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Association For Early Learning
Leaders History

The Association for Early Learning Leaders (formerly the National Association of Child Care Professionals – NACCP) is an organization committed to strengthening the skills of owners, directors, administrators, emerging leaders and other professionals who are dedicated to early care and education. Today, it is one of the top associations serving administrators in the early care and education field.


Late 1970s

To meet the need for training of child care directors and administrators, Associates in Human Development, Inc. created educational seminars covering all aspects of the administration and management of a child care center.


Late 1980s

There were few opportunities for management and administrative training at the national level. Child care management training was offered by National Louis University, Banks College, Nova University, The High Scope Foundation and Pacific Oaks College at the graduate level. The Erickson Institute in Chicago offered a graduate degree in child development, but still, little was covered in the area of child care administration Associates In Human Development, Inc.

(AHD, Inc.) pioneered this concept in the child care field in 1980. Following the successful launch of “The Person In Charge of Child Care,” presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children National Convention in Los Angeles, AHD, Inc. became the first organization to market and present management seminars for child care in 1982. AHD, Inc. conducted a total of 25 seminars at the time.



AHD, Inc. determined the need for a national association exclusively for child care management. Under the umbrella of AHD, Inc., the Association conducted seminars, while offering professional memberships in a national association exclusively dedicated to the administration of child care.


Fall of 1989

AHD, Inc. introduced total child care management training and certification to the nation’s child care directors through a three-day training conference entitled, The Successful Director Administration Conference. Participants completed the certification process by passing a written examination.



Statewide conferences were enlarged to include one-day staff conferences.



An independent consultant, Donna Thornton Roberts, purchased Associates In Human Development, Inc. (AHD).



AHD, Inc. launched the first national effort to increase the quality of child care by providing training and support services to the people who operate child care centers under the name of the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP). It was determined at this time that AHD, Inc. and NACCP needed to become separate organizations to better meet the needs of the child care industry.


July 1996

NACCP, formed an alliance with the National Early Care and Education Association (NECEA). In doing so, NACCP acquired the management of its accreditation system, the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care & Education Programs, which was originally developed in 1991 and field tested in several states.



NACCP membership reached 1,200 and NACCP’s website was introduced, which added additional membership benefits of a free listing on the National Yellow Pages.


July 1998

After a three-year process, the National Association of Child Care Professionals received its legal status as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.



NACCP hired an executive director and professional staff to execute membership services and the national office was moved from Christiansburg, Virginia to Austin, Texas.



NACCP reached another significant milestone when it transitioned from a 501(c)(6) to a 501(c)(3) organization after acquisition of the Institute for Child Care Excellence.



NACCP made significant changes and implemented a rebranding campaign in addition to a name change to the Association for Early Learning Leaders, as the first steps in pursuing a well-connected, more involved organization of leaders, where ideas are shared, relationships developed and best practices are learned.

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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