Founded in 1985 by Dr. Paula Jorde Bloom as the Early Childhood Professional Development Project, the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University has grown to be a driving force in improving the quality of early childhood education nationwide.

Our early years focused on research relating to the quality of work life of early childhood educators. Today, we focus on professional development, program evaluation, research, and public awareness to help cultivate leaders in early childhood education.
View our current Strategic Priorities.

Making a Difference

The McCormick Center serves as a voice for the early childhood workforce by advocating for better working conditions and compensation, supporting emerging leaders from under-represented groups, and strengthening professional standards.

Read more about our accomplishments over the past year in helping to develop strong leaders that are making a difference in the lives of children.

Our Mission

The McCormick Center is dedicated to building the leadership capacity of the early childhood workforce. The activities of the McCormick Center encompass four areas:

  • Professional development to increase the knowledge and competency of early
    childhood leaders. Learn more
  • Evaluation to measure and improve the quality of early learning programs.
    Learn more
  • Research to enhance the knowledge base on key workforce and professional
    development issues. Learn more
  • Public awareness to promote greater understanding of the critical role of early
    childhood leaders in the provision of quality services for children and families.
    Learn more

Our Initiatives

Access the McCormick Center’s resources and training programs that help early childhood administrators strengthen their leadership and management skills. Initiatives include:

  • Aim4Excellence™ is an online national director credential that focuses on the
    essential knowledge and skills that early childhood administrators need to deliver
    high-quality programs. Learn more
  • Program Administration Scale (PAS) training and certification offers incremental
    steps for improving the quality of leadership, management, and overall organiza-
    tional practices in center-based programs. A variety of trainings are available.
    Learn more
  • Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS) training and certification provides a framework for training and quality improvement efforts in family child care settings.
    A variety of trainings are available. Learn more
  • The Leadership Connections™ national conference allows early childhood leaders
    and visionaries to share ideas, learn, and grow. Learn more
  • Taking Charge of Change™ is an empowering and life-changing leadership
    development experience that allows early childhood administrators to explore
    the components of quality programming and learn how to implement change
    to achieve program goals. Learn more