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
Opening Retreat: Know Thyself – May 24 and 25, Basin Harbor Resort
Team building exercises and experiential activities help associates become acquainted with each other and the program while building a safe learning environment. Assessment tools begin to clarify the different ways that participants process information, communicate and make decisions. Assessments and exercises create a rich picture of each associate’s leadership style and behavior. With coaching assistance associates begin to identify personal goals and
aspirations for the 6 month program. Reflections and small group activities associates build and deepen a cohesive learning community.
Session 2: Leadership in Context of the state of early childhood and families in Vermont –June 21 and 22, St Johnsbury, Comfort Inn
This session expands on Associates’ understanding of their own leadership style and strengths while continuing to build group cohesiveness. The session will introduce issues of diversity, power and privilege as participants take a deeper dive into values and issues impacting children and families in Vermont and the US. Associates will begin to consider how to apply new concepts to their professional and community work and to the range of issues they will explore during ECLI. In this session the cohort will become familiar with the state of Vermont’s Early Childhood Framework and Action Plan and hear from leaders who shaped this plan.
Session 3: Connecting Human Centered Systems-July 19 and 20, Fairlee, Lake Morey Resort
Application of data, values, power and privilege will be used as lenses for the exploration of
what it takes to create, track and evaluate meaningful systems change in the early child world.
Associates will examine political, fiscal, and cultural realities and explore the leadership needs,
challenges and opportunities to achieve change. Associates will begin to connect health, human services, and education systems through a series of participatory activities that focus in teaming and collaboration.
Session 4: The Shaping of Early Learning and Development Policies- new date: August 23 and 24, Montpelier, Capitol Plaza
In this session we will be deepening our understanding of the nuances of Vermont’s government and policy-making. Science and early education policy set the stage for an exploration of the multiple dimensions of complex issues and systems thinking. Associates begin to apply new tools and self-awareness to discussion with the many people involved in large scale decision making processes. Representatives from different branches of government, the media and special interests explore the interplay among values, ethics, policy and finance in the public and private sectors.
Session 5: Data and Decision Making- new date: September 27 and 28, Manchester, Hildene (changed from 20th and 21st)
Results Based Accountability and Vermont Insights will be covered by Vermont’s leading data
stewards. Panelists will highlight how data for families and early childhood is gathered and
utilized across Vermont agencies and organizations to make decisions. Associates will examine
how data is used within their community and gain a deeper understanding of translating data into decisions.
Session 6: Commencement-October 26 and 27, Essex, The Essex
Associates reflect on the program, and their growth, and continue to consider ways to apply their learning to their personal, professional and community work in the future. Festivities honor their efforts and commitment.