Group Eight Wiki Resource Site
Advocacy and Leadership Styles and Issues
"There is a need to foster leadership and encourage all stakeholders to see their individual roles in the leadership process, regardless of their position. An effective leader brings skills, knowledge, and commitment to the job." (p.101, Chandler)
Leadership Styles and Issues - What is your personal leadership style?



What words come to mind when you think of leadership?
See Wordle and feel free to contribute your words. -

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
What is your vision? and how do you share it with your team?
What kind of leader are you?

Video Resources:This inspiration video discusses what a leader is and encourages people to become leaders within their community.Kinetic Typography: A leader is...

Please watch this short inspirational video clip.
Bill Ayers: The Call To Teach

Reading Resources:
Ayers, W and Alexander-Tanner, R. To Teach: The Journey, in Comics, New York, NY, Teachers College Press, 2010.

"An inspiring educational manifesto that describes, at high level, a method for teaching that is based on letting students lead their education -- or rather, embarking on an educational journey with students in which leadership is shared." (C. Doctorow, 2010)
Carter, M and D.Curtis. The Visionary Director: A Handbook for Dreaming, Organizing, and Improvising in Your Center, 2nd ed. St. Paul, MI: Redleaf Press, 2010.

"An inspiring and practical guide to creating a larger vision in early child care, The Visionary Director offers a concrete framework for organizing an early childhood program leaders thoughts and work. Chapters cover cultivating a vision, developing "systems thinking" for management roles, and implementing principles and strategies for mentoring staff and building a learning community for adults and children." (Amazon Book Description)
Goffin, S. and V. Washington. Ready or Not: Leadership Choices in Early Care and Education. Columbia University, New York: Teacher's College Press, 2007.

"After more than a century of evolution, early childhood care and education in the United States is in transition. In this frank discussion of the field's purpose, identity, and responsibility, the authors examine the major issues that must be addressed if children are to be given more and better opportunities. They show how adaptive leadership work can unify the field, create openness to new change strategies, generate a shared vision, and build a viable strategy for its achievement." (Amazon Book Description)


You and Others by Linda McKinlay and Heather Ross
Chapter 4 highlights Leadership and Group Roles

McKinlay, L., & Ross, H. (2008). You and others: reflective practice for group effectiveness in human services. Toronto: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.

“In most Western cultures, societal structures with singular leadership authority are the norm. These structures are based on frameworks of accountability that ensure that someone will see that the work gets done. No matter how noble the concept of collaboration and teamwork might be, even in the helping professions, it seems that we continue to create those structures that culminate with some kind of ascribed leader.” (McKinlay, Ross, 2008, p.106)

Is there always one ultimate leader within our classrooms and centers? Or can we balance the responsibilities within a team? Can leadership and team truly exist together?

This chapter provides questions to encourage one to reflect on their own leadership style. Group exercises are included that help one become aware of their leadership style. Once we are aware of what type of leader we are we are able to work from our strengths and develop our weaknesses.

Identifying Leadership Roles for Quality in Early Education

Article: Identifying Leadership Roles for Quality in Early Childhood Education
Ho, D. (2011). Identifying leadership roles for quality in early childhood education programmes.International Journal Of Leadership In Education, 14(1), 47-59.

How does leadership relate to quality within early education centers? This article explores the roles that educators and families found themselves falling in to and the patterns of leadership within the centre. Most individuals found themselves following a leader rather than being the leader themselves. Why is it that it is more common for individuals to follow rather than lead?

Childcare and Employment Turnover
Sandra Hofferth and Nancy Collins. In Population Research and Policy Review , Volume 19, Number 4 (2000), 357-395, DOI: 10.1023/A:1026575709022 Child care and employment turnover . Retrieved from
Scholarly article on advocacy in childcare:


This paper explores how the responsibilityof caring for children affects employment stability by studying the relationship betweenthe characteristics and stability of substitute caregivers and the risk of leaving of job. Thedata come from the 1990 National Child Care Survey (NCCS), a nationally representative surveyof households with children under age 13 conducted in late 1989 and early 1990, and AProfile of Child Care Settings (PCS), a nationally representative survey of center-based programsand licensed family day care homes in the U.S., conducted at the same time and in the same 144counties. The results show that the availability of care affects the job stability of all employedmothers. Other effects differ by maternal wage. The cost of care affects the employment exits ofmoderate-wage mothers (who earn 6to8 per hour), the stability of care affects the employmentexits of moderate- and high-wage mothers, and the flexibility of care affects the employmentexits of low-wage mothers. These results are discussed in the context of current public policies.

Website Resources:

ECE BC website provides information on advocating for children and educators within BC.
The $20/hour strategy was started by ECE BC an advocacy organization for early childhood education. This campaign advocates for the value and importance of the work educators do. Quality programs depend on quality educators and with a salary that just skims over the poverty level early educators are highly underpaid. This campaign's goal is to achieve a $20/hour starting wage for qualified educators.

"Supporting early childhood professionals worldwide in their efforts to craft thriving environments for children and adults."

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The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC)

Our role in early childhood leadership and advocacy

Chris Mahony, Director of the Kath Dickson Institute of Early Childhood Studies in Toowoomba, discusses the crucial roles of advocacy and leadership in our day-to-day practice.
Over the past decade, there has been considerable interest in the concept of leadership in early childhood education and care. Rodd (2001, p. 10) argues that 'leadership is a contextual phenomenon, that is, it means different things to different people', and is another aspect of the difficult multi-faceted nature of leadership in early childhood education.
The five faces of leadership

By unpacking the five styles (or faces) of leadership proposed by Kagan and Bowman (1997), we find their validity today is still evident.
Administrative leadership

As the name suggests, this style requires leaders to be involved in the operational, day-to-day running or management of services. This could include preparing rosters, newsletters, excursion forms, budgets and compliance issues.
Pedagogical leadership

Underpins the core of early childhood care and education, ensuring the quality of the day-to-day lives of participating children, as well as supporting and enhancing their growth, development and learning.
Community leadership

Involves demonstrating to the community that early childhood education and care is an important issue, and can determine a child's future success in life. It is contextualising your service into your community.
Conceptual leadership

Revolves around the creation of new ideas to advance the profession. Individuals must be open to new ways and processes of thinking, and demonstrate a willingness to challenge conventional assumptions. Be prepared to think forward and 'outside the box'!
Advocacy leadership

As a whole, the early childhood community helps to improve the landscape for children and families. We all have to seize any strategic opportunity to move any issue forward.
Strong leadership in early childhood education and care acknowledges that each of these ‘faces' is as important as the other. However, as early childhood professionals, we must not become so overwhelmed by the compliance issues facing the profession that we ignore the other facets of leadership.
Practical tips for an advocate:
  • Keep abreast of current trends and issues. You have to be knowledgeable about the topic.
  • Adopt policies, practices and procedures that support young children.
  • Take the time to write a letter or response to recognise and speak out about bad policy decisions affecting young children, whether this is at a national, state or local level.
  • Attend community meetings that could affect young children and families.
  • Speak to your local member about issues that could affect young children and families.
  • Challenge any comments that are derogatory to young children.
  • Importantly, know how and when to compromise.
The role of advocacy

Advocacy is perhaps the face of leadership that presents the largest dilemma for early childhood professionals. Nupponen (2006, p. 155) suggests one reason may be ‘the notion that to be an advocate required confident and skilled people', and that we struggle to view ourselves in this light.
Perhaps we struggle with advocacy because as early childhood professionals we see ourselves as teachers first and foremost. However, we can all take an active role as advocates for young children; that is, give voice to issues that will affect children and families.
Issues such as resource and referral agencies, the importance of the early years, affordable child care, accreditation, licensing requirements, staff support and salaries have all been placed at the forefront by or through strong advocacy from the field.

Chris Mahony -Director
Kath Dickson Institute of Early Childhood Studies