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Interested in learning more about our Association? Look no further! Check out our blog for insightful information regarding our accreditation process, membership, conference updates, leadership tips and so much more! Our blog is intended to assist early care owners, directors and administrators in connecting to valuable resources and information. We invite you to actively engage with us by commenting on our blog! Your opinion is very much appreciated!

 

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Four Takeaways - 2015 Fall Leadership Symposium

Posted By Joe Vasquez, Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Register for our Fall Leadership Symposium     

 

Join us this October for our Fall Leadership Symposium in sunny Pompano Beach, Florida. 

 

Maximize your participation by networking with fellow early learning leaders, fostering positive, long-lasting relationships with colleagues, and gaining insight from leading professionals.

Explore the best track (Director, Owner-to-Owner, Emerging Leader, and Accreditation) that fits your professional needs!  

Here are four top takeaways.

1. Networking and relationship building - meeting groups of people with shared interests is always a fun thing! Exchanging words with like-minded individuals will not only be an enjoyable experience, but can also help you grow personally and intellectually. The shared experiences and informal conversations in our networking events can help you better understand your colleagues and allow you to work together in other ways.  

2. Develop Skills - whether you're considering growing in your current position or are looking for a new role, attending the symposium will allow you to stay current with the latest trends and technologies regarding the early care and education field and help you sustain and drive business.  

3. Tracks specifically targeted for your leadership role - whatever your role might be, the symposium offers split-track sessions that can help you learn and apply new knowledge and skills that will improve your performance on the job.  

4. Relax and get inspired - attending the symposium will get you inspired by breaking out of your usual routine and helping you fully immerse in an expertise rich-environment.  

Ready to sign up? Click here.  

Tags:  Association for Early Learning Leaders  director training  early childhood education  Early Learning Leaders  educational training  Fall Leadership Symposium  professional development  training 

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Gateway City Attractions – Conference Tours

Posted By Joe Vasquez, Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

See all the attractions that the Gateway city has to offer by attending one or more of our Conference tours.

 

Forest Park - Meet Me in St. Louis Conference Tour1# Forest Park—Meet Me in St. Louis Tour
Begin your conference experience by touring Forest Park. Your motorcoach will shuttle between the St. Louis Science Center and Planetarium, the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis ZOO and the St. Louis Art Museum.  En route to the hotel, enjoy Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, a St. Louis specialty.

 

Wednesday, April 15 | $45 per person

 

 

  

A Little Taste of St. Louis - Forest Park - Meet Me in St. Louis - Conference Tour2# A Little Taste of St. Louis Tour

Explore the original tastes of St. Louis, during a driving overview of some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods that feature delectable delights. Attendees will have the opportunity to site see The Loop, The Hill, Soulart and Lafayette Square. Views of other historic St. Louis neighborhoods—as time permits. Treats include Fitz's Roo Beer, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, Gus' Pretzels and Gooey Butter Cake.

 

Wednesday, April 15 | $59 per person

 

Shop 'Til You Drop! - Meet Me in St. Louis Conference Tour3# Shop ‘Til You Drop!

Shop for the latest St. Louis fashions at two major shopping destinations. The first stop is The Vault, a popular upscale resale store profiled in Resale Royalty. The Vault features an impressive selection of handbags, jewelry, purses, shoes and clothing by designers such as Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Tory Burch and more!

At the St Louis Galleria, you’re sure to find something to take home with your from Nordstrom’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Ann Taylor and countless others. Across the street, you can visit The Boulevard which features Soft Surroundings, Loft, Crate & Barrel, and some local dining options.

 

Wednesday, April 15 | $39 per person

  

  

Experience the Loop-  Conference Tour#4 Experience the Loop

Experience "The Loop," a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The Loop is a six-block area complete with restaurants, shopping, art and entertainment. The motor coach will follow the old route down Delmar Blvd., entering "The Loop" through the majestic Lions Gate. Dinner is available on own at many fun eateries.

Friday, April 17| $35 per person

 

 

 

  

 

 

Beautiful Blooms and Historic Homes - St. Louis Conference Tour#5 Beautiful Blooms & Historic Homes

Enjoy nature at its finest at the Missouri Botanical Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the country and a National Historic Landmark. A guided private tram will wind its way through 79 acres of flora from a variety of diverse climates. Visit the Climatron, the first geodesic dome greenhouse based on Buckminster Fuller’s futuristic design. Included is a visit to the 14-acre Japanese Garden, considered one of the finest outside Japan.

Next, explore the real character of St. Louis through three of its most historic neighborhoods—Compton Heights, Lafayette Square and Soulard. You will also see the 100-acre Anheuser-Busch Brewery Complex with over 70 red brick buildings, several of which are listed on the National Historic Registry. There will also be time to explore your favorite areas on your own.

Saturday, April 18 | $69 per person

 

   

 

 

Anheuser-Busch and Ted Drewes - St. Louis Conference Tour#6 Anheuser-Busch & Ted Drewes

Familiarize yourself with the rich history of the colorful Busch family en route to the King of Beers—the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. During this tour you will see the World Famous Cyclesdales, the Beechwood Again Cellar, and the Brew House. No visit would be complete without sampling the family of Anheuser-Busch products during the tour!

After leaving Anheuser-Busch you’re in for one last sweet treat at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, a St. Louis tradition since 1929. Enjoy a specialty “concrete” that is so thick you can turn it upside down.

Saturday, April 18 | $45 per person

 

 

 

Complement your Conference experience by partaking in one or more of our afternoon activities.

Register early to ensure space!

Tags:  31st Annual National Conference: How Successful Di  afternoon events  Association for Early Learning Leaders  city tours  conference  early childhood education  Early Learning Leaderseducational training  professional development  site seeing 

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Keynote Spotlight---Leadership Lessons: Supporting Your Staff with Your Head, Heart and Hand

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 2, 2015
Keynote Speaker - Dr. Valora WashingtonWritten by: Dr. Valor Washington

Leadership in our field today is about change and, as leaders, we are the change makers.

In the decades of my work designing leadership tools for the early childhood education field, I have engaged in intimate, in-depth discussions with hundreds of early educators as they define their dreams, hopes and fears about change.

In order to move forward, we as a profession will need to be a more strongly organized, effective field of practice. The field as a whole must act with greater urgency to better define our purpose and responsibilities. But while many of us hear and concur with these calls to action, some of us feel paralyzed. To the individual staff member, the job ahead might seem too big to take the first steps.

At the Association for Early Learning Leaders’ 31st Annual National Conference, How Successful Directors Lead, my keynote address highlights lessons learned about leadership, about mobilizing early educators to influence the direction of change, and about the educators themselves becoming architects of change. Supporting our staff and our profession will require strategies like building our sense of community, and sharing and learning from the experiences, wisdom and approaches used by early educators like you, and creating safe places where we can:

      o Question our assumptions
      o Engage in collegial dialog, nudging each other out of our comfort zones
      o Facilitate constructive, active learning that stimulates innovation
      o Identify options
      o Take action

You and me—ordinary people—can and must participate directly in creating positive social change for our children and for ourselves as ECE professionals. What we know for sure is that leading for change is a journey, a marathon—not an event or a sprint. We know that neither leadership nor change happen by chance—but by our willingness and strength.

To learn more about conference, visit our website by clicking here.

About Dr. Valora Washington

Dr. Valora Washington is the CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition. Throughout her career Dr. Washington has co-created several institutions, such as Michigan’s Children, a statewide advocacy group, the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, and The CAYL Institute. Frequently tapped for senior-level service, she has been Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Governor’s School Readiness Commission; Board Chair for Voices for America’s Children; Secretary of NAEYC; chair of the Black Caucus of the Society for Research in Child Development; Co-Chair of the National Head Start Association Commission on 2010; and a member of numerous task forces and boards including of the Boston Children’s Museum and Wheelock College.

Tags:  31st Annual National Conference: How Successful Di  Association for Early Learning Leaders  CDA  Conference  Council for Professional Recognition  Dr. Valora Washington  Early Learning Leadersearly childhood education  educational training  Keynote  professional development 

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Take a Vacation with Education

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 3, 2014

 

 

We all have that list. It’s the one with the big picture ideas. The things to research. The big changes you want to undertake. How often do you get to actually check any of those boxes? There’s always a phone call to take, a problem to solve, a fire to put out (hopefully a figurative one).

When you’re the one at the head of an early learning center, you’re the one everyone comes to with the tough problems. It’s incredibly rewarding, but it’s also exhausting! As much as we all know we need to take a break to refresh and unwind, it’s so hard to justify stepping away. When we show up at the same place every day, we fall into routines and it’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture. We get distracted by the vision that brought us to our careers and fall into the trap of taking care of whatever is shouting for our attention right now. We all do it, but we know that’s no way to build an organization.

That’s why the Association for Early Learning Leaders is offering to take you to Pompano Beach for a few days. We know you’re too busy for a vacation, but this isn’t (just) about the beach. It’s about setting aside time to focus on the big picture. Getting away from it all means getting away from distractions, getting a fresh perspective, and maybe getting a tan while you’re at it.

The Association is run by people who get it. We know what it’s like to face the demands of being a leader in early childhood education. We tailor our programs and invite speakers based on what’s keeping our members up at night. This is your chance to get facetime with the experts and to connect with other leaders in your field. Sign up today and start packing.

 

The Fall Leadership Symposium is a gathering of experts who are passionate about early education. If you’re looking for a community help you overcome professional challenges and bring your work to the next level, this is it.

Tags:  educational training  Fall Leadership Symposium  professional development  vacation 

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Lets Take a Look at Standard A12

Posted By Admin, Friday, January 3, 2014
Written by Erin Schmidt and Ruth LaBrayere

As the director of a program, it is your responsibility to provide for the needs of the children in your care, their families and let’s not forget about your teaching staff. As a busy director, it can be difficult to find the time to address the needs of your staff, especially in the area of professional development. However, the professional development of your teachers is vital to your overall program quality and demands careful attention.

 

A12. A written annual plan for professional development is prepared for each employee. [D]

The plan includes:

  • Topics Identified in the employee’s evaluation as needing improvement [ss]
  • Topics identified in the employee’s evaluation as opportunities for growth (Ex. College coursework in ECE/CD, enrollment in CDA courses, attendance at national conferences, membership in a professional organization) [ss]
  • Date(s) courses completed and/or training/mentoring received for each identified topic [D]
It is essential to recognize the great impact quality professional development experiences can have on your program quality, staff retention and higher ratings of job satisfaction for both teachers and directors. Teachers can develop or enhance skills in classroom management, curriculum development, communication and any area that touches their important role as a caregiver of young children.  The skills and knowledge gained through quality training, ongoing education, attendance at a national conference or membership in a professional organization can result in improved classroom practices benefiting all. Greater understanding of the doctrines of our profession lead to practices that impact quality and ownership for the staff, the children and the families.  

As with the children in your program, each teacher must also be developed per his or her own individual needs. Teachers deserve time and attention for their own development, and the role of the director in creating a plan is crucial. In the role as advisor, teachers will often view you as being supportive, which will enhance the relationship with each staff member. Teachers will feel respected and valued when you take the time to consider and meet their individual needs. Since individualized professional development plans target areas for improvement, areas of continued study, and areas for growth, quality education and training frequently professional development opportunities result in an increased sense of self-worth, higher job performance, and greater program loyalty. Most importantly, through increased knowledge, there is the opportunity for significant gains in teacher-child interactions and teacher-child bonding.

Knowing the importance of quality training and professional development is only the first step. You may be asking yourself, where do I go from here? Below are a few questions to ask yourself when planning professional development experiences for your staff.

 

Things to consider when it comes to professional development:

  • Is this training from a quality source?
  • Have I investigated all training opportunities?
    • Local Resource and Referral training
    • State supported training
    • Online training supported by positive reviews
  • Does my state offer Scholarship opportunities such as TEACH?
  • If local trainings are not an option what online opportunities are available? How do you know they are achieving the content required ?
  • Are there ways to offer more high quality training for more of my staff?
    • Partner with other programs in the area to fund a specific speaker.
    • Meet with other directors to share solutions and reviews
    • Promote conference attendance.
  • Have I considered the many advantages of a variety of trainers?
    • A different approach to familiar material, possibly allowing for greater understanding of complicated information
    • The tendency of some staff to hear information better from someone outside the program
  • Have I adequately identified individual staff training needs through the observations I’ve conducted for each teacher?
  • How quality trainings affect your bottom line.
  • Does this training meet the training guidelines for accreditation?
Aside from trainings that you identify as necessary or suggest as an area for growth, it is crucial for staff to set and obtain professional development goals for themselves as well. You can provide them this opportunity by allowing them to set goals that they would like to achieve and have them choose the corresponding professional development experience that would meet those goals.   Do you want to further your formal education? What experiences have you had with formal education? What Scholarship opportunities are available?  What are your fears?

 

To help staff set goals consider having them answer following questions:

  • What pushes your buttons? (What frustrates you?)
  • What areas do you feel you struggle with?
  • When do you encounter the most stress?
  • What would you like to learn more about?
  • What is your favorite area of curriculum or development? Would you like to take training that focuses on that topic?
  • Do you want to further your formal education?
  • What experiences have you had with formal education?
  • What Scholarship opportunities are available?  
  • What are your fears?
In addition to participation in trainings, you may identify teachers who would be willing to present the information that they have learned. Provide opportunities for these individuals to present information learned from a training or conference to the whole staff. This is also a great step in their professional development growth. Initially, you may wish to review the information that will be presented to ensure accuracy, compliance with program philosophy and goals and National Accreditation Commission policies and practices.

Tags:  accreditation  accredition steps  director  leadership  National Accreditation Commission  professional development  program 

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