The Early Childhood Leadership Institute was initiated in 2014 and seeks to stimulate
enthusiasm for and effective participation in efforts to improve early childhood work in
Vermont. A group of diverse participants will come together, each year for twelve seminar days
over six months, to gain leadership skills and a deeper knowledge and understanding of the
science and landscape of early childhood issues in Vermont. ECLI will give participants the
information, tools and inspiration to make greater contributions in their organizations, their
communities and Vermont toward early childhood issues. ECLI Associates will join a
professional network of over 700 Vermont Leadership Network Alumni, with a projected 100
early childhood leadership institute associates.
Graduates of ECLI will enjoy a greater:
- Understanding of themselves and of their impact on others
- Growing knowledge and understanding of the science and landscape of early childhood
- issues in Vermont
- Habits of curiosity, inquiry, listening and reflection
- Ability to bring a systems perspective to key early childhood issues in Vermont
- Awareness, empathy and authentic engagement with those of differing backgrounds,
- viewpoints, and styles
- Positive approach to opportunities and lifelong learning
- Heartfelt connections and a focus on collaborative leadership
Session 1: Opening Retreat: Know Thyself – May 24 and 25, Vergennes, Basin Harbor Resort
Team building exercises and experiential learning set a tone of collegiality. Self-assessment tools including the Myers Briggs Type Indicator illuminate diversity of leadership, management and communication styles and strategies for participants in their organizations. With coaching and small group dialogue assistance, associates reflect on personal goals and begin to analyze insights about participants’ strengths and areas of growth to a 6 month+ personal leadership practice plan.
Session 2: Leadership in Context of the state of early childhood and families in Vermont – June 21 and 22,
St. Johnsbury, Comfort Inn
The class explores leadership through various theories, lenses and frames. These include diversity, implicit bias, inclusivity, cultural competency and common leadership theories within the perspective of personal, ethical, social and professional values. The class continues building understanding of their own leadership style and strengths while continuing to apply insights to their work and management with stakeholders and their organizations.
Session 3: Connecting Human Centered Systems – July 19 and 20, Fairlee, Lake Morey Resort
Application of leadership mentoring, communication, ethical issues, values, power and privilege will be used as lenses for the exploration of complex systems and systems change. Associates will begin to examine with Vermont leaders the political, fiscal, and cultural realities (health, human services, education) within their own work, experience and systems. Participants apply session tools to systems thinking and organizational strategic planning.
Session 4: The Shaping of Early Learning and Development Policies – August 23 and 24, Montpelier, Capitol Plaza
Participants deepen their understanding of the nuances of Vermont’s government and policy-making. Science and early education policy set the stage for further exploration of the multiple dimensions of complex issues and systems thinking. Associates apply leadership tools, self-awareness and their personal leadership plan to discussions with the many people involved in large-scale decision-making processes, as well as clarify advocacy steps in their own organization’s initiatives and beyond. Representatives from different branches of government, the media and special interests explore the policy making interplay among values, ethics, policy and finance in the public and private sectors.
Session 5: Data and Decision Making – September 27 and 28, Manchester, Hildene
Participants practice Appreciative Inquiry leadership framework to initiatives in their organization such as mentoring, recruiting and hiring. Associates practice Results Based Accountability key concepts while analyzing what data is, and how it can be used in their organization’s initiatives, in Vermont and nationally. Vermont’s leaders and data stewards highlight how data for families and early childhood is gathered from resources such as Vermont Insights and utilized across Vermont agencies and organizations to inform and make decisions.
Session 6: Commencement – October 26 and 27, Essex, The Essex Inn and Resort
Associates reflect on the application of their learning to their personal, professional and community work in the future. Festivities honor their efforts and commitment with family and friends.