Home » Exchange Leadership Initiative


The Exchange Leadership Initiative (ELI) launched in November 2014, with the intention to explore strategies for making leadership more visible in the field of Early Care and Education, growing in understanding of the qualities, training, and skills sets that underlie leadership and fulfilling our responsibilities in supporting and developing leaders.


The Search for the Most Powerful Leaders Continues

Exchange continues the search and support for leadership in Early Care and Education. Over 200 Exchange Leaders are everywhere, doing powerful work locally, in states and provinces, nationally and internationally.


Leadership takes many forms, from the leader in a classroom in an early care and education or school-age program, to leaders of organizations big and small, to leaders in advocacy, governance, training and research, to people working globally.


The act of applying for this designation is profound. If you see yourself as a leader, that will change how you think and how you act. Each of us has the capacity to contribute to our field.


The application is available online at www.childcareexchange.com/leadership/application.


New Exchange Leaders will be introduced in the July/August 2018 issue of Exchange Magazine.


Doyens in the Early Childhood Field to be Featured

The Exchange Leadership Initiative will also be honoring those who have dedicated their lives to making a difference for young children and their families, professionally and personally.  Their vision, determination, generosity of spirit and ethical standards are hallmarks of their leadership.  They are part of a very special group of leaders held in high regard with a true place of respect; they are Doyens in the early childhood field. We will feature Doyens in the November/December 2017 issue of Exchange Magazine.


History of the Exchange Leadership Initiative

Exchange Emerging Leaders were announced in the May/June 2015 issue of Exchange magazine. Exchange continued to focus on leadership with the announcement of Master Leaders in the November/December 2015 Exchange magazine. In 2017, the use of the terms “emerging” and “master” were discontinued preferring, instead to refer to all as “Exchange Leaders.”


Currently, Exchange Leaders are engaged in writing articles for Exchange Magazine, connecting in-person at conferences and gatherings, advising and creating a presence through social media and collaborating and sharing with one another. Many Emerging Leaders attended the Action Forum on Early Childhood Leadership (an experience designed specifically for them) before the NAEYC conference in November 2015. A group of Exchange Leaders met at the 2016 NAEYC conference. Another group of Exchange Leaders met with Global Leaders at the World Forum in Auckland, New Zealand in May 2017 and plans are underway for a meeting at the 2017 NAEYC Conference.