Leadership in Early Care and Education

Directors and administrators of early care and education programs face a number of challenges in maintaining program quality. The Leadership in Early Care and Education program promotes the kind of expansive thinking and personal change necessary to move organizations forward. Through participation in this program, participants become more confident leaders as they positively impact early care and education programs.

This leadership development program takes place in one- or two-day sessions over the course of several months. This pace allows for application of new concepts and skills on the job. The classes are offered on a fee-for-services basis and can be customized to fit your organization's specific needs. The following four modules can be taken individually or as a complete series.

Module One: How Do I Lead Others?

Module One addresses the question, "What does it take to be an effective leader?" Participants begin the course with an assessment of their own leadership skills. Models and principles of leadership are then explored.

Topics include:

  • assessing my leadership style
  • basic principles of leadership
  • childcare programs as "systems"
  • creating a positive organizational climate

Module Two: The Leader's Role in Organizational Change

Early care and education programs, like all organizations, exist in a constantly changing environment. Methods for being proactive in the change process are highlighted in this module. Participants have the opportunity to develop a plan for improving their program one step at a time. Strategies for helping staff through the change process are also discussed.

Topics include:

  • assessing organizational needs
  • developing an action plan
  • models of change
  • balancing individual and organizational needs
  • ethics and confidentiality in the workplace

Module Three: Improving Communication in the Workplace

Communication with staff, parents and other stakeholders is explored in this module. Strategies for dealing with different communication styles, as well as addressing conflict situations, are discussed. In addition, participants learn ways to effectively facilitate meetings.

Topics include:

  • communication styles
  • difficult conversations
  • negotiation and conflict resolution
  • problem solving and decision making as a team

Module Four: Supervision and Performance Management

Module Four addresses the leadership role in supervising others, including hiring practices and performance appraisal. A reflective supervision model is explored. The discussion also examines how to encourage excellence and address problem behaviors.

Topics include:

  • the circle of recruitment, selection, retention and recognition
  • reflective supervision and mentoring
  • dealing with difficult people
  • staff motivation: what works?