We improve outcomes for children and their families through the development of innovations that drive early childhood program quality.

Research in the early childhood field demonstrates the critical role that program quality plays in the development of the cognitive skills, social abilities, and healthy behaviors that prepare children to succeed in school and life.

We focus on the role of early childhood leaders as the catalysts of program improvement and quality.

The research base shows enhanced leadership competencies and increased leadership capacity within organizations yield sustainable improvements in program quality, which will in turn improve outcomes for children and families served.

We have three levels of impact and influence including at the individual, state, and national levels:

  • Early childhood leaders
  • Early childhood systems, including Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and Professional Development Systems (PDS)
  • Early childhood field

Theory of Change


Advance early childhood leaders’ professional qualifications and/or credentials

Improve leadership competency, skills, knowledge and mindsets of early childhood leaders

Increase access to professional development, education, and credentials


Inform and improve quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS)

Inform and improve state professional development systems (PDS)


Provide innovative direction to the field

Influence/inform policy change that supports early childhood leadership

Raise the visibility of the role and value of the leader as the gateway to quality