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

March 18, 2022
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Entrepreneurial Leadership Training Catalyzes Change Initiatives in Early Ed Programs

In “Preparing early educators as frontline leaders and change agents with a leadership development initiative,” UMass Boston researchers show that early educators who participated in a relational-entrepreneurial leadership development program were likely to lead for change in curriculum improvement, family engagement, and relationship building after completing their training. These findings suggest that relational-entrepreneurial leadership training has the potential to tap into early educators’ proprietary knowledge about caring for and educating very young children that are not known to those outside the field. Consequently, findings from this study are deeply relevant to current debate among early educators, parents, and policymakers about how to make affordable, high quality early care and education accessible to all families.

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March 16, 2022
by IEELI
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From preschool teacher to PhD holder

Just as Becky DelVecchio launched her research project for her doctoral thesis, the world shut down due to COVID-19. 

She had originally planned to do an ethnographic study on the psychologically restorative benefits of nature play for children and families by embedding in a nature program to study the lived experiences of children, educators and families as they move through the program. That became impossible when COVID-19 health and safety restrictions forced the closure of ECE programs across the state. For months after reopening, most programs prohibited visitors to their centers and schools. 

She instead adapted her project to a mixed-methods study, which included a quantitative  online survey directed at caregivers of 3-4-year-olds in Greater Boston, followed by qualitative interviews with a sample of the respondents. 

DelVecchio was pleased to receive 173 completed surveys, given the pressures parents were under, especially in the early days of the pandemic. “I was really thankful and just continue to be thankful to all the families who contributed to my research,” she said. 

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March 7, 2022
by IEELI
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UMass Boston-based researcher team to create program to estimate cost of providing quality early care and education for children in MA

Program will estimate costs needed for Common Start legislation (H. 605 / S. 362)

A UMass Boston-based interdisciplinary team of researchers has launched a new research project that will build a cost simulator to inform policy recommendations around universal child care. The simulator will model the amount of funding required by the Common Start legislation to provide affordable, high-quality early care and education for families in Massachusetts. The team has expertise in economics, early education, and public policy and will include researchers from the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation at UMass Boston, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston, and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. The project is being funded by the Commonwealth Children’s Fund, which invests in public policy and other initiatives that support children in Massachusetts from birth to age five. Continue Reading →

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