New $7 Million Program Provides Training for Missouri Early Childhood Administrators

UMKC Institute for Human Development and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education launch a training and coaching program to enhance learning

Beginning this year, approximately 2,000 early childhood educators in the state of Missouri will have the opportunity to receive training and coaching to improve the quality of early childhood learning programs.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are launching a two-year project to enhance early childhood education by building leadership and business skills of early childcare administrators in family childcare businesses and independent learning centers across the state of Missouri. UMKC Institute for Human Development will partner with the UMKC Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, the University of Missouri-St. Louis Community Innovation and Action Center, University of Missouri Extension, the Missouri Small Business Development Centers and Child Care Aware® of Missouri in the project.

Despite their dedication to the field and the families they serve, many family childcare business owners do not have backgrounds in finance and operations, and can face challenges managing a business as they provide outstanding care and support. But fiscally sound, well-run childcare programs are a critical core component of healthy communities and family well-being. In addition, small, independent learning centers may lack support staff, and many directors are former teachers who do not have management training. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education program will provide participants training in whole leadership, organizational sustainability and leading change.

Additional resources will be available for both large and small center administrators.

“Large center administrators will receive training in supervision and human resources, strategic financial management and strategic communications strategies, while small center administrator sessions will focus on writing a business plan, understanding financial statements and QuickBooks Online for childcare businesses,” says Mike Abel, UMKC Institute for Human Development associate director, who directs the Early Childhood Innovation Center.

All participants will receive four on-site coaching sessions and eight virtual coaching sessions with trained quality specialists over a one-year period.

“High quality early learning programs are more likely to identify and address developmental delays and learning disabilities at an early age, which may increase the probability for the child’s success in life,” Abel says. “This program will drive a higher level of professionalism among these childcare administrators and lead to an overall higher quality in delivery of their services.”

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education program is designed to address these issues through assessment, leadership and business training, on-site and virtual coaching, and the supply of tools and materials across seven regions in Missouri through more than 200 training sessions.

“This training would not be possible without the help of our partner organizations,” said Abel. “They’re providing critical expertise and resources that will greatly enhance the training and coaching to administrators. It is only through their support that the program will ultimately elevate the quality of childcare and enhance the lives of children across our state.”

Published: Jun 7, 2023

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