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Program Design Roadmap: Helping Leaders Prepare to Drive Change in Early Childhood Care and Learning

Making sure the adults in young children’s lives have access to resources and networks is an important part of ensuring all children grow up healthy, confident, and ready to learn. This includes building a robust field of child care professionals, full of leadership development opportunities. That’s why we partnered with Arabella Advisors to explore the national landscape of leadership development for early childhood professionals, the needs in California, and the right partners to advance the field. This report from Arabella Advisors summarizes what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve learned along the way. We are sharing it in hopes that others in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector can learn from our work. Specifically, we learned that programs will be more relevant and impactful when the participants themselves play a role in shaping them, that it’s important to be humble about your limitations as a funder and to identify partners (in our case, the Rockwood Leadership Institute) to help fill the gaps, and that funders should consider offering planning grants to help grantee partners prepare for the full design and implementation of more complex leadership development programs.