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Association For Early Learning Leaders

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been serving directors, owners and administrators of early care and education programs since 1984.

Our Mission

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is committed to excel­lence in the field of Early Care and Education by promoting lead­ership development and enhancing program quality.

Our Goal

Our goal is to strengthen the knowledge, skills and abilities of directors, owners, emerging leaders and other early learning pro­fessionals to ensure quality programs for young children.

Our Purpose

Networking and Collaboration

Promote and create meaningful collaborative connections among members, other professionals and national early child­hood organizations

Education and Training

Provide professional development opportunities to strengthen the leadership skills of administrators and enhance the quality of early learning programs.

Program Quality

Promote quality improvements to achieve and recognize excellence in early care and education programs.

Resource Access

Provide access to a variety of quality professional resources impacting the early childhood field.

Association Service

Our Member Toolkit Subscription strengthens knowledge and skills through FREE weekly training webinars; annual trade journal Professional Connections©; access to a variety of professional resources, including quality vendor services, exclusive member discounts and opportunities to network and collaborate. Not yet a Director? Become an Emerging Leader member, perfect for students or those interested in early learning leadership..

The National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs offers programs the opportunity to demonstrate and document quality performance using research based standards and evidence based practices. The National Accreditation Commission provides a comprehensive ongoing quality improvement system that recognizes the diversity programs through the self-study and award process. Over 1,500 early learning programs in 38 states, District of Columbia and overseas participate in the accreditation process. These include, but are not limited to university and college campus based programs, private child care facilities, faith based preschools, head starts, public preschools, corporate centers, Department of Defense programs and employer sponsored programs.

Join fellow leaders at our 34th Annual, How Successful Directors Lead National Conference devoted to serving directors, owners and administrators dedicated to the early childhood field. Sessions by experts will focus on leadership, administration, business practices, legal issues, program quality and more! Celebrate with us at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Florida April 26-28th, 2018, featuring the Disney Institute.

Early Learning Leaders collaborates with Vendor Member to ensure that professionals in the field of early care and education have access to the resources needed to provide quality programs for children. Our members include manufacturers, producers and distributors of early learning products and services (i.e. manufacturers of furniture, playground equipment, educational materials and toys; publishers of children’s books, curriculum, training and leadership/administration publications; technology developers and providers of computer hardware/software for program administration and classroom; nonprofit organizations and state agencies).

Looking for an Accredited Program?

Looking for a Vendor?

The Association for Early Learning Leaders is committed to excellence in the field of early childhood care and education by promoting leadership development and enhancing program quality.

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Austin, TX 78746

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Beginning 6/1/2020, the National Accreditation Commission will resume conducting validation visits. The Accreditation Office will work with individual programs to determine the impact of local restrictions on a potential visit. The safety of program families and staff and National Accreditation Commission validators is of the utmost importance and at the heart of all decisions made during the ongoing public health crisis. Please direct any questions and concerns to Erin Schmidt, Director of Accreditation, at [email protected]. Please monitor this website for further developments and updates. From the Accreditation Team to your team, stay safe and be well.


For access to our free COVID-19 related webinars and downloadable resources, please visit our Upcoming Webinars page.