Our Mission

The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership empowers leaders and advances the field to promote excellence in early childhood education.

Our Vision

We envision innovative and responsive early childhood systems with extraordinary leaders who inspire the best start for every child.

Our Values

  • Advancement
  • Equity
  • Excellence
  • Impact
  • Integrity


Land Acknowledgement

At the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University, we acknowledge and respect the legacy of the tribes on whose historic lands our three offices are located. From Chicago, the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi Nations as the signers of the Treaty of Chicago. Other tribes include the Ho-Chunk, Miami, Menominee, and Peoria peoples. From Lisle and Wheeling, the Algonquin people include the Sauk and Fox, Miami, Peoria, and Kickapoo. We encourage everyone to learn more about the original stewards of the land we occupy and find ways to connect with and support contemporary indigenous communities.


  • Why do we acknowledge the land?

On the journey toward equity and racial justice, we must acknowledge our past and present. To acknowledge is an exercise in restorative justice. We are acknowledging those who were erased, slaughtered, and stripped of their rights and land. We recognize the truth of our past, that some were brought here against their will, and others were violently driven from their land through genocide and colonization. In acknowledging the harshness of policies past and present, we work to understand the many legacies of displacement, violence, and migration.

  • Why does the McCormick Center need a Land Acknowledgment?

The legacies of displacement, violence, migration, and settlement are inherent in our educational systems. To live up to our mission and vision of advancing the field and providing responsive early childhood systems, we must recognize this reality.

  • Why did the McCormick Center do this now?

As part of the McCormick Center’s commitment to greater diversity, equity, and inclusion, this Land Acknowledgment is a step in recognizing historical injustices against indigenous communities.

Our Founding Story

Founded in 1985 on a $600 grant by Dr. Paula Jorde Bloom, the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership started as a project of passion. Back then, professional learning for early childhood leaders was non-existent. Paula broke this ground, dedicating her life to improving the leadership capacity of the early childhood workforce.

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Our Team

The McCormick Center team is composed of passionate individuals dedicated to improving the whole leadership skills of the early childhood workforce. Our collective experience in early childhood leadership spans decades and continues to grow, as our reach and team continue to expand.

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Join us, and use your skills to build a better future for children, one leader at a time.

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National Louis University

As part of National Louis University (NLU), the McCormick Center builds on the university’s history of accomplishments in the field of early childhood education. From its founding in 1886 as a vital force in the kindergarten movement, NLU has remained rooted in educational progressivism, helping students of all ages and educational backgrounds achieve their personal and professional goals. The McCormick Center is committed to these same ideals.

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