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The Long Island Early Childhood
Leadership Initiative

November 2021 Newsletter
Welcome to our Leadership Initiative Newsletter!
We send this out each month to update you on events, announcements, news, and more. Not a member yet and want to get involved? 
Sign Up 
In This Issue:
Upcoming Events 

Speaker Series
"Leadership Journeys in Early Childhood Education" featuring Ann McClain Terrell

Come join NAEYC President and the author of "Graceful Leadership in Early Childhood Education," Ann McClain Terrell, share some of her lessons learned on her leadership journey to becoming an award-winning, effective, and inspiring leader. Participants will be able to reflect upon their own leadership journeys. 

December 9th, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Register here

Lunch-time Networking Meetings
Networking Meetings are hosted every week on Tuesdays from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm. Prior registration is required. Email Cristina Medellin to learn how to become a member and register for these meetings. Our members have used these meetings to provide support, share ideas, and resources with one another, particularly in the context of our current climate. 

Networking Meetings for
Family and Group Family Providers

On the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, the Long Island Leadership Initiative will host an evening networking meeting to meet the needs of Family Child Care and Group Family Day Care leaders, and other leaders not able to attend the daytime meetings.  Robin Beller from OCFS will join these meetings as a thought partner.  We invite you to come and learn from one another. Please email Cristina Medellin to register and ask any questions.

Leadership Panel Discussion:
"Cultural Ways of Caring:
Conversations about Self-Care for Early Childhood Leaders"

This event will be held on December 14th at 6:30 pm. More information and registration coming soon!  Panelists will share ways to nurture your physical, emotional, and mental health.

Past Event Highlights
Learning Communities


In September we launched the "Onward" Learning Community. The first meeting discussed: knowing yourself, how self-knowledge is power, explored vulnerability and dispositions of purposefulness. This is a year-long, monthly Learning Community to focus on cultivating emotional resilience in yourself and others, inspired by the book "Onward" by Elena Aguilar. This Learning Community is now full. 
To learn more about the book "Onward" please click HERE.

"Cost of Care in Early Childhood" for
Family & Group Family Leaders

There has been an increased focus on investment in early childhood care. With new federal and state investments, Long Island home-based leaders should examine their business practices. We are currently offering a learning community focused on calculating the true cost of care. In these sessions, leaders examine their program costs per child and identify the "gap" between program expenses, cost per child, and owner and staff salary. The group explores trends and discuss ways in which owners can strengthen their business practices to ensure stability for their programs. Please note registration is now full. 

Core Body of Knowledge
Last month the Long Island Leadership Initiative and QUALITYstarsNY Quality Improvement Specialists launched our first collaborative Learning Community to explore the
Core Body of Knowledge (CBK): New York State’s Competencies for Early Childhood as tool for early childhood leaders. For more information please contact Cristina Medellin. 

Mentorship for Leaders
Would you like to be matched with an experienced mentor?
Are you interested in providing mentoring to others?

Connecting with a mentor who has experience and expertise to support the effectiveness and goals of early childhood leaders is an essential component of our Leadership Initiative offerings. Mentoring provides the mentee an opportunity to develop their leadership and management skills and learn from an experienced practitioner how to navigate many of the challenges and decisions faced by early childhood leaders within the context of a confidential and supportive relationship.
Apply HERE to be matched with a mentor.
Apply HERE to be a mentor to others.
Questions? Contact us

Interested in participating in any of these above events?...

Reading Corner

"Brave not Perfect"
By Reshma Saujani 
To learn more click HERE

"The Gifts of Imperfection"
By Brene Brown
To learn more click HERE

"The Mindfulness Journal"
by Scott and Davenport
To learn more click HERE


QUALITYstarsNY is Accepting New Participants! Get Support for your Early Childhood Program
Join QUALITYstarsNY to receive quality improvement support and resources at no cost to your early childhood program. As New York State’s Quality Rating & Improvement System for early childhood programs, QUALITYstarsNY uses evidence-based practices to support early childhood programs in their efforts to meet the needs of the families they serve. Programs participating in QUALITYstarsNY receive one-on-one support from a Quality Improvement Specialist, professional development opportunities for staff, access to high-quality classroom materials, at much more! If you would like additional information or are interested in attending an information session in English or Spanish please visit,

The Aspire Registry

Are you using the Aspire Registry?
The Aspire Registry is an online system that supports early childhood professionals and recognizes the valuable work that you do! 
You may have noticed that some of the Leadership Events are endorsed by the Aspire Registry. This means the event is approved by the Aspire Registry and if you register and attend a Aspire approved event and you are part of the Aspire Registry, your attendance will be listed in your personal Aspire Profile.
To learn more about the Aspire Registry click HERE
Janna Rodriguez
Innovative Daycare Corp
Owner and Group Family Provider
My Story
I am the owner and provider at The Innovative Daycare Corp a home-based group family daycare located in Freeport NY. Today I am enrolled in the CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) CDA Certificate program and am on a pathway to enrolling into CPAC program after I graduate in December 2021. However, my educational background was not in early childhood education at all. I majored in Political Science and minored in Medical Anthropology at York College, CUNY in Jamaica, Queens NY. I aspired to become an attorney and I continue to hold dear to that dream, however, being a public servant is embedded in my nature. So when the opportunity to open a home-based daycare was brought to me seven years ago, I knew this was part of my calling, my journey, my purpose in life. The education that I received at CUNY and that I continue to receive has provided me with the knowledge and strength to want to open my own daycare center. My story hopefully will continue to evolve as I evolve every day to become better than who I was yesterday.

My Accomplishments 
I created and started an annual kids day event at my daycare to support our staff's mental health and the needs of our children most importantly at the beginning of the school year. This event was in collaboration with The Child Care Council Of Nassau, Project Hope, Nassau County Police Department and other sponsors who understand the importance of supporting the needs of our children and teaching them more about mental health and how to use positive guidance/practices to create a healthy and balanced mental state. I have advocated alongside with NAEYC Public Policy Forum on the importance of investing in childcare and assisting low-income families in having access to childcare and supporting ECE educators here in the great state of NY to ensure we are providing quality care to all children. As a Leader of Color Cohort in 2020, I advocated the importance of investing in early childhood education in communities of color, and not investing in ECE has negatively impacted marginalized groups of people, black and brown children and children from low-income families. Not having access to the resources and tools to support the developmental needs of all children has proven negative results. So I understood that as a childcare provider, it is my duty to write to all of my elected officials including former president Donald Trump to look at the childcare crisis and invest in our children. I continue to engage in many ECE networks/groups such as ECE on Move, Childcare Changemakers, Empire State Campaign for Child Care, CSEA /Voice to continue collectively working on fixing our very broken childcare system. I will continue engaging with my elected officials, community advocates, and leaders, ECE educators, and families to work on supporting the needs of our community with access to affordable quality child care facilities.
Words of Advice 
A piece of advice for other early childhood educators would be to lean on each other and support one another. So many of us have felt alone throughout this pandemic that having just one person to call on as a friend can help us get through the long days together. Therefore, we can support one another's mental health and be the ears without judgment that so many of us seek after our tiring days. Words of encouragement would be that we embody the same practices of respect, love, compassion, and support in which we teach our children to be reflective of us.
Long Island News and Updates 

Help Me Grow Long Island
Apply to join the Early Childhood Educator's Screening Collaborative! 
Melissa Pascarelli from Help Me Grow will share updates at the Leadership Initiative networking meeting on November 16th. 

Read more here

Early Care and Learning Council Workshops 
The ECLC offers free professional development opportunities for early childhood leaders. Check out the virtual offerings for December

Strengthening Supervision
Director Overview 

Child Care Stabilization Grant
Did you know the Child Care Councils of Nassau and Suffolk have people standing by to help you with your stabilization grant application?
Do you not know where to start with the application process? Are you struggling with our application or receiving errors? Or would you like more information prior to applying?

Please reach out to us, we have people standing by to help you navigate the application process, free of charge!
Child Care Council of Nassau:
See webinar topics here

Child Care Council of Suffolk
Resources & Professional Development Opportunities
Self-Care for November
Children's Program Administrator Credential (CPAC)
Graduate-level courses to advance your skills to lead high-quality and
effective early childhood programs

Are you interested in early childhood management and leadership? The Institute and CUNY School of Professional Studies offer graduate-level coursework that leads to the Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC)
 Register Now!
 Program benefits:
CTLE credits awarded
4 week courses
Offered online
Pursue on your own schedule
NYS B5 SUNY-CUNY Early Childhood Workforce
Scholarship Information Sessions

Do you work in a licensed early childhood program (center, group or family)? Would you like to build your career? 
Are you interested in earning a Credential, Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's, or Graduate degree?  

The Institute's Career Development Center is offering information sessions on the NYSB5 CUNY/SUNY Early Childhood Workforce Scholarship. This needs-based scholarship is designed to support those individuals in the early childhood workforce working 20 hours or more in a licensed early childhood program (family,group, or center). New, returning, and current students are eligible to apply through the Institute's Career Development Center. Register for an information session to learn more.

Apply for the scholarship
Register for an Information Session

The ECE Employment Network

Are you an early childhood program in need of teachers and support staff?

Become a member of our ECE Employment Network to post jobs at no cost on our job board and gain access to a personal advisor who can make connections with our Job Seekers who have also signed up for the network. As soon as you apply, our Career Advisors will be in contact with you to support you in you in your hiring needs.

Are you looking for an early childhood job opportunity?
The Early Childhood Career Center has established an ECE Employment Network for employers and professionals at all levels. To join the “Job Seeker cohort” of our new network, tell us about yourself, provide your resume and let us know what kind of position you are seeking. One of our Career Advisors will contact you to begin linking you to employers who are actively hiring, as well as access to training and career development resources and support you in your job search! 

Also, be sure to explore the other services
Career Development Center has to offer.

Fall Lecture Series

Professionalism in Early Childhood 

Join the Career Development team for a conversation exploring what it means to "be your best!" We will explore some of the guiding principles from NAEYC's Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. 
Register Here
December 7th, 2021 
6:30 pm -7:30 pm
JOIN our Facebook Group and stay connected
REFER an aspiring or current leader to join the Leadership Initiative. Send them the link to join
ENROLL in CPAC courses. Have you considered obtaining your CPAC credential? There is open enrollment.
Copyright © 2021 New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, All rights reserved.

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