McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership Publications

Document Type

Executive Summary

Publication Date

Spring 3-16-2015


Initiatives to improve administrative practices in early childhood programs take many forms. Some models are high-intensity, providing substantial external support for directors—formal training leading to an advanced degree, high dosage of technical support for achieving accreditation, and on-site coaching addressing multiple facets of program leadership and management. These high-intensity models have been shown to yield significant improvements in program- and classroom-level quality, organizational climate, and participants’ level of knowledge and demonstrated skill. Other models are moderate-intensity, providing a lower dose of formal training and on-site support, and lead to a director credential. Although the outcomes are not as robust as the high-intensity models, moderate-intensity initiatives also yield significant improvements in program quality and directors’ level of competency. Because high- and moderate-intensity initiatives are costly to implement, the current study examined an informal low-intensity approach to strengthening leadership capacity as a viable alternative.

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