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Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education

by Stacie G. Goffin and Valora Washington
July/August 2008
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/leadership-choices-in-early-care-and-education/5018242/

This article is based on excerpts from the authors' recent book, Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education, published by Teachers College Press.

After more than a century of evolution, early care and education is in transition. No longer is it a narrow endeavor of relative obscurity and of limited interest to leaders from outside of the field. Early care and education has become of interest to K-12 leaders seeking to bolster school reform efforts; to corporate entrepreneurs and stockholders looking to capitalize on the number of mothers in the labor force; and to economists, legislators, and governors striving to implement cost-effective, high-impact policy change. While not limited in impact to the work of center directors, this evolution significantly alters the realities and leadership challenges faced by directors of early care and education programs.

New realities

The results of this dramatic increase in size and visibility of the field are many. Two are especially notable.

• Early care and education's dramatic growth has shifted attention from new program development to system building, with the intent of bringing coherence, sustainability, and consistently high performance to a field that has lacked all three.

• The early care and education field, now attracting significant new public ...

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