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Leadership development and system building in early childhood education and care: Current issues and recommendations


Early childhood education and care (ECEC) aims to assist all young children and their families in meeting educational, developmental and behavioral outcomes to enhance their quality of life. However, in the United States (US), the field of ECEC lags behind in policies and practices to develop and sustain quality ECEC leadership. Although international initiatives in ECEC leadership have been growing, in the United States, effective leadership practices have been few, isolated and lacking rigor, resulting in a shortage of evidence-based policies and practices in ECEC. This theoretical paper discusses leadership development and system building in ECEC through an ecological framework elaborates on current issues in preparing effective leaders, and offers recommendations to develop a leadership structure for a high-quality ECEC system. (author abstract)

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