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Stark Contrast between Early Childhood Program Directors and Elementary School Principals

Two new tools that provide information about early childhood leadership were launched this summer. Concurrent with the development and release of the McCormick Center’s L.E.A.D. Early Childhood Clearinghouse,1 New America created a data visualization tool, the Pre-K Leader Policy Scan.2 Both organizations collaborated on data collection and analysis to reduce duplication and serve stakeholders with […]

Quality Standards Drive Professional Development Opportunities

An important function of administrators seeking to improve program quality is to ensure that staff have access to a range of professional development (PD) opportunities. The director’s role in supporting access to PD involves much more than sharing information about training opportunities.1 It includes providing access to resources, setting aside planning time, providing career guidance, […]

Instructional Leadership in School-Based PreK

The upsurge in adding preK to elementary education has many principals and district leaders facing uncharted waters. School systems designed for traditional elementary education may not be a good fit for preK, especially for instructional leadership. Some concerns have been raised about whether principals are prepared to support and supervise preK teachers.1,2 The McCormick Center […]

Qualifications of Illinois Head Start and Early Head Start Administrators

Administrators’ qualifications often differ across sectors of the early childhood field—school-based pre-K programs, center-based child care, and Head Start. School principals overseeing school-based programs typically have a minimum of a master’s degree in educational leadership with administrative certification. Child care center directors’ qualifications vary widely from minimal requirements for licensure to extensive specialized education and […]

The Influence of Center Climate on Teachers’ Emotional Support of Children

Research suggests that emotional support improves children’s academic and social development. Children in classrooms characterized by emotionally supportive teachers and environments are less likely to exhibit problem behaviors, negative affect, and aggression. Research also suggests the organizational climate of early childhood programs affects overall program quality. A recent study by Katherine Zinsser and Timothy Curby […]

An International Perspective on Early Childhood Leadership

While there is considerable research about the nature and practice of leadership in business, K-12 education, and health sciences, evidence regarding early childhood leadership is relatively thin. Some research regarding early learning programs is available about organizational climate,1 change management,2 administrative best practice,3 and the influence of the administrator.4 International studies, as well, have added to our understanding of […]

Quality Improvement in Program Administration through Directors’ Support Cohorts

Initiatives to improve administrative practices in early childhood programs take many forms. Some models are high-intensity, providing substantial external support for directors—formal training leading to an advanced degree, high dosage of technical support for achieving accreditation, and on-site coaching addressing multiple facets of program leadership and management. These high-intensity models have been shown to yield […]

The Impact of the Work Environment on Job Burnout

A recent report by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages,¹ highlights the relationship between poverty-level wages and high turnover among early childhood teachers. High turnover in early childhood programs disrupts center operations, alters the workplace environment, and affects the quality of teaching. But low wages are not […]

The Relationship between Administrator Qualifications and Family Engagement

As researchers and policymakers learn more about the factors that influence teaching and learning in early childhood settings, the importance of family engagement is emerging as an essential element. National, state, and local family involvement projects are engaging thousands of practitioners, parents, and leaders in family involvement networks, professional development initiatives, training and technical assistance […]

Alternative Pathways to Quality in Family Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

Numerous states include family child care in their quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) and many of these utilize alternative pathways to provide evidence of quality at specific QRIS levels. However, research examining the variation in QRIS models for family child care and the validity of alternative pathways as aligned measures of quality is limited.

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