The Early Childhood Instructional Leadership Professional Development Initiative
A strong organizational climate and conditions that support instruction and family engagement are integral to a quality early learning environment. Research findings from adjacent fields, including K-12 grade school improvement, demonstrate that instructional improvement occurs when leaders and program staff work in collaboration, with access to data that helps enhance their practice and improve learning outcomes for children.
That is why Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce) implemented and evaluated a pioneering approach to professional development for the early childhood education system: the Early Childhood Instructional Leadership Professional Development Initiative (PDI). The program’s initial design and development focused on early learning programs in under-resourced communities, while building professional capacity for leading instructional improvement across an entire organization.
Unlike other professional development efforts that primarily focus on the classroom, our initiative engaged leaders and staff to improve strategies that support learning in school as well as at home, through parent engagement and social-emotional learning practices. This work laid the foundation for The Essential Fellowship (formerly known as Lead Learn Excel), an intensive leadership development program for early education professionals across the country.