Theory of Change of Early Care and Education Leadership for Quality Improvement
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
Leadership is important for quality improvement in center-based early care and education (ECE) settings that serve children birth to five. However, little is known about who leaders are, what leaders do, and how leadership influences quality outcomes in center-based ECE settings.
The Early Care and Education Leadership Study (ExCELS) developed a theory of change to illustrate what leadership looks like in center-based ECE settings and how leadership by center managers and teaching staff can influence outcomes for the children in their care. This snapshot brief presents this theory of change and shows (1) what leadership looks like in center-based ECE settings; (2) what can influence ECE leadership; and (3) what ECE leadership can influence.