McCormick Center Announces National Status Report on Early Childhood Program Leadership

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

The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University announced a new report in June on the state of early childhood leadership in the United States.

The L.E.A.D. Early Childhood™ Collaborative was launched in 2016 to identify and close the program leadership gap. The McCormick Center developed the L.E.A.D. Early Childhood™ Clearinghouse, the new go-to source for information about early childhood program leaders, to enhance this initiative.

For the first time, cross-sector statistics related to early childhood program leaders serving young children birth through age eight, are reported and analyzed collectively. The national and state profiles can be accessed on an interactive website at

Five policy levers are identified to assess the degree to which the individual state’s standards support high-quality program leadership. The levers are turned into ratings for each state in order to create a report card with which to benchmark progress over time in these areas. California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania achieved the highest overall scores on the Policy Levers Rubric.

The policy levers are: Administrator Qualifications in Child Care Licensing, Administrator Credential, Principal Licensure, Administrator Qualifications in QRIS, and Administrator Qualifications in State Pre-K Programs.

The McCormick Center has been dedicated to building the leadership capacity of the early childhood workforce for more than 30 years.

To learn more about the L.E.A.D. Early Childhood™ Clearinghouse and its suggested uses, please visit