Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Michael Walcheski

Second Reader

Kristine Spiess


early childhood education, leadership, professional development


Four characteristics are important to early childhood directors as they transition from a basic manager to the visionary leader of a high-quality environment. Since directors are facilitators of quality and directly affect the level of quality experienced by stakeholders, a handbook designed to support directors in making a smooth transition with details of the properties of a leader is included. Prior to leading directors experience several stages of professional growth where they learn how to balance all aspects of their role. This is discussed to provide perspective on the leadership role. Rationale is provided regarding the director's inability to provide a consistent high quality environment including discussion on the disparity in salaries of early childhood center staff and other education professionals, as well as the lack of accessibility and requirement for higher education in early childhood education. The handbook determined that creating and fulfilling a professional vision, collaboration, mentoring and advocacy are benchmarks of a leader. 5


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