MECLP is a partner of the Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities at UMBC designed to accelerate leadership development in the field of early childhood. MECLP believes that developing and supporting strong leaders will catalyze positive change and significantly improve school readiness and related outcomes for early learners, particularly disadvantaged and vulnerable children and their families.
Guided by its Advisory Committee of Maryland and national early childhood leaders, the goals of MECLP are to:
- Improve/enhance leadership in early childhood education (ECE) and associated fields.
- Increase the diversity of ECE leaders across the state.
- Position Maryland as a leader in developing strong ECE systems leaders.
- Expand early childhood course work in higher education to institutionalize leadership skills.
MECLP has contracted with the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation (IEELI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston to adapt and deliver IEELI’s innovative, research-based curriculum. The adapted curriculum, Leading for Change in Early Care and Education, will be offered to a cohort of 14 MECLP Fellows starting in December 2019. Partial funding to support MECLP comes from the Division of Early Childhood, Maryland State Department of Education.
Leading for Change in Early Childhood Education is a 12-month, hybrid curriculum designed to build the leadership skills, knowledge, and dispositions of early childhood professionals. The program makes use of a mix of in-person, daylong learning sessions; guest presentations and field trips; asynchronous online learning sessions; and individual and small group projects. Across all platforms, the curriculum supports early childhood educators of a variety of backgrounds to develop their:
- leadership vision
- leadership skills and values
- personnel and resource management skills
- organizational capacity
- data analysis skills
- creativity and innovation
- public policy knowledge
Each participant will complete a capstone project focused on an issue specific to early childhood education in Maryland. Topics may include improving the quality of programming, increasing the number of seats, full implementation of universal Pre-K, improving family involvement, and other specific jurisdictional issues.