New Research Explores Instructional Leadership in NYC’s Pre-K for All

The Institute’s New York City Early Childhood Research Network brings research scientists and public agency leaders together to learn from each other, conduct research, and consider findings and their implications for public policy. A new Research Network study conducted by researchers from  Bank Street Center on Culture, Race & Equity and National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University explores how early childhood instructional leaders work to improve teaching through feedback and guidance during classroom visits and other types of instructional support. The instructional leaders in the study worked in both schools and community-based settings that are part of New York City’s expanding network of preschool programs. The study found that while New York City pre-k teachers welcomed the support provided by leaders, there are several areas where the city can support leaders to have a greater impact on quality. Specific areas for improvement include: giving leaders more training on best practices in coaching to help teachers promote early learning in key areas such as language, social-emotional growth, and culturally-sustaining practices; establishing standards for the frequency of instructional leaders’ classroom visits; and helping leaders preserve time for visiting classrooms. The study provides recommendations to improve leaders’ coaching of teachers to increase classroom quality.

Access the full report at and

New Report on New York State Early Learning Workforce Highlights Issues with Compensation and Staff Wellbeing

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute is committed to building a system that supports the early childhood workforce. Capturing teacher voices, understanding their professional and career development needs, and sharing key information to help policy makers ensures that we nurture a highly effective workforce.  QUALITYstarsNY, the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System for early learning programs, also places considerable emphasis on the early childhood workforce, investing extensive resources to support program leadership and teaching staff. 

Recently, the Institute partnered with researchers at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) at the University of California, Berkeley to study teachers’ work environments in QUALITYstarsNY programs. We were interested in comparing CSCCE’s Supportive Environmental Quality Underlying Adult Learning (SEQUAL) tool with QUALITYstarsNY Standards and ratings to determine whether center-based programs with high QUALITYstarsNY ratings would also score highly on SEQUAL. 

This was important to us because SEQUAL measures five critical areas of the program environment that are essential for teachers to educate and nurture our young children: teaching supports, the learning community, job-crafting, adult well-being, and program leadership. In addition to providing rich data about QUALITYstarsNY and the way it successfully supports early childhood programs in New York State, we received  other data about the workforce that contribute to a greater debate about the changes that need to be made to the system – locally, regionally and nationally. 

Read more…

Pre-K for All: New study recommends ways to bring universal quality to universal access

The Institute’s New York City Early Childhood Research Network brings research scientists and public agency leaders together to learn from each other, conduct research and consider findings and their implications for public policy. Columbia University’s National Center for Children and Families at Teacher College, one of the Network’s research teams, have released their study that compared the implementation of the Pre-K for All initiative in community based programs and schools. Overall, researchers found that differences in Pre-K for All implementation have more to with the program oversight and resources than with the socio economic makeup of the neighborhoods in which program are located. The findings suggest that the goal of uniform quality could be accomplished by pollinating approaches across the system while allowing program providers to adapt early education to the specific needs of the children and diverse communities they serve. As the city moves to a unified system, the report also shares recommendations to providing access to high-quality preschool across all settings.

To read the full research report, click here.

The Aspire Registry Spring Newsletter

The Aspire Registry team has released their spring newsletter. Since 2015, the Aspire Registry Newsletter has discussed the latest Registry news and events, and highlighted the work of New York professionals in the field of early childhood. The newsletter also provides information about useful resources and tips for early childhood professionals. The newsletter is distributed to over 25,000 Aspire Registry members, a number that continues to grow.

In the spring newsletter, the Aspire Registry shares information about the New York Association for the Education of Young Children (NYAEYC) Annual Conference. The Aspire Registry Team considers NYAEYC one of their most valued partners. Together they are working to make sure all early childhood providers have access to training and technical assistance. The newsletter also highlights conference sessions that are being facilitated by other projects housed at the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute. In addition, trainers from the Capital District Child Care Council are featured in the spotlight. The team has used the Aspire Registry to post their trainings for over five years. They share the simplicity in documenting the trainings they facilitate as well as the trainings they attend as part of their own professional development.

To read the newsletter, click here.

ACS and CUNY Join Forces to Educate NYC Parents

A recent article from Voices of NY highlights a project between the Administration for Children’s Services and CUNY to help parents of young children obtain the Child Development Associate Credential (CDA). The CDA is the most widely recognized national credential in early childhood education and an important stepping stone on the career pathway for many early childhood educators. The Institute and CUNY’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) offer college courses that lead to the CDA, as well as assistance and supports in completing the credential application process. This is the only comprehensive college credit-bearing CDA in New York City.

The Institute and ACS launched this initiative in 2016 for parents of children enrolled in ACS early education programs. The initiative educates parents, helps them to access a career pathway, and promotes the creation of high quality early childhood programs. Since it is directed toward low-income parents, getting certified is cost-free for participants. The article features the parent of a child enrolled in an ACS Head Start program who has obtained her CDA certificate through this initiative. The Institute commends the forward thinking of ACS in supporting the growth of the early childhood workforce.

To read the article in English, click here, and in Spanish, click here.  

Quality Pre-K

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute works to ensure access to excellence for all young children by working with early childhood organizations locally, across the state, and around the country to create and enhance comprehensive early childhood systems serving children from birth through age 8. The Institute's Executive Director, Sherry Cleary, and the Director of QUALITYstarsNY, Leslie Capello, spoke to Susan Arbetter from WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom and shared what children need in Pre-K to set the foundation for future growth.

To listen to the podcast, click here.




Staten Island Alliance for North Shore Children and Families

The Institute is pleased to announce that in January 2019, we began a new project, funded by The Staten Island Foundation, to coordinate and support the work of the Staten Island Alliance for North Shore Children and Families. The Alliance is a collective impact initiative, bringing together local stakeholders interested in improving the outcomes for young children and their families. Collective impact is a methodology that brings people and organizations together to achieve social change. Over the last couple of years, the Alliance has explored the barriers and opportunities that North Shore families, child care providers, social service agencies, higher education, and other important organizations and leaders encountered in the local environment.

The Institute will serve as the backbone organization for these coordinated efforts, partnering closely with the Alliance’s Steering Committee and working groups to refine policy principles and priorities, track regulatory and legislative progress that pertains to the Alliance’s agenda, recognize and amplify the expertise of Alliance members, and seek communications opportunities to influence change for North Shore families and children. The Institute will also work with the other relevant collective impact initiatives on Staten Island to strengthen the infrastructure needed to promote greater equity and drive social change within vulnerable communities. The Institute plans to work with the steering committee, the working groups, the parent committee, and community partners to identify activities and opportunities that align with identified priorities and to provide data and evaluation support to guide these actions and measure their impact.

Our newest team member, Jared Carroll, will lead the work of this project. He has begun meeting with all of the relevant stakeholders on Staten Island and is excited to help the Alliance move into its next phase of implementation. "It's been inspiring to learn about the strong community of partners that the Alliance has brought together. The spirit of collaboration is truly unique, and I feel lucky to be supporting their work."

This project is supported by The Staten Island Foundation, which has been a fundamental source of support in the collective impact work happening across Staten Island. The Foundation’s Executive Director, Betsy Dubovsky, stated, “We welcome the able Project Director that the Institute has brought on board for the Alliance work. We value the Institute’s strong expertise in the field of early childhood and its connections to relevant agencies and partners throughout the city and state and we look forward to collectively improving outcomes for young children and their families on our Staten Island North Shore.”

We welcome Jared to the Institute team and look forward to helping the Alliance improve early childhood education opportunities for young children and their families on Staten Island.

NNERPP Membership for the New York City Early Childhood Research Network

We are thrilled that the New York City Early Childhood Research Network was recently accepted to become a member of the National Network of Education Research Practice Partnerships (NNERPP).   NNERPP supports a professional learning community of researchers and policymakers located throughout the country who have formed education Research Practice Partnerships, which are “long-term mutually beneficial formalized collaborations between education researchers and policymakers.” Through NNERPP, the Research Network has access to useful resources that will help us strengthen our collaboration. We will also be able to share our experience and lessons learned on developing partnerships to address early childhood education.

The opportunity to learn from others who are dedicated to building sustained partnerships between researchers and policymakers comes at an especially critical juncture for the Research Network. In 2019, we are embarking on new horizons to deepen our partnerships. New research studies focused on the workforce supporting infants and toddlers are underway and new scholars are joining our group, including three early career scholars. We are launching a new website that will share the resources from the Network as well as other NYC-based early childhood research. And finally, we will be disseminating findings on key themes from across our studies through a series of “Research Spotlights” that will include insights from educators, leaders, policymakers, and other early childhood champions. To join our mailing list to get the most recent updates on the Research Network please email And stay tuned as we announce other new work.

To read the announcement from NNERPP, click here.

The Aspire Registry Winter Newsletter

The Aspire Registry team has released their winter newsletter. Since 2015, the Aspire Registry Newsletter has discussed the latest Registry news and events, and highlighted the work of New York professionals in the field of early childhood. The newsletter also provides information about useful resources and tips for early childhood professionals. The newsletter is distributed to over 25,000 Aspire Registry members, a number that continues to grow.

In the winter newsletter, the Aspire Registry team emphasizes the importance of children playing outside even in the cold weather! The director of a QUALITYstarsNY program in Utica, NY shares her tips for scheduling or improving outdoor play routines. The Aspire Registry team also discusses how the Aspire Registry App is now available to everyone, not only early childhood trainers. Directors can use the app for their program’s training sessions and members can use it to access their virtual membership card. In addition, the newsletter features Baby Charlie, the son of Amy Ludwig, Policy and Communications Manager at New York Works for Children. He shares what enjoys doing outside and how he loves to laugh and smile especially when he hears songs!

To read the newsletter, click here. 

Nancy Carlsson-Paige: Technology and Young Children

As a follow up to our previous blog post, the Institute is pleased to share information about a webinar based on Dr. Nancy Carlsson-Paige’s keynote at the Children’s Screen Time Action Network Conference. Dr. Carlsson-Pagie will offer a full exploration of how and why screens interfere with developmental milestones crucial to children’s well-being. She will illustrate the difference between what children "learn" from screens and what they learn through physical, hands-on activities. The webinar will take place on November 5th at 7:30 pm, register here.