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Child Development

Early Childhood Leadership Institute

The Early Childhood Leadership Institute is dedicated to increasing and enhancing the knowledge base, skills and competencies of the early childhood administrator though providing opportunities for advanced training, professional growth, networking and support

The Early Childhood Leadership Institute recognizes the specialized knowledge and skills required to be an effective manager of an early care and education program. We understand that to improve the quality of programs that serve young children and their families, the director's administrative skills must be strong and continually evolving. To create early childhood programs with work environments that develop, support and retain skilled teachers, program directors capable of strong leadership are essential.


 Research supports The Early Childhood Leadership Institute's mission:

  • Directors' level of formal education is a strong predictor of overall program quality.
    Bloom, 1990, 1996; Cost, Quality, and Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995; Kagan & Bowman, 1997; Lower & Cassidy, 2007; Phillips, et al., 2001; Vandell & Wolfe, 2000; Vu, Jeon, & Howes, 2008; Washington, 2008; Whitebook, et al., 2008, 2001.

  • There is a positive relationship between the quality of administrative practices and the quality of the children's learning environment in center- based programs.
    Lower & Cassidy, 2007; MCECL, 2010; National Center for Children and Families, 2008.

  • Directors with higher levels of education and specialized training in program administration are more likely to support the professional development of their teaching staff, secure and maintain program funding, and achieve center accreditation.
    Fowler, Bloom, Talan, T., Beneke, S., & Kelton, 2008; MCECL, 2008; Bredekamp & Willer, 1996.

  • The credential level of the director is a predictor of classroom quality.
    Vu, Jeon & Howes, 2008. 


Director roundtable

  • Who? Current directors, supervisors, leaders and owners of ECE programs for young children.

Not a director yet? Future Directors are invited to join us upon becoming a director.

  • What? Support group meeting for networking and discussion. Topic: Have an article, book, website, app, philosophy or business strategy that has helped you as a leader?


  • Why? Learn from each other, share resources and meet fellow directors with similar professional issues


  • When? Events held regularly, contact Jeanne Thomas for dates
  • How? Contact Jeanne Thomas for more information. 

Jeanne Thomas <>

Located at the Foothill College Sunnyvale Center

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We're Here to Help!

Child Development Department


Sunnyvale Campus, 211Q