EARLY CHILDHOOD COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP: Partnering for School Success Begins at Birth The Family Development Program’s comprehensive early childhood leadership model and training approach comes from more than three decades of work in New Mexico to promote community health councils, community-based leadership and collaborative skills for effectively working together for early childhood systems change. The framework intentionally strengthens the foundation for learning, starting at birth, in support of shared goals for school readiness and children’s well-being. Learning tools are organized as self-guided training materials that are introduced through an Early Childhood Leadership Institute for community teams to learn strategies for continuous collaborative leadership development. The Tool Kit promotes a set of Essential Collaborative Leadership Practices as a comprehensive framework for building leadership skills in individuals, teams and community. Collaborative practices are built through 4 Pathways for Leadership Development that strategically help coalitions cross boundaries for early childhood systems change.
The prevailing educational framework for student success continues to focus on K-12 reforms rather than discovering new approaches to support a paradigm that promotes a continuum of learning. The Family Development Program believes that educators must embrace an understanding about the importance of investing in the first 5 years of life which is well-informed by the explosion of research for early brain development. Investment in collaborative leadership skills and practices that can cross the boundaries of the wide patchwork of early childhood services through collective impact and other kinds of community partnerships will take new kinds of school-community leadership and structures to sustain these investments.