Future of Early Childhood Leadership Summit: The Importance of Systems Level Leadership

chris-ellisby Chris Ellis
Partnership Director, Early Learning Outcomes 

Last week, the Institute for Child Success (ICS) convened their second Future of Early Childhood Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. The goal of these Summits is to provide leadership development to rising leaders in the early childhood education space. Participants in these Summits promote early childhood development in communities across the country. The initial meeting of the group, in May, focused on identifying elements necessary to effect system level change to, ultimately, improve outcomes for the nation’s youngest children. One of the key takeaways from this first meeting was the need for participants to connect with recognized leaders in the field.

The convening in Washington D.C. provided a space for this connection to happen. Participants were able to spend time discussing early childhood development with the following leaders in early childhood education.

  • Celia Ayala, CEO of Los Angeles Universal Preschool;
  • Helen Blank, Director of Childcare and Early Learning at the National Women’s Law Center;
  • Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistance Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education;
  • Janis Dubno, Pay for Success Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education;
  • Bill Milliken, Founder of Communities in School; and
  • David Willis, Director, Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Summit consisted of panel discussions focused on the experiences of these established leaders, group work to envision the future of early childhood development, and several opportunities to connect with these leaders one-on-one.

The connection between strong system leadership and alignment to improved outcomes was reiterated throughout the Summit and reinforced the importance of our local Collaborative Action Networks focused on outcomes and the Promise Partnership Regional Council.

It was energizing to connect with leaders in early childhood education and other Summit participants and I look forward to applying my learnings to our local collective impact work to improve age-appropriate development and kindergarten readiness rates for children in our communities. Thank you ICS for the opportunity to attend this Summit and connect with rising and established leaders in early childhood education.

Preschool

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