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Exploring Demand for Leadership Development among Leaders in Early Childhood Care and Learning

At the Packard Foundation, we are working to strengthen the quality of adult-child interactions so that all children can arrive at kindergarten healthy and ready to learn. A key part of that process involves looking at the sector as a whole and identifying where there might be  room for more growth and support. In 2018, we worked with the New Venture Fund who commissioned Arabella Advisors to explore the status of leadership development across the early learning sector. Their research uncovered that although strong leaders are important to the early childhood sector, there are not enough leadership development opportunities. In this follow-up report, Arabella Advisors dives deeper into the needs and views of leaders in the early care and learning field, including their recommendations for strengthening leadership development in the sector. It summarizes key findings, including that resources are scarce, there’s potential to do a lot more with the data that organizations are collecting, and there are often poor or unclear leadership development pathways in the sector. Importantly it offers helpful recommendations for funders exploring how leadership development programs could be designed to address some of these challenges.

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