Explore the McCormick Center’s wide range of learning and growth opportunities for early childhood leaders. As the premier national early childhood leadership organization, the McCormick Center has received accolades for its Whole Leadership Framework. The Framework domains—administrative leadership, pedagogical leadership, and leadership essentials—guide our innovative work. We equip program leaders, family child care providers, and professional development organizations and systems with the resources, tools, and support to foster excellence in leadership and the highest-quality early care and education experiences for children and families.

By the Numbers

35,000+ leaders

have engaged in our professional learning initiatives

12,000+ assessments

conducted in early childhood school and community programs in Illinois

7,500 attendees

to date for our annual Leadership Connections National Conference

1,600+ trained

on PAS and BAS Reliability

1,300+ leaders

nationally credentialed

18 states

use PAS or BAS in their QRIS

Professional Learning Opportunities

Leadership Academies

Join a leadership cohort.

Our Leadership Academies offer transformational learning through a professional learning community that meets over an extended period of time. Leadership Academies are uniquely tailored to program administrators and family child care providers in Illinois and may be taken for college credit, providing a career pathway for leaders in early childhood education.

Learn More

National Director Credential

Earn your national director credential.

Aim4Excellence™ offers an engaging and interactive online professional development experience that focuses on the core leadership and management competencies early childhood leaders need. Aim4Excellence is eligible for college credit, aligns with state professional development credentials, and supports National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) program accreditation.

Learn More

Program Evaluation

Engage in quality improvement.

McCormick Center offers training, expert guidance, and support for program evaluation. Trainings are user-friendly and designed to help you collect, analyze, and use data effectively to reach your quality improvement goals.

Learn More

Technical Assistance

Develop expertise.

The McCormick Center works with individuals, organizations, and state agencies to develop informed and experienced trainers, coaches, mentors, technical assistance specialists, and organizational consultants who are interested in supporting the whole leadership development of early childhood administrators.

Learn More

Systems Building Support

Professional Development Systems (PDS)

Secure support and expertise for systems building.

Our work with state professional development systems (PDS) focuses on the core knowledge and unique competencies of early childhood administrators working in centers, schools, and homes. Our innovative learning opportunities, delivered online and face-to-face, align with the Whole Leadership Framework, NAEYC Program Accreditation standards for administrator competencies and qualifications, and with Administrator Credential requirements within state PDS.

View Our Expertise

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)

Achieve quality improvement goals.

The McCormick Center supports states’ efforts to raise the quality of early learning programs through QRIS. We work with state leaders to clarify goals, identify needs, and offer expertise in the development of program standards. Our work at the state and national level sets the bar for best practices in center-based, home-based, and school-based early childhood education programs. The Whole Leadership Framework guides our work as we promote administrator qualifications as a stand-alone standard within QRIS.

View Our Expertise

"This is a vital tool to add to your toolbox when working with family providers and encouraging quality improvements within our state for family child care. Not only with providers but also with those who support and work with providers."
Monica Cohens, Illinois, BAS Reliability participant