Re-imagining professional learning
Bringing together the best thinking of P-12 education to drive education reform
Engaging adults in high quality instructional practices
Setting the stage for evidence-informed data driven decision making
Leading the strategic planning process
Developing leadership capacity
Building capacity for engaging in evidence informed data driven decision making
Coaching to support program leaders, strengthen teacher practice, and improve outcomes for children
Advancement of Learning for the Enrichment of Lives
Based just outside of Boston, in the hub of research and innovation, Early Childhood Associates, Inc. (ECA) is a nationally recognized social research and consulting firm dedicated to promoting the healthy growth and development of children, and their families as well as the practitioners who support them.
ECA is at the forefront of innovation in Birth-3rd Grade education, data-driven decision-making facilitations, effective and powerful coaching and technical assistance, the creation of continual program improvement through program evaluation, and the important work of infusing community and families into the education of our children and youth.
Program evaluation is not a cut-and-dried activity. Evaluation depends primarily on its purposes and audience; the nature of the program being evaluated; and the political and organizational context within which the evaluation is conducted. Ultimately, the goal is to use the evaluation results to guide conversations and foster deeper thinking around evidence-based decision making and program improvement.
It takes more than education to help kids be ready for school—they also need good health care; appropriate social and emotional development opportunities; strong support from their families and communities; and a well-qualified early childhood workforce. A well-developed, dynamic strategic plan guides an effective early learning system; uses evidence of change to adjust the plan in order to meet the plan’s short- to long-term benchmarks; and to inform policy and practices.
Teachers’ and education leaders’ engagement with effective professional development (PD) is linked to classroom quality and improved child outcomes. The best PD provides practitioners with interrelated and continuous learning opportunities based on the science of child development. It builds leadership capacity to support continuous, collaborative model of learning.
Creating high-quality learning environments requires skilled and committed leaders to help shape teaching. Effective teachers create stimulating early learning environments; engage in reflective practice; regular child assessment; and adopt curricula that make a difference in children’s development. Leadership is second only to teaching as an influence on learning. The high quality leadership is linked to improved student outcomes and educational equity.
Resource: Coaching Matters Coaching Matters by Joellen Killion, Cindy Harrison, Chris Bryan and Heather Clifton (2012) Ohio, Oxford: Learning Forward. This is an excellent resource for both new and seasoned coaches who are looking to strengthen their practice and for...read more
Cambridge, MA awarded a contract to Early Childhood Associates and its partner, the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) to conduct a study of the existing mixed service delivery system of preschool programs serving children in Cambridge. This study...read more
What are the characteristics of great leadership in early education and care? At the Early Childhood Strategic Leadership Institute on June 14th sponsored by ECA and Wellesley College, we explored that question. Amy O’Leary, NAEYC President led the closing panel where...read more