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

2021-2023 Early Education Leadership Fellows announced


3The 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 2021-202 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.

“The workforce shortage in early care and education has long been an area of concern and the pandemic has exacerbated it to a crisis point for families across the Commonwealth,” said Lynne Mendes, Director of Leadership Programs for the Early Ed Leadership Institute. “These Early Education Leadership Fellows will receive the leadership training that early educators need now to innovate, design, and lead efforts to create early care and education models that are high-quality and financially sustainable.”

The Post-Master’s Certificate program at the Early Ed Leadership Institute provides early educators, directors, and small business owners with training in relational and entrepreneurial leadership designed to foster the skills, competencies, and mindsets needed for driving change and innovation in early care and education research, practice and policy.

More than 72 PMC alumni have formed a powerful leadership corps, leveraging their practical experience and leadership training to improve early care and education quality and children’s learning, and mentoring the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Past graduates of the Post-Master’s Certificate Program have gone on to pursue doctoral study to advance scholarship in the field, led quality improvement efforts in their programs, sought new positions to make change on a scale greater than that possible in their prior job, served on professional advisory boards, and launched entrepreneurial ventures including the establishment of innovative models of early care and education.

The Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice is supported by grant funding and students are offered tuition scholarships and stipends that offset program-related costs. Courses take place online and on Saturdays to accommodate employment- and family-related responsibilities.

The following are the 2021-2022 Early Education Leadership Fellows:

  • Daiane Antonio, preschool lead teacher, Framingham
  • Armando Caballero, family childcare owner and childcare assistant, Malden
  • Amy Callbeck, center director, Wellesley
  • Merril Miceli, Forest educator( outdoor early childhood) program owner, Amherst
  • Suzyann Miller, Director, Cambridge
  • Ami Patel, preschool teacher
  • Sarah Siepierski, program director, ABCD Jamaica Plain Head Start
  • Julie Smith, nature-based family childcare owner, West Bridgewater
  • Michelle Sousa, family childcare owner, Reading
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