A child’s first few years of educational experiences set the stage for how they will learn for the rest of their lives, making passionate early childhood leaders more needed than ever.

The Bank Street Early Childhood Leadership Advanced Certificate Program is designed for mission-driven educators seeking to advance their professional opportunities and fill the need for exceptional leadership in early childhood education.

Early Childhood Leadership Advanced Certification

The online Bank Street Early Childhood Leadership, Advanced Certificate Program, is designed for committed educators seeking credentials that will position them to take on leadership roles and support growth for themselves and their colleagues.

“The Early Childhood Leadership, Advanced Certificate program, focuses on providing students opportunities to develop leadership skills that are particular to early childhood settings, whether in public schools, multi-program agencies, or stand-alone programs,” says Wendy Pollock, Co-Director of Bank Street’s Early Childhood Programs.

“The certification is a critical piece in job applications for directors of early childhood centers or programs, district-level early childhood instructional leaders, assistant principals, and principals in public and private settings,” Pollock says.

Areas of study include:

  • Curriculum development: combining theory and practice
  • Social justice: learning supportive teaching strategies, mitigating inequalities in education
  • Systems thinking: understanding theories of systems thinking, adopting a systems-thinking perspective
  • Progressive education: understanding your full scope of impact, including how to effect change and make an impact at scale
  • Law: understanding legal issues in schools and education

The 24-credit program prepares students for the School Building Leadership Certification (SBL) and/or the Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC).

Beyond the depth of the curriculum, what sets Bank Street apart is its focus on community building. “Community” is more than a well-meaning platitude for Bank Street—it is a core component of its mission. Bank Street understands the critical role education plays in the community and brings that perspective to educational partnerships for all programs.

The Bank Street Model Creates Community

Bank Street is committed to setting online students up for success and creating a “campus-like experience,” explains Robin Hummel, Director of Leadership Programs at Bank Street. While online learning may be “perfunctory” elsewhere, she says, “that’s not what this is.”

Grounded in the developmental-interaction approach taught in Bank Street’s well-regarded on-campus courses, the Early Childhood Leadership Advanced Certificate Program’s cohort model stands out as a unique online experience. The essence of that model is building community, connecting students, and developing long-lasting relationships through conference group classes and supervised fieldwork.

Student cohorts progress through the online courses and conference groups together, sharing their experiences, exploring ideas, and networking for job opportunities. A tight-knit community is created as students with a shared vision learn together in partnership with Bank Street faculty.

The Growing Focus on Early Childhood Leadership

As early childhood education receives more attention from political and educational leaders, represented in part by the expansion of universal Pre-K in cities across the country, an even greater emphasis on developing a new generation of early childhood leaders has arisen.

On January 27, 2020, Bank Street released an innovative report called Investing in the Birth-to-Three Workforce: A New Vision to Strengthen the Foundation for All Learning. To celebrate the report’s launch, national leaders traveled to New York City, where they met for a daylong conference at the Carnegie Corporation, which funded the research. Together, they discussed the ideas presented in the report, which showcases models of high-quality educator preparation for early childhood leadership and proposes developing newly funded residency programs to more fully prepare the next generation of leaders.

A Partnership in Education

Bank Street is committed to training the next generation of early childhood leaders. Bank Street supports the growth of new leaders through collaboration and “effecting change through relationships,” says Hummel. “Relationships create change. For nearly a century, Bank Street has sought to partner with passionate educators who understand the social mission of education. The learner-instructor collaboration helps move us closer to the goal of improving education through innovative curriculum design, racial awareness, and social justice.”

Bank Street is a teachers’ college. “This is all we do—teach and develop educators,” Hummel says. This steadfast commitment gives Bank Street graduates and leaders the tools they need to make an impact on the schools and systems that serve our students, families, and communities.