Director to Director: Supporting Each Other


????????????????????????????????????

Post submitted by Laura Newman, Quality Care for Children, Atlanta, GA

“Quality Care for Children, headquartered in Atlanta, recently celebrated its first anniversary delivering monthly cohort support groups. Appropriately named, Director to Director (D2D), two hour sessions provide camaraderie, carefully selected print resources with coffee, conversation and light refreshment for a balance of companionship and best practice support as facilitated by a state approved trainer.

Quality Improvement in Program Administration through Directors’ Support Cohorts (McCormick Center Research Notes Winter 2015) illustrated the benefits of proven administrative practices to industry providers based on external support for directors. When ECE directors and owners participated in cohorts, the results suggested moderate positive outcomes. Even more useful were effects that supported more specific areas like performance appraisal, internal communication, and community outreach.

This model takes into account the diverse needs of the three regions it serves across 47 Georgia counties with providers from all types of programs.  For-profit, faith-based and non-profit alike, the group is open as well to half day exempt programs in search of support not otherwise readily available.

The in-depth subject matter relevant to outcomes for a quality program delivery, the resources, dialogue and mutually respectful setting have far reaching implications for desired and realized change over time. With topics such as:

  • Collaboration Between Staff, Parent, Enrolled Children and the Community
  • Tools for Evaluation and Review of Your Program
  • Assessing Your Leadership Style
  • Managing the Work-Life Balance
  • Marketing Your Program

Leaders clamor for and welcome a safe environment of support and sharing.  The D2D meeting place, carefully designed, provides leadership, tools, resources and a comfortable yet professional place to share needs, successes and ideas that go well beyond the initial focus of each theme for a return on invested time away from centers.

Openly voiced by participants is gratification and revelation that they no longer feel alone or isolated with the challenges it takes to manage and lead a child care program.  As though the flood gates open, the directors, owners and occasional management team members discover new ways to implement change.  When peers provide fresh ideas in the absence of neither judgment nor perceived competition, the beauty of such camaraderie takes full effect. This very collaboration, in conjunction with resources used in a deeper peer-to-peer support and self-reflection, serve the participant and the industry needs well.

By supporting decision makers, the confidence to make change and strengthen best practice empowers leaders for a greater sense of value, responsibility and passion to succeed.  The teachers, by way of supervisors who manage and direct, sustain growth and continued achievement in a positive climate and a path towards excellence.  This cohort provides the unique opportunity to establish a network of support one meeting at a time. To say that we anticipate professional growth and involvement from the top down with its ability to reach and inspire the teaching staff cannot be understated.”

Post a comment and share with your colleagues.

  • SECA sponsors a Directors Seminar at the annual conference each year that is designed to promote networking and sharing.   Are there other ways that we could support directors and program leaders?
  • How have you developed opportunities for networking and support?
  • Have you discovered another model that works?

Headshot- SECA Laura NewmanLaura is the director of a state-wide program operating out of Quality Care for Children, the Georgia Resource and Referral Agency. She delivers the D2D state-approved training for directors and owners so they are armed with tools and resources to complement the online web platform her project, The Georgia Alliance for Quality Child Care, offers its members. The face to face training is part of a monthly series of support groups with significant topics otherwise not widely available to our audience.  Laura can be contacted at Laura.Newman@qualitycareforchildren.org.

Want to Know More?  Other Resources from SECA 

Dim 44-2 thumbnailDIMENSIONS, Fall 2010 Nurturing Early Childhood Teachers as Leaders: Long-term Professional Development

Meditation for Teacher Stress. Dimensions. Nov 2015

These articles are available in the members-only section of the SECA website.  You’ll need your member number to enter the site.  For non-members, contact the SECA office at info@southernearlychildhood.org or 1-800-305-SECA (7322).

9 thoughts on “Director to Director: Supporting Each Other

  1. Running a child care center leaves little time for directors to get together, but this is exactly what directors in our area need. Our coalition was holding these meetings, but as directors, at least here, we feel the need to hold these meetings without undue or outside influence. After reading your information, perhaps (at least in our area) we should try to get together again, not as adversaries or competitive businesses, but as a business unit interested in sharing information and being advocates for early childhood care and education. Thanks, when I can find the time to slow down (?!??!?), I will make some calls to put something together.

  2. I am at a school in Fort worth but live in Dallas. I don’t always know about resources available in Fort Worth.

    1. The Texas Association for the Education of Young Children (TAEYC) is a great resource for our members and other early childhood professionals living in Texas. You can visit their website at http://www.texasaeyc.org/. They should be able to provide you with information about resources in your area.

    2. Hi I live in Grand Prairie, Texas another resource is Education First Step also we are always looking for members to join DAEYC (Dallas Association Education Young Children our organization is a great resource.

  3. Such a fantastic vehicle for Directors to enhance their skills, which in turn promotes quality in their programs and increase authentic teacher performance. I truly believe that collaboration, tools for evaluation, managing the work environment, and at most of all marketing ones program are awesome assets. I believe “assessing one’s leadership style” is crucial to building a foundation for all programs. Many programs lack proper leadership. An effort to employ leadership D2D is a vital component in assisting Directors/Owners with the strategies and tools they require in making their program stand out. Dezire’e M.

  4. Directors in our area have met regularly for years and have found it to be beneficial in so many ways. We share ideas, discuss problems, talk about things we cannot discuss with our teachers and staff members, and just enjoy time to decompress after a long day at school. We all look forward to our time together each month.

  5. This is a wonderful idea. I am all for helping each other. I teach the national CDA and the National Directors Credential. I would love to become a part of this organization. I believe in quality programs as well as quality valid training that promotes professionalism and leadership. Lets continue to work together and make this industry strong and well respected .

    1. Hi Danice. Feel free to email me (Laura.newman@qualitycareforchildren.org) so that I can jump start a conversation to help you as a leader to consider facilitating a cohort support group in your area. I appreciate all of the feedback this article has generated in an effort to illustrate the value of a concept I am extremely passionate about. I am truly establishing a network of support one meeting at a time and would be delighted to help you do the same.
      Laura Newman Director, The GA Alliance for Quality Child Care (Quality Care for Children) Atlanta, GA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *