Early Ed Leadership & Innovation

We train frontline early educators and child care business owners in entrepreneurial leadership, and research ways to support them at scale

October 12, 2021
by IEELI
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Early Ed Leadership Institute to publish future editions of Early Care and Education Leadership Development Compendium


The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (Early Ed Leadership Institute) and the Goffin Strategy Group, LLC are pleased to announce that the fifth and future editions of the Early Childhood Care and Education Leadership Development Compendium: A View of the Current Landscape will be developed, edited, and published by the Early Ed Leadership Institute. Stacie Goffin, founder of the Goffin Strategy Group, LLC and the Leadership Development Compendium series, will serve as an advisor to the Early Ed Leadership Institute on the next edition of the compendium. Continue Reading →

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September 11, 2021
by IEELI
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2021-2022 Early Education Leadership Fellows announced

The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (the Early Ed Leadership Institute) at UMass Boston is pleased to announce the selection of nine Early Education Leadership Fellows for the 2021-2022 cohort of its Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice (PMC).

The Early Education Leadership Fellows were selected from a highly competitive pool of over 120 applicants. They represent a variety of public, private, and community-based programs. The 2021-2022 cohort will spend the next two years immersed in intensive training in relational and entrepreneurial leadership, early childhood policy, and the science of early learning. They will also connect with and join our growing network of emerging and established early childhood education leaders. Continue Reading →

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June 8, 2021
by IEELI
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Leadership Forum 2021

Attendees of the 2021 Leadership Forum, which was held via Zoom.

The event that anchors our Leadership and Innovation Network—the  Leadership Forum on Early Education, Research, Policy, and Practice—was held this year in a virtual format May 15. More than 150 emerging and established leaders in early care and education (ECE) logged on to share their ideas and innovations in the areas of quality improvement, racial equity, systems change, and other areas of practice and policy, making for an inspiring and informative day. 

“This was a VERY SPECIAL experience!” one attendee shared in a survey after the conference. “Like the [Post-Master’s Certificate program] this forum embodies the spirit of leadership diversity, whole-person, whole-community: from the music to the bringing together of folks from all different “sectors”, places in ECE, experiences in ECE, to the very welcoming and supportive atmosphere of the presentations, all rooted importantly and necessarily in the inherent value of children, families, communities, equity, dignity, diversity. Thank you so much!” 

This year’s conference marked the first time that Spanish translation was available to attendees, in addition to a Spanish-language breakout session, thereby allowing for greater accessibility for our students and other community members in attendance.  Continue Reading →

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May 20, 2021
by IEELI
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Photos from the 2021 Leadership Forum on Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice

Our annual Leadership Forum on Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice was held on Saturday, May 15, 2021 via Zoom. Over 100 attendees, all established and emerging leaders in the field of early care and education, participated in presentations and breakout sessions focused on the innovative quality improvement, racial equity, and system change ideas of our leadership program graduates. Continue Reading →

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April 22, 2021
by IEELI
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Early Ed Leadership Institute Statement on Derek Chauvin Trial

The guilty verdicts in Derek Chauvin’s trial mean that Derek Chauvin will be held accountable for the murder of George Floyd, and we hope they give Floyd’s family and community some space to heal. But these verdicts will not bring justice to Mr. Floyd, who should be alive today. Nor will they bring justice to his family, or to countless other Black people who have been killed by those sworn to uphold the law.  Continue Reading →

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March 25, 2021
by IEELI
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With one-on-one coaching, help is just a phone call away

A rapidly expanding early education program is a nice problem to have—but it’s still a problem. Just ask Deanna Donnelly, the director of education for the Gurukul Learning Center in Chelmsford.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic and not long after Donnelly began working at the center, she became overwhelmed by new demand for spots in her program. The phone was ringing off the hook with calls from prospective parents, and Donnelly was giving so many tours that she had a hard time keeping up with her other administrative duties. Over the span of just six months, Gurukul Learning Center’s enrollment ballooned from 22 to 68 children—necessitating an expansion from three classrooms to six and the hiring, training, and teambuilding of new staff. Continue Reading →

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March 18, 2021
by IEELI
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Learning from others

With three years of experience running the Learning Tree Experience, a family child care in Dorchester, Jasmine Cox knows a lot about what it takes to create a successful ECE business: building trusting relationships with families, the importance of structure and professionalism, transparency and good communication with parents, licensors and other colleagues.

Such practices, said Cox, “speak for your program. They show that your program is a place where children will not only be cared for, but they will learn.”

But at this early stage in her ECE career, Cox is also thankful for the chance to learn from more experienced peers in the Professional Learning Community (PLC) she joined shortly early last year, shortly before the pandemic hit. The PLC is facilitated by Cox’s regional StrongStart Professional Development Center (PDC), which covers the Metro Boston region. Continue Reading →

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March 11, 2021
by IEELI
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StrongStart Professional Development Centers Are There To Help

Graphic of Keira Durrett with quote It’s safe to say that Keira Durrett has earned the title of “expert.” She’s worked in early care and education for over 30 years, 21 of them as director of the Williston North Hampton Children’s Center in Easthampton. Even so, she credits the Western Mass StrongStart Professional Development Center (PDC) with providing her with much needed resources this past year.

Shortly before early care and education programs in Massachusetts were suspended from operating in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Durrett had joined a professional learning community (PLC) run by the Western Mass StrongStart PDC. Comprised of other directors of ECE programs in her region, the PLC was set up to provide structured support for directors working through typical problems of practice: improving curricula, supporting staff, strengthening relationships with families, and streamlining back-end operations.

But as programs prepared to reopen, directors had numerous questions about maintaining health and safety, understanding the reopening guidance issued by the state, and managing finances with dramatically reduced enrollment. (For example, at the start of the year, there were 53 children enrolled in Durrett’s center. Now there are just 35.) Continue Reading →

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December 15, 2020
by IEELI
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Meet our Statewide Training and Industry Navigation Manager

TeddyKokoros

Teddy Kokoros

For Teddy Kokoros, collaboration, connection, and information sharing come naturally. He maintains a blog that shares news of relevance to early educators and also gives a platform for early educators to share their research and ideas. He uses his Twitter and Facebook accounts to do the same. And in 2019, he ran for (and won) a seat on his hometown’s board of library trustees because he wants to encourage collaboration among early educators and the town’s library.

“I think something the ECE field should be doing is finding ways to build partnerships with people in the community because these partnerships, whether they’re with K-12 schools, summer camps, museums, or libraries, makes the early education community stronger,” Kokoros says. Continue Reading →

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