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NLU’s McCormick Center Launches Tool to Compare States on Early Childhood Standards See which states rank best

As states around the nation try to boost the quality of early childhood education so that that young children (birth through age 8) have the greatest chance to be successful in school and in life, the McCormick Center at National Louis University has just created a tool for measuring states’ efforts.

The McCormick Center developed the tool, called the  Leadership Education for Administrators and Directors (L.E.A.D.) Early Childhood™ Clearinghouse, as a source for information about early childhood program leaders. It is part of the L.E.A.D. Early Childhood™ Collaborative, which was launched in 2016 to identify and close the gap in  preparation for early childhood program leaders.

The McCormick Center has been working for more than 30 years to build the leadership capacity and professionalism of the early childhood education workforce. However, its attempts to gather information were hindered by irregular data collection among the states. The Clearinghouse contains complete, consistent information. Its national and state profiles can be accessed on an interactive website at

The McCormick Center identified five policy levers to assess how well an individual state’s standards support high-quality program leadership. The levers are turned into ratings for each state in order to create a report card. California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania achieved the highest overall scores on the Policy Levers Rubric.

The policy levers are: Administrator Qualifications in Child Care Licensing, Administrator Credential, Principal Licensure, Administrator Qualifications in QRIS, and Administrator Qualifications in State Pre-K Programs.

For more information, see the lead website. Click on an individual state to see its results.

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