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"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."
-Warren G. Bennis
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Upcoming Events

Lessons in Leadership, Race, and Gender: An Interview with Melodie Baker

In an interview moderated by Sherry Cleary, University Dean of Early Childhood Initiatives and Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Melodie Baker will share her experience as a black female education leader and advocate.  She will share her factors to success, navigating challenges, and balancing family and work.

Melodie Baker has spent her career working to advance education opportunities for disadvantaged students. Prior to joining Just Equations she was the director of education at United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. Melodie Chairs and Co-Chairs various national, state and local coalitions including, Erie Niagara Birth-8, Raising New York, and The Coalition for Community Schools. In 2014, she co-founded the first inquiry-based school in Western New York, The Charter School of Inquiry to build on an early learning program she implemented earlier in her career as assistant director for a Head Start.  Her work in education has led to several noteworthy appointments such as being selected to serve on Governor Cuomo’s Reimagining Education Advisory Council and leading the research and evaluation for Rockefeller Institute of Government’s First 1000 Day’s on Medicaid initiative headed by the New York State Department of Health. In 2019, Baker was the first African American to run for the Democratic nomination in New York’s 27th Congressional District.

Tuesday, August 4th 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am

Survive to Thrive Webinar, July 15th

Survive to Thrive Chapter 7: Staffing

Wednesday, July 15th 2020, 2:00pm

Every month we host a webinar inspired by the book, From Survive to Thrive: A Director’s Guide for Leading an Early Childhood Program. This month we will explore Chapter 7 which focuses on staffing. We will discuss hiring, supervising, and supporting you staff's professional development.

Did you miss the previous webinars? Do you not have a copy of the book with you? That's okay! You can join at any time and do not need the book to follow along.


Read more about our Survive to Thrive Series

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Early childhood leaders, as well as those who aspire to leadership roles in the future, are welcome to participate in the Leadership Initiative in a variety of ways. Sign up below to start to receiving our periodic newsletter and event announcements!

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Contact us with questions about the leadership initiative:

(718) 254-7353

The excellence of early childhood programs is reliant on the quality and caliber of the leader. The program leader sets the mission, vision, philosophy, and culture of a program. And yet, too many leaders come to the work with limited knowledge and expertise in early childhood management and leadership. The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, leads the Leadership Initiative, designed to support the professional development and success of current leaders and prospective leaders in the early childhood field. The Leadership Initiative and this website provide early childhood leaders, as well as those who aspire to leadership roles in the future, with resources and opportunities to engage with their peers around the city and support professional development promoting access to excellence for all young children.

The Initiative Newsletter

Our monthly newletter offers a round-up of the latest Leadership Initiative events, the books we're reading, member spotlights, resources and opportunities. If you signed up as a member, you'll already be getting our next issue!

Get the Latest: April, 2020 Browse our newsletter archive

Other News and Resources

Our Guide to NYC Leadership Degree and Credential Programs

We've compiled a list of degrees and credentials that leaders can pursue to advance their careers and enrich their practice. From NYAEYC credentials to Master's degrees for school principals this guide will help you find your next step in your journey.

Download the PDF Guide

Children's Program Administrator Credential

The Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC) is a state-recognized credential that addresses the components essential for running early childhood and school-age programs. Both new and experienced administrators may choose to obtain the credential, as well as current teachers who aspire to administrative positions. Those individuals without program management experience will need to complete an internship to obtain the credential.

Learn more about the CPAC on our Career Development Services page.

Listen! Sherry Cleary on Leadership

Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Institute shared her thoughts about the importance of leadership with HiMama's The Preschool Podcast