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Early Childhood Leadership Institute 2020 Update

Recruitment for the Early Childhood Leadership Institute (ECLI) is currently on hold. Vermont did not receive federal funding for the Pre-School Development Grant, which has impacted our funding streams and ability to offer a substantial tuition subsidy. In addition, the current uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has made timing difficult. We believe ECLI is critical to the future of early childhood efforts in Vermont and are therefore working hard in hopes that a new cohort can begin later this year; we appreciate your support and understanding in the meantime.

If you are interested in ECLI and would like to be notified when additional details become available, please click here.

Early Childhood Leadership Institute

The Snelling Center for Government invites members of the public, nonprofit and private sectors to apply for admission to the Early Childhood Leadership Institute. The application process is highly competitive, with up to twenty-five associates selected on the basis of their achievements, demonstrated interest in early childhood issues, community, and potential for leadership.

Successful candidates will demonstrate:

  • Potential to provide the leadership needed to address issues of statewide significance;
  • Serious and sustained interest in their communities,
  • Achievement in their professions and/or civic life,
  • Real potential for responsible and effective leadership in Vermont, and
  • A commitment to realizing the promise of every Vermont Child.

The Snelling Center is a non-partisan organization. As such, we encourage applicants from a variety of perspectives and we welcome ideological diversity.

The program is rigorous and demands a significant time commitment, plus a deep commitment to personal growth and development and to making a difference in early childhood work in Vermont.

Most session days take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with one overnight per session. Each session requires some advance preparation and some follow-up. Because of the interactive and interconnected nature of their time together, ECLI Associates are expected to make a full time commitment to the program and to their own learning and development. The Snelling Center is seeking candidates with a strong sense of integrity and ethics, a disposition towards transparent and collaborative leadership, and the ability to build consensus and political support.

Program Tuition  

Program tuition for the next cohort will be finalized prior to launching recruitment. 

The Early Childhood Leadership Institute requires a genuine commitment of energy, time, patience and heart. Associates are expected to be on time and come prepared to each session. Applicants are assumed to value genuine dialogue and inquiry, curiosity about the early childhood issues facing Vermont, and are committed to the state, learning, and their own personal growth. The program design acknowledges that growth and learning can be uncomfortable. We strive to create a safe place for associates to stretch their thinking, challenge their beliefs, and try on new ideas. Associates are expected to participate fully and should have the support and commitment of their employers.


Please see update above and stay tuned for additional details once recruitment for a new cohort resumes.

The application process includes:

  • Application submission
  • Submission of two letters of recommendation (details can be found in the application)
  • Remittance of a nonrefundable $25 application fee
  • Participation in an interview or informational meeting