News: Featured Stories

July 4, 2017

UMass Boston Institute for Early Education Leadership awarded $100K grant

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  • Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston’s Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Boston Foundation, the university announced today.

The grant will be used to train and support innovative, entrepreneurial, and skilled early educators to drive transformative change so that all young children and their families have access to high quality early learning opportunities.

“With this award, we will launch our first-in-the-nation innovation accelerator for early educators,” said Anne Douglass, founder and executive director of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation. “We will be able to reach more child care business owners and early educators with entrepreneurial leadership training, and equip them to lead transformative change to improve early learning opportunities for young children in our city.”

The institute launched in September 2016, and provides early educators, directors, and small business owners with an entrepreneurial leadership development training designed to foster the skills, competencies, and mindsets needed for leading change and innovation in early care and education practice and policy.

The institute’s early educator innovation lab and accelerator serves as a testing ground for new ideas and creates an inclusive laboratory for early educators to network and co-create innovative solutions to teaching, quality improvement, and ECE business challenges.

“Our innovation lab will bring together diverse stakeholders to foster novel ideas related to policies, practices and processes in the early education and care fields while our accelerator will provide mentoring, networking and access to valuable innovation ecosystem resources for early care businesses,” said Associate Professor of Management Banu Ozkazanc-Pan, who led the design of the accelerator and now directs the innovation lab and accelerator. “Through these efforts, we aim to create a national model for sustainable, high-quality early care businesses and find solutions to growing early education inequalities in underserved communities.”

Over 100 institute alumni have already formed a powerful leadership corps, leveraging their practical experience and leadership training to improve ECE quality and children’s learning, and mentoring the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.

In 2016, the Boston Foundation and its donors made $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. In celebration of its Centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation launched the ongoing Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, the principal endowment fund focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Bosto

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