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Speaking Up and Speaking Out: The Director as Advocate for the Early Childhood Workforce

As a field we have several decades of accumulated research about the early childhood workforce. A reoccurring theme across studies is that early childhood practitioners are not compensated as well as workers with similar qualifications in other occupations. Meager benefits, poor working conditions, low professional standards, and limited support for professional development are some of the additional challenges […]

Improving Your Program with Pedagogical Leadership

Despite the shaky economic times we are living in, the early childhood field is finally being taken seriously and it feels like a significant shift is underway. I’m excited about all the opportunities before us, yet a bit uneasy at the same time. The position promoted by some seems to be that implementing more standards and quality rating systems is all that is […]

Mentoring Directors as a Strategy to Improve Quality in Early Childhood Programs

Mentoring and coaching are well established professional development strategies. These relationship-based strategies are often used  in conjunction with traditional instructional practices. Most research in this area, however, has focused on the use of mentoring or coaching with teachers to improve teaching practices. This evaluation study conducted for the Ontario Government was designed to determine the extent to […]

What’s Your Social Media Personality?

Social media is all the rage. Your board members and front office staff are all atwitter about Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The parents want an online group to connect with other parents and hear about classroom news. Your staff members want a blog or an email newsletter instead of print to connect with each other and the parents. Expectations are high. What are you doing […]

Degrees in Context: Asking the Right Questions about Preparing Skilled and Effective Teachers of Young Children

There is general agreement that the effectiveness of early childhood teachers impacts the learning and developmental outcomes of young children. What determines teaching effectiveness, however, is the subject of much heated debate. Do early educators need a degree to be effective? Is there a difference in efficacy between teachers with an associate or baccalaureate degree? Does a […]

Transforming for Diversity

As the early childhood field continues to evolve and improve the quality of services available to children and families, there is a growing understanding that the needs of each child must be met in order to achieve the desired outcomes for all children. At the national and state level, early childhood leaders committed to providing high-quality services struggle with integrating the concepts of linguistic […]

The Relationship between Organizational Climate and Classroom Quality

Organizational theorists refer to the unique atmosphere that characterizes each setting as its organizational climate. Organizational climate is made up of the collective perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and values of the individuals in a work setting. In other words, it is the global perception of the quality of work life in an organization. While several studies have explored […]

Early Signs of Autism: What Directors Need to Know

As a director, teachers probably come to you from time to time with developmental concerns about the children in their classrooms. How you handle these situations is important and can even impact the future of the children. Here is an example of what Caroline, a preschool teacher, shared with her director about one of her students, two and-a-half-year-old Branden.

Quality in Context—How Directors’ Beliefs, Leadership, and Management Practices Relate to Observed Classroom Quality

Children’s experiences in early childhood programs can impact their developmental outcomes. While some high-quality programs promote children’s success in school and life, the majority of child care programs are of minimal to adequate quality. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Urban Institute explored the seemingly simple question, why is there so much variation in program quality? The […]

How’s the Weather in Your Center?

If you’ve visited many other early childhood programs, you know that each has its own distinct personality. Some seem to exude warmth and sunlight from the moment you walk in the door. The director and teachers are spirited and energetic. They radiate a sense of confidence and enthusiasm about their work. When they interact with children, families, and each other, they are warmhearted and supportive. […]

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