Early Childhood Directors Leadership Institute

One of the best predictors of a child care program’s quality is the leadership and management skill of its director. This project has developed and offered intensive training and coaching for child care administrators through geographically organized professional networks, shared resources, goal setting for quality improvement and multiple evaluation mechanisms.

Directors of 3-, 4-, and 5-star centers from 52 NC counties were accepted into Early Childhood Directors Leadership Institute. A group of 71 early care and education program leaders from diverse programs, working with one of nine coaches, have: 

  1. developed their individual leadership and program management knowledge and skills and
  2. created and achieved personal and program improvement goals.

These directors:

  • completed assessment tools to identify leadership and programmatic areas of strength, weakness, and opportunities for improvement;
  • created and implemented program improvement action plans to address targeted needs based on the following assessment tools;
    • Small Tests Of Change (teams brainstorm improvement strategies, implement them on a small scale, measure results and act based on those results)
    • Program Management Inventory (evaluates the management climate of early childhood programs)
    • Program Administration Scale (PAS) (designed to reliably measure the leadership and management practices of center-based early childhood programs based on ten subscales: Human Resources Development, Fiscal Management, Program Planning and Evaluation, Family Partnerships, Marketing and Public Relations, Technology and Staff Qualifications). Gains made in the PAS included:
      • enhanced staff/family orientations and internal/external communications by using program evaluations distributed to staff and parents;
      • developed salary scales, budget needs assessment, professional development plans, staff evaluations, emergency procedures, and strategic plans; and
      • increased staff involvement in staff meetings, community involvement, and contact hours for professional development (15 - 20 annual contact hours).
  • attended three multi-day Institutes on early childhood leadership guided by a curriculum developed within this grant (20 hours/2.0 CEUs awarded upon completion); 100% of cohort rated Institutes as excellent/good;
  • participated in curriculum developed by ECDLI: Introduction to Leadership and Management (1.0 CEU), as well as Leading the Way to Quality - The Director's Role (0.5 CEU) preparation for the Program Administration Scale (PAS) and Strategies for Leadership and Management (0.5 CEU) based on staff and director program evaluation.
  • engaged in on-line networking opportunities to enhance their leadership and build professional relationships across participants; developed 22 learning communities based on director interests which include program evaluation, personnel cost and allocations, staff orientation, strategic planning, inspired leadership, family engagement, and technological policies.
  • participated in a post-assessment at the conclusion of the twenty-month ECDLI program that measured leadership and program management improvements achieved with a cohort post assessment average of 5.12, reflecting a 25% increase over pre-assessment scores (national average PAS score is 3.41); and
  • evaluated coaches on the support, knowledge, resources, and guidance they provided based on site visits, team meetings, and online support. Ninety percent of participants rated coaches as excellent/good.

This Activity is completed. Work will continue through December 2016 to adapt the Early Childhood Directors Leadership Institute to make it accessible online.

RTT-ELC Reform Area: A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce