What We Believe 2017-09-07T09:04:50+00:00
The wisdom and insight educators bring to their work have the greatest effect on outcomes for children.
The wisdom and insight educators bring to their work have the greatest effect on outcomes for children.
LEADING FOR CHILDREN BELIEVES that success in early learning is built on a foundation of two fundamental principles: Optimistic Leadership and a Coherent Path to Quality. These principles combined with eight core values guide our work.

Foundational Principles

Optimistic Leadership

Optimistic Leaders envision excellence for themselves and their programs to achieve the best outcomes for children and families. Moreover, the Optimistic Leader understands that it takes effort and persistence to shape a clear and focused pathway to get results. For this reason, the Optimistic Leader practices five commitments:

  • Think Impact to make informed decisions.
  • 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 connections and continue learning.

When each person within the early learning system embraces her role as an Optimistic Leader for children, we will achieve the best results.

Optimistic Leadership

Optimistic Leaders envision excellence for themselves and their programs to achieve the best outcomes for children and families. Moreover, the Optimistic Leader understands that it takes effort and persistence to shape a clear and focused pathway to get results. For this reason, the Optimistic Leader practices five commitments:

  • Think Impact to make informed decisions.
  • 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 connections and continue learning.

When each person within the early learning system embraces her role as an Optimistic Leader for children, we will achieve the best results.

Coherent Path to Quality

Effective decision-making about successful child outcomes relies on a well-articulated path to quality. Practitioners, program directors and agency leaders — and the children and systems entrusted to them — thrive when they share a clear vision of what constitutes quality. We believe that to improve outcomes for children and achieve high quality results, every level of the early childhood system must define the path to quality using three dimensions: relationships and interactions, emotional and physical environment, and learning experiences.

Core Values

These eight core values guide all of our decisions at Leading for Children:

  1. Relationships are the foundation for learning.
  2. The children and adults we serve are always at the forefront of our work.
  3. Everyone involved in educating children — teachers, coaches, parents, agency leaders, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, etc. — has wisdom and insight to share.
  4. The wisdom and insight educators bring to their work have the greatest effect on outcomes for children.
  5. Effective creative problem solving is based in listening, interpreting, synthesizing, and communicating.
  6. All people can be effective listeners and purposeful communicators.
  7. Programs can reach — and be adaptable to — a multitude of participants, locations and settings when they foster diversity, cultural humility, and personal and social identity.
  8. It is possible to integrate the most effective solutions into existing programs, strategies, and investments.