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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.

Recruiting and Nurturing an Effective Board

You have a board meeting scheduled in two months and you need to find a replacement for a board member who recently moved. What do you do? If you are like most early childhood program directors, you spent more time recruiting your teachers and support staff than you have recruiting board members for your program. When Directors […]

Becoming a Self-Mentor

Socrates summend up the secret to a meaningful life in two simple words—”Know thyself.” Self-awareness means knowing your needs and values, your strengths and limitations, your passions and your idiosyncratic quirks. It means having a deep appreciation of what makes you a unique specimen on this planet. On a deeper level, self-awareness means knowing how you react […]

Add Impact to Your Messages About Children’s Learning Through Strategic Communication

In addition to the challenges of supporting staff and keeping an early childhood center running smoothly, directors are routinely called upon to defend the value of the active, engaged learning experiences they provide in their programs. Many directors have experienced losing an enrolled family to a highly structured and academically-focused program because parents have a misunderstanding that “children are […]

Creating a Brighter Future for Your Program Through Strategic Planning

As business leaders, early childhood program administrators can learn how to take charge of their organizations. Through timely and careful strategic planning, many problems can be anticipated or even prevented. By engaging in a proactive planning process, directors can anticipate potential problems and opportunities and create a plan of action for each potential future situation.

Expanding Perspectives

You’ve probably heard the tale of the six blind men standing around an elephant, each feeling a different part of the animal. One touched the trunk and announced that an elephant was like a snake. Another took hold of the tusk and compared an elephant to a spear. Another felt the leg, declaring that an elephant was like a tree trunk. Still another […]

Standing Up and Speaking Out: The Need for Well-Qualified, Well-Compensated Directors

When I changed careers in 1989 from practicing child advocacy law to directing a child care program, I was shocked to see firsthand how our society devalued this important work. I had experienced only high esteem in my work as an attorney. In sharp contrast, as an early childhood administrator I felt the important work I was […]

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