Attributes of Collaborative Leadership in School Age Care Programs: A Comparison of Collaborative Leadership Characteristics

Donna Atkinson, Concordia University, St. Paul


This study identified attributes of collaborative leadership and the effects of quality leadership on School Age Care (SAC) collaborations. A three step process was used to collect data from a random sampling of 30 SAC agencies in different states. First, general characteristics were distinguished that contribute to successful collaborations. Secondly, additional analysis of those characteristics was conducted that centered around the attributes of leaders involved in collaborations. Finally, the research focused on the following major attributes of collaborative leaders: unified goals, shared vision, commitment and a belief in the process. These characteristics were identified as qualities of collaborative leaders successful in obtaining resources, funding, and community support to sustain their SAC programs. Results suggest that SAC programs should foster quality collaborative leadership as an important factor in improving the financial security and stability of their agencies. The study concluded that quality collaborative leadership builds trust, strengthens communication, promotes staff retention, and develops a diverse network of community support that contributes to the overall financial success and stability of SAC agencies.