It often seems that the directors of child care centers assumed their positions with limited experience or education to prepare them for running a high-quality child care center. However, a childcare center’s director is critical in establishing the overall quality of an early childhood program, research studies have shown.
Often times new childcare center directors finds themselves in a position that demands they not only manage the administrative, business and supervisory functions, but also meet the educational and social needs of the young children in their centers. At the same time, they’re called upon to assist families with questions and concerns about their child’s development or even parenting skills. Balancing all of these tasks leaves the director with little opportunity to plan for the future of their program, staff development, or even their own professional development.
The Early Education Emergent Leaders program works to improve the quality of early child care and education by building the leadership, management, advocacy and child development skills of child care center directors. The program is intensive, focused on professional development and leadership skills, and is committed to the creation of a team of leaders who will serve as role models, advocates and leaders in communities throughout Arizona and the early education field.
Through this program, over 130 Emergent Leader participants from throughout the state have shown significant improvement in key leadership areas including administration and management, knowledge of state resources and creating a network of professional support.
Comments from graduates include:
“Definitely, the quality of care that has been provided to the children has increased many fold. With more programs like this, the future can only be brighter for our children. Programs like this have the ability to increase the outreach to many other centers.”
“I am eternally grateful for the leadership and intense focus on self-realization and quality that Emergent Leaders has allowed me. The ripple effect goes beyond anything we may see immediately. Investing in a human being is an investment that cannot be quantified for the impact is never ending.”
“The program gave me the skills I needed to move to the director position. People in this position tend to be isolated in their own centers but the program teaches us we’re not alone, where to go for help and how to work within the system.”
“The ability to meet and serve with so many talented early childhood leaders, educators and advocates is priceless. What my center, teachers and children gained from that experience continues to make an impact daily.”
“I’m very glad to hear the program is continuing on because it would be a huge loss without it. The program literally impacts hundreds of children for every person who goes through the program and it has a huge ripple effect with results that won’t be entirely seen for years.”
The program has four major components: Cohort Learning Model, Mentor Support, Directors’ Project, Workshops with National and State Experts
The Emergent Leaders program has been chosen by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as one of three programs in the country to extend NAEYC’s leadership development work. Applicants for the Arizona Early Education Emergent Leader program can apply for the opportunity to participate in the NAEYC Legacy Leader Fellows Program in conjunction with their participation in the Emergent Leaders program. Click here to read about this exciting opportunity.