Early Education News & Nuggets
Find out more information about your area from your Senior Coordinator:
Early Education Leaders are heading into a transition season, which means finishing strong for this school year as you prepare for summer session and/or the next school year. The article in last month’s Snapshot was entitled “Finish Strong.” And, yes, this is very important. During devotions in our April EE Leader Connect, we talked about I Corinthians 9:24–27, where Paul tells us to run the race and press on toward the goal. He says, “If only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). And also, “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means” (2 Corinthians 8:11).
As a leader, your work to finish strong, to discipline yourself, and to remain focused, is about leading those around you to do the same. Paul also says in Galatians 6:9-10:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
You have a harvest of early educators, parents, and children that are looking to you. How are you encouraging those on your team to finish strong? Remember, you do not have to do it in your own strength. Keep your eyes on Jesus; He is the perfector of our faith. He calls us and equips us with everything we need for life and godliness. He will not abandon you. When you are weak, He is strong. Rest in Him, in His provision, in His faithfulness to you. He is your Good Shepherd who is watching over you. You WILL win the race if you do not faint or give up. And you will lead many to finish strong with you!
At the same time, in early education, we often have programs that continue through the summer or school-age summer camps that we add to our program offerings, as well as preparing for the next school year. I remember when I was in that administrative role, I would put off some big projects for the summer, and then, somehow, the summer would get away from me. Let me encourage you to take time now to write out your goals for the projects you need to accomplish. What policies or procedures need to be updated? What areas of your program need attention? What do you need to learn more about through professional development, research, or reading? Set up a workflow—a time management plan—for your summer school days NOW. Even in year-round programs, summertime has a different feel and flow. Can you set up blocks of “uninterrupted (LOL)” time a few days a week? Beginning with a workflow plan, even if it has to be altered on many days, will give you a plan or foundation to work from. See the Workflow Template to plan how you could schedule your meetings, the projects that you are focusing on this summer, and the tasks that needed to be accomplished in a week. Remember, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time” (Zig Ziglar).
Take advantage of your ACSI membership benefits of resources, consultation, recorded webinars, and networking. You do not have to re-invent or create anything from scratch. Find a good example and make it your own. In last month’s EELC, we shared documents and forms that may be helpful as you review your own. These can be accessed in the EELC Community.
Mark your calendar for the summer and the 2023–2024 school year with the many ways you can network, receive professional development, and connect with other Christian leaders in ACSI.
Join us for the last Early Education Leader Connect of this school year, as Dr. Althea Penn brings us valuable ways of Finding Available Financial Resources for Your Program. Eastern Division is joining Central’s Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, May 10th at 12:00 CT/1:00 ET Join Western Division on Thursday at 9:00 PM.
It is always a wonderful time to connect with other early education leaders, be encouraged through devotions and prayer, and have conversations about a relevant topic. Watch for the launch of next year’s EELCs that will be held on the second Thursday of each month at 10:00 PT/12:00 CT/1:00 ET beginning in August.
ACSI Leadership Networks: Early Education Leader Network
4th Wednesday of each month at 2:00 pm EST
Network with Dr. Penn on the fourth Wednesday of each month. These meetings provide early education leaders with the opportunity to informally share ideas and challenges and engage in building a biblical community. We will also review best practices in implementing each of the Flourishing School Culture domains with industry experts. Attendance at the live meeting is eligible for CEUs. Recordings are available.
- May 24 - Keys to Organizational Resilience And Financial Sustainability [Expertise & Resources]
- June 28 - God’s Design for Growth: Promoting Health, Safety, And Nutrition Best Practices
Florida Approval Program Leader Connect Meeting
The third Thursday of every month, FAP Director Tammy Hicks provides a training and networking meeting for Florida early education programs at 1:00 ET. This Directors' Monthly Roundtable is a biblical community for our EE leaders to discuss current issues, FAP standards, and the day-to-day ups and downs of leading an EE center. Register to join her HERE.
See the ACSI Early Education website for next year’s Early Education Professional Development calendar of events, Reignite!. There are many more live vents in addition to the virtual option for ensuring your early educators obtain Christian early education training.
Focus in 2023