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When Conflicts Arise

If you’ve been an early childhood director for even a short time, no doubt you’ve experienced a day or two when conflict came knocking at your door. I remember one emotional encounter like it was yesterday. Michelle, one of the preschool teachers in my program, came into my office and slammed the door behind her.

The Status of the Early Childhood Workforce in Illinois

A new study of the early childhood workforce in Illinois finds that the education level for lead teachers in community-based programs has dramatically increased over the past seven years. The study, Who’s Caring for the Kids?, was conducted by faculty at National-Louis University’s McCormick Tribune Center for Early Childhood Leadership and the Early Childhood and […]

Who’s Caring for the Kids? The Status of the Early Childhood Workforce in Illinois

Who’s Caring for the Kids provides a comprehensive study of the early childhood workforce in Illinois. This 2008 edition highlights the changes in the education, background, and stability of the workforce since the publication of the first Who’s Caring for the Kids report in 2001. The report paints a picture of an emerging system of […]

The Power of Trust

Trust is a powerful form of motivation and inspiration. People want to be trusted. They respond and thrive on trust. As leaders in the field of early care and education, it is important to establish, nurture, and sustain trusting relationships—not as a way to manipulate people, bus as the most effective way of working with others and getting results.

Creating a Brighter Future for Your Program Through Strategic Planning

Many organizations are like a lost traveler. They move along a path without a set destination or overall course of action. Like a rudderless sailing ship, they are at the mercy of the winds of chance. Their days are filled with constant problem solving, jumping from one crises to another. As business leaders, early childhood […]

Crossing the Generational Divide

On a daily bases, directors must confront diverse voice and views, each underscoring the distinct motivations, values, and ambitions of their teachers. One key element driving reoccurring differences among the mindsets of teachers is intergenerational conflict. On the job, these generational distinctions are becoming increasingly complex as multi-generation gaps emerge, with three or more generations defining roles and expectations, […]

Dedication Doesn’t Have to Mean Deadication

Being an administrator of an early childhood program is not just a state of employment; it is a state of mind. So many individuals who don the director’s hat with noble intentions of creating exemplary centers end up leaving the field frustrated, depleted and disillusioned. They burn out. They find that there is simply too […]

Help Wanted: Mentors

Are you interested in this position? If you are, you’ll join the ranks of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander the Great. History and legend tell of princes and kinds who had mentors. The original Mentor is a character in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca, went to fight in the Trojan War, […]

Illinois Launches New Quality Rating System for Early Care and Education

With the launch of the Quality Counts: Quality Rating System in July 2007, Illinois joined the growing number of states across the country implementing quality rating systems. A Quality Rating System (QRS) is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. Much like the rating […]

Improving Leadership and Management Practices – One Step at a Time

All change, even the changes we perceive as positive, can create stress. As a result, many people naturally resist change. In our society we celebrate those who make bold, grand changes, taking on monumental tasks or implementing ground-breaking, innovative initiatives. But rather than inspiring outstanding achievement, this mindset often leads to heightened fear among those directly impacted by organizational change.

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