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 29, 2020
by IEELI
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What we learned from our webinar series on reinventing child care in Massachusetts

The COVID-19 pandemic has widely exposed what early care and education (ECE) professionals have long known: our ECE system is not sustainable in its current patchwork configuration. Yet it is also vital to the functioning of our economy and must therefore be prioritized for systemic change.

This summer, we launched a webinar series, “Reinventing Child Care in Massachusetts” to facilitate a detailed discussion of what the sector needs, and we’re eager to share what we learned. More than 700 ECE professionals and other stakeholders participated and attendees gathered online to share ideas for reinventing an ECE system that is high-quality, accessible to all families, provides professional compensation to educators based on their skill and experience, has sufficient resources for professional and leadership development, and addresses racial inequities. Continue Reading →

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October 19, 2020
by IEELI
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Leadership Institute Testing Model To Improve Business Operations of Small Business Child Care Providers

The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (the Leadership Institute), housed in UMass Boston’s College of Education and Human Development, announces that Songtian (Tim) Zeng PhD, BCBA and Anne Douglass PhD are co-principal investigators on a study measuring the effectiveness of the small business innovation and shared services model for home- and center-based child care providers serving high-poverty communities in the city of Boston. The $250,000 study is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and will be administered by United Way of Massachusetts Bay from 2020 to 2022.

“Early childhood education is the essential foundation for improving all levels of education,” said College of Education and Human Development Dean Joseph Berger. “I am proud of the ongoing leadership provided by the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation as they apply their exceptional expertise to improving quality and equity of early childhood education throughout the state and beyond.” Continue Reading →

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October 19, 2020
by IEELI
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Leadership Institute Creates Early Childhood Support Organization for State’s ECE Programs with $3.75M Grant

The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (the Leadership Institute), housed in UMass Boston’s College of Education and Human Development, announces today that it is designing a new Early Childhood Support Organization (ECSO) for the state’s licensed early care and education programs. The Leadership Institute is partnering with longtime collaborators the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) and Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention) to deliver services. The 4.5-year, $3.75 million project is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization that invests in systems change initiatives that break down barriers to opportunity.

“The ECE field urgently needs high impact professional and leadership development supports that promote early educators’ expertise and abilities to improve program quality,” said Anne Douglass, PhD, the Leadership Institute’s founder and executive director. “Research shows that to be effective, ECE educators and leaders need a workplace context that is designed to develop and sustain teachers’ ongoing learning and practice.” Continue Reading →

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October 13, 2020
by IEELI
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Small business moves that add up

“Every day, I look forward to starting my day with the children—teaching them new skills, social interaction, celebrating milestones like their first step or their first word; watching them try new foods and making new friends, and all that stuff,” said Joycelyn Browne, owner of Little Ones Child Care in Dorchester.

But Joyce also knows there’s more to operating a successful ECE program than the joy of helping children learn, grow, and thrive. That’s why she enrolled in our Small Business Innovation Center program, which Browne credits with teaching her “different ways of improving my business, marketing my business, different ways of teaching the kids, and creating curriculum.” Continue Reading →

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September 10, 2020
by IEELI
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Creating a culture of learning

Portrait photo of Alicia Jno-Baptiste

Wee Care JP owner Alicia Jno-Baptiste: “I feel more confident running my business and I think people look at me differently, too, because I have more expertise.”

You can’t be successful directing a small early child care program unless you’re an expert in early childhood development and the science of early brain development. But it also helps to understand accounting, marketing, human resources, facilities management, and bulk purchasing. Many owners of early care and education businesses pick up enough business skills to get by. But there’s a big difference between getting by and maximizing profits.

When Alicia Jno-Baptiste signed up for our Small Business Innovation Center program she relied on a bookkeeper to keep track of her business accounts. By her own admission, she “didn’t have a clue” about how to analyze the monthly reports. After going through the Small Business Innovation Center program with other entrepreneurs, Jno-Baptiste learned about cash flow and how to analyze the costs of care to ensure a profit along with other business needs like marketing, facilities management, and automating tasks.

Jno-Baptiste, who owns Wee Care JP, still employs a bookkeeper, but now when she gets the monthly reports, she can read the numbers. “I can see if we’ve reached our income goal, how much we’ve spent, where we’re down, and where we need to be,” Jno-Baptiste said. “I can head off financial trouble much sooner because I can see it coming and be proactive in dealing with it.” Continue Reading →

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July 28, 2020
by IEELI
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Making the Vision a Reality in Massachusetts—How Do We Get There?

During the final webinar in our three-part series, “Reimagining Stronger and More Equitable Systems of Early Care and Education,” we heard from experts in early education and care discuss how to create shared services, the benefits of automation, the need for statewide innovation, how to maintain private innovation while treating child care as a public good, and advocating for support and services. Continue Reading →

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July 15, 2020
by IEELI
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The Vision for Reinventing Child Care – Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an increasingly urgent conversation among political leaders, policymakers, and leaders in early care and education (ECE) about the need for systemic change to ensure the economic survival of the sector, which is vital to a functioning economy.

To add to the public discussion now taking place, the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation convened a series of webinars, “Reimagining Stronger and More Equitable Systems of Early Care and Education.” The three-part series explored ideas and innovations for solving some of the persistent obstacles to expanding affordable access to quality early care and education. Continue Reading →

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July 14, 2020
by IEELI
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Automating invoicing, enrollment and applications saves time and money

As we continue to adapt to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been slow to return their children to early care and education programs, according to Opportunities Exchange, a national leader in developing business strategies that sustain ECE programs and improve child outcomes. These observations provided the backdrop to a robust discussion of the ways in which automating back-end operations can free up significant time and money during our webinar “The Role of Technology in Reinventing Child Care: Working Smarter with Shared Services.” This webinar, which was part two of our three-part webinar series titled “Reimagining Stronger and More Equitable Systems of Early Care and Education” is filled with practical and actionable ideas for early care and education programs. Continue Reading →

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July 1, 2020
by IEELI
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Building a better ECE system post-COVID-19

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June 16, 2020
by IEELI
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Webinar series: Reimagining Stronger and More Equitable Systems of Early Care and Education

If you could redesign early care and education in Massachusetts, what would it look like?

  • Professional compensation for educators and family child care providers?
  • Affordable access for all families?
  • Resources that emphasize professional learning and leadership?
  • Education and care that addresses racial equity?

Continue Reading →

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