Leading for Children was founded in 2016 by Judy Jablon and is driven by her vision: “To create the next generation of critical thinkers and leaders, we must ensure that every child has a sense of agency, that the child believes she can make things happen. This requires that children learn in settings where the adults define themselves as leaders in a climate of optimism. True change comes from a holistic approach, one that engages the entire system and all players including caregivers, teachers, coaches, administrators, and families.”
Early learning is critical to children’s brain development and school readiness. Moreover, it has been shown to improve children’s cognitive and behavioral well-being and reduce disparities associated with early childhood poverty: failure to complete high school, juvenile delinquency, unemployment, and psychological and physical health problems. Despite the gains we have made, our children — especially the most vulnerable — need more. The question isn’t how much will this cost, but how can we use resources more effectively.
Leading for Children believes that a sea change is required in order to empower all those in early-learning systems to see themselves as leaders. Only then can people work collaboratively to deliver coherent, high-quality programs. Currently, directors and teachers, parents and policy makers, receptionists and cooks all work at cross purposes. They are not rowing in the same direction, nor are they ensuring that educators in these critical roles understand their impact on child development. Administrative protocols have too often substituted for informed, impactful efforts that will collectively advance learning. We have become complacent to work in silos and have settled for relationships and results that are less than children require to achieve the best outcomes.
To change the course of current early-learning systems and organizations, strong networks and lifelong learning among the adults educating children are vital. Leading for Children engages with educators at every level — leaders in schools and community, leaders of entire school systems and state and federal policy makers, coaches, teachers, caregivers and home visitors — to articulate a coherent and consistent path to continuous quality improvement.
Leading for Children partners with public systems and with public and private funders to strengthen and transform early learning so that educators are empowered as leaders and learners and collectively pursue coherent paths to quality that will improve learning outcomes for young children.
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Published August 16, 2017