May's Blog Post on Simple Rule #9: Meaningful is Out!

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Why We Need to Be Leaders for Children

The first five years of a child’s life are crucial in shaping who they are and how they learn. It is these early years that matter most. Every adult in a child’s ecosystem shares responsibility for their well being. By being strong leaders, we ensure our children are strong and thrive now and in the future.

The Power of Making Lasting Change

Lasting change starts when all the adults collectively care for our children. Raising awareness, modeling respect, and demonstrating kindness pave the way for our children to a world guided by equity and humanity

Stronger Adults =

Stronger Children =

Stronger Communities

Each of us plays a vital role on this journey. Our personal strength makes our children stronger, which makes our communities thrive. The key is to become stronger together

Humanity Starts with You

Listening to each other is not just a nice-to-have. It is our only way to solve the complex problems putting our children’s future at risk. Humanity is not an unattainable idea. It is the heart of our everyday life. This major transformation of our world starts with small acts of humanity. And, humanity starts with you!

ECE Educators

The current structure fails to respect the humanity and wisdom of educators in the decision-making process— which manifests a feeling of being disregarded.


The voices of families are often missing in the decision making around children’s care and education.

Essential Community

The systems surrounding children often fail to seek out and listen to the wisdom and needs of the critical adults in their lives.

The Challenge

Inequitable Learning Systems

Children’s optimal development relies on positive relationships with adults. Too often, early learning systems are siloed, rife with inequity and mistrust among adults, which undermines a healthy growth environment for children.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) educators are all the dedicated professionals who play a key role in guiding the development of young children during their formative years, from birth to age five.

The Solution

Holistic Early Learning

All children deserve to grow and learn in thriving and collaborative communities of empowered and nurturing adults. Leading for Children strengthens communities by advancing evidence-based approaches where adults collaborate equitably towards positive outcomes for children.


Advancing agency for every adult who cares for our children is the solution to the challenge we face. Agency puts the power in the hands of those doing the most important job in the world—caring for our children. It is critical to addressing burnout, sexism, and racism.

Humanity First Model

LFC founded a groundbreaking humanity-centered approach to early learning. Our Mutual Learning Method honors the wisdom and dignity of everyone who educates and cares for our children. We call our revolutionary holistic approach the Humanity First Model because that’s what is at stake — our humanity. 

Mutual Learning Method

Our Mutual Learning Method is rooted in respect for each person both in process and experiences. The strategies used ensure that members from diverse roles and backgrounds have equal voices. Adults see the value of their knowledge and perspective, and they elevate others’ wisdom.

Humanity First Tools

Make five commitments and follow 11 simple rules.

The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders for Children


At LFC we believe that leadership is how you see yourself, your willingness to recognize and own the impact you have on others, and your commitment to take action to effect positive change. Leadership is not defined by a role or title. The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders encourages leadership development through reflective practice. Adults recognize their potential for individual impact, and they foster equity and respect in their everyday interactions.


The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders are:


    • Think impact to make informed decision. 
    • Cultivate Self-Awareness to guide thought, emotion, and behavior. 
    • Nurture Relationships to support learning and collaboration.
    • Refine Communication for mutual clarity and understanding.
    • Activate Curiosity to find connection and continue learning.

11 Simple Rules to Create Thriving Communities for Children


11 Simple Rules to Create Thriving Communities for Children creates common ground for adults to implement key elements of program quality. Applicable across all early learning settings, the 11 Simple Rules give every adult a shared framework for supporting children to thrive. At LFC we believe that how the adults in children’s lives see themselves, treat each other, and work together is vital to realizing our dream of quality and equity for every child. 


The 11 simple rules offer a path to shared understanding about how to be together in communities. This serves as the basis for conversation among the adults in the child’s ecosystem, creating a shared framework for supporting children to thrive.


The 11 simple rules are organized into three important categories:


  1. Relationships and interactions are honest, open, trusting, and two-way.
  2. Emotional and physical environments are safe, calm, organized, and respectful.
  3. Learning experiences are meaningful, exploratory, and actionable.
We offer two stand-alone books as resources to support you.

Learning Networks

Our Learning Networks convene adults who play a variety of roles in the early learning landscape to build collective wisdom and tackle their community’s toughest challenges. Learning Network members engage in mutual learning conversations to strengthen leadership skills and cultivate self-empowerment. LFC’s tools and resources support the integration of the Humanity First Model within communities. Learning Network members forge meaningful partnerships within and beyond the network. Together, we use the network’s collective voice to advocate for children.
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