Over the course of three years, the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University provided quality supports for 34 rural child care centers participating in the ExceleRate Child Care Pilot funded by Illinois’ Preschool Development Grant, Birth to Five.* The overarching goal of the pilot was to test new strategies to strengthen the effectiveness of child care programs by a) use of child care contracts providing funding for additional classroom staff and an enhanced salary scale based on the education and credentials of staff and b) leadership supports to establish continuous quality improvement (CQI) systems at the classroom and organizational levels. These supports included creating new structures to support CQI (Plan Do Review meetings; Individual Leadership Development Plans), implementing new processes (shared decision making; leadership coaching; Community of Practice), and supporting the professional growth of staff (new model of job-embedded leadership development). This study focused on the effectiveness of the quality supports component of the ExceleRate Child Care Pilot. (author abstract)
What leaders do: Embed systems of continuous quality improvement
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