Coming in 2017: New Leadership Clearinghouse Aimed at Closing the ECE Leadership Gap

by Teri Talan, Senior Policy Advisor, and Michael Abel, Director of Research and Evaluation

When Transforming the Workforce for Children from Birth through Age 8 was published last year, we all heard the call to increase the knowledge and competency of early childhood program leaders in all sectors of the field. But how can we know where to go, if we don’t know where we are?

To address this data gap, the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University has committed to creating a dynamic, interactive national clearinghouse to collect and distribute information on the status of the early childhood leadership workforce; national and state professional standards for leaders; and programs that educate, support, and enhance the competency of individuals who lead programs serving children birth through age 8.

The creation of the L.E.A.D. Early Childhood™ Clearinghouse is part of a Clinton Global Initiative America commitment made by the McCormick Center, in collaboration with the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center. Together, these organizations have formed the L.E.A.D. Early Childhood™ Collaborative, a partnership open to organizations who share the goal of closing the leadership gap in early childhood education.

The L.E.A.D. Early Childhood Clearinghouse will house data on:

  • Early childhood program leaders
    • Number and percent by role, sector, program type, accreditation and licensing status
    • Demographic characteristics
    • Wages and compensation
    • Qualifications (education, specialized training, credentials/certification, years of experience)
  • Leadership Institutes/Academies
    • Number of programs by state, sector, and funding source
    • Specific leadership competencies addressed
    • Alignment to state professional development systems (SPDS) and quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS)
  • Formal leadership education programs
    • Degrees offered by major or concentration
    • Specialized education in instructional leadership
    • Specialized education in administrative leadership
    • Accreditation status

You’ll be able to interactively explore the clearinghouse’s data in a variety of ways, at both the state and national levels. Profiles will feature infographic and narrative descriptions in standardized templates so you’ll be able to easily compare and analyze the data.

Annually, at our Leadership Connections™ National Conference, we’ll release the publication of the data in a 50-state Profile Report. We hope these reports will advance the understanding of competency standards for early childhood program leaders across settings, sectors, and states, and, over time, will promote alignment of standards and adoption of policies that support consistent and effective program leadership.

The clearinghouse will officially launch at the 2017 Leadership Connections conference.

The McCormick Center is grateful for the funding provided by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to initiate this project.