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

November 19, 2020
by IEELI
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Charting the path to a post-pandemic ECE system

Advocates for early care and education (ECE) reform gathered Nov. 13 for a virtual conversation about the state of the ECE workforce in MA, the challenges they’re facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the path to creating a more sustainable, racially equitable ECE system in which early educators are valued for their expertise and experience, and compensated accordingly—ideally with public funding.

The Leadership Institute’s Executive Director Anne Douglass, PhD was among the presenters who delivered hard truths about working in ECE at The Early Childhood (Virtual) Coffee & Conversation: The EC Workforce, which was hosted by The Boston Foundation and moderated by Brian Gold, the foundation’s early childhood program officer.

Douglass was joined by presenters Arazeliz Reyes, PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts Boston, and Binal Pitel, chief program officer at Neighborhood Villages. ECE providers Joycelyn Browne and Alicia Jno-Baptiste, both graduates of Leadership Institute programs, also addressed attendees, sharing their experiences of working amid the pandemic and what is needed to alleviate the burdens on ECE professionals.

Douglass began on a positive note by pointing out the assets that the ECE workforce brings to the profession and the current child care crisis. She did so by presenting findings from the Leadership Institute’s pre-pandemic workforce survey (conducted with UMass Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Center for Social Policy) on which Reyes is also a co-author. Continue Reading →

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September 28, 2020
by IEELI
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Pre-pandemic ECE workforce survey released

A new report from the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (Leadership Institute) at UMass Boston provides a detailed pre-pandemic snapshot of the early education workforce in Massachusetts. Authored by researchers from the Leadership Institute, the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, and the Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston, the report serves as a point of comparison in understanding the impact of the pandemic on the child care sector and contains valuable data that can inform policy discussions about early care and education now taking place at the local, state, and federal level.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that early care and education is a key piece of infrastructure for the economy. Parents need early care and education options that are high quality and affordable because when child care isn’t available, parents can’t work,” said Anne Douglass, PhD, professor and executive director of the Leadership Institute. “But as the sector grapples with the impact COVID-19 has had on the health and well-being of young children and staff as well as the financial viability of child care programs of all sizes, this survey shows that returning to pre-pandemic ways of doing business is not an option.” Continue Reading →

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January 15, 2020
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Positive Relationships Key to Early Educator Success in Earning Bachelor’s Degree

In “The Role of Relationships: An Exploratory Study of Early Childhood Educators Earning a Bachelor’s Degree,” Professor Anne Douglass shows how positive relationships with university faculty, staff, peers, and workplace colleagues and supervisors can support educators as they work toward earning their bachelor’s degree. This qualitative study examined the higher education experiences of 18 early educators enrolled in a public urban university early childhood teacher education program. It included in-depth interviews with 11 of these educators’ workplace supervisors. The results highlight the potential importance of the relational contexts in which educators pursue their degrees and make improvements in their teaching practices. Continue Reading →

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May 2, 2019
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Mobilizing Leadership with the Breakthrough Series Collaborative

In her 2017 book, Leading for Change in Early Care and Education: Cultivating Leadership From Within (Teachers College Press), Professor Anne Douglass offers a framework for leadership in early care and education that is inclusive, collaborative, and purpose-driven and that defines a leader as someone who can influence and inspire change from within the field. In Chapter Seven, Douglass examines the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) model for organizational change. BSCs have supported quality improvement in the health, child trauma, and child welfare fields, but have not yet been widely tested in ECE. In describing the results of an 18-month pilot program of the model in ECE settings, she shows how it offers a concrete strategy for facilitating individual and organizational change within ECE by mobilizing leadership from all levels. Continue Reading →

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April 18, 2019
by IEELI
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Research Summary: Pathways to Leadership for Early Educators

In “Redefining Leadership: Lessons from an Early Education Leadership Development Initiative,” published in the Early Childhood Education Journal, Professor Anne Douglass shows that a leadership development program can change the mindset of experienced early educators so they see themselves as innovators and influencers. This first-of-its-kind study followed 43 early educators as they went through a relational and entrepreneurial leadership development program. The results demonstrate that these educators, who had an average of 18 years’ experience in early childhood education (ECE) but who did not self-identify as leaders, subsequently took on leadership roles within the field, bringing new ideas and innovation to their practice. Continue Reading →

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April 10, 2019
by IEELI
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Statewide Survey of Early Care and Education Workforce Aims to Improve Quality of Commonwealth’s Childcare

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has commissioned UMass Boston’s Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation to conduct a statewide survey of early childhood educators. Led by Anne Douglass, executive director of Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, this research study also draws on the expertise of researchers from the McCormack Graduate School’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and Center for Social Policy. The survey will inform the development of policy solutions to improve the quality of early education and care in Massachusetts as well as the economic security of educators. Continue Reading →

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December 3, 2018
by IEELI
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New State Early Care and Education Workforce Study Report Released

The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (IEELI) at UMass Boston issued a report on the early education and care (ECE) workforce in Massachusetts demonstrating that many educators face low pay and barriers to their professional development. The data presented in the report serves as the foundation for a major statewide study of educators slated to be launched in 2019—- after nearly fifteen years since the last comprehensive report on the workforce was completed. Continue Reading →

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