Lead Learn Excel FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lead Learn Excel?
To help early childhood leaders drive improvement through more effective teaching and learning in classrooms, the Ounce of Prevention Fund created Lead Learn Excel. Our innovative approach to on-the-job learning takes place over an intensive 9- or 16-month engagement.

Lead Learn Excel empowers early childhood leaders to create systems and routines that support continuous learning and quality improvement efforts by all staff. With this approach, leaders can transform their organizations over time into effective, high-performing programs that prepare children for kindergarten.

Leaders learn how to use data for shared decision-making, and how to facilitate ongoing professional development with teachers through team lesson planning and peer learning groups. Leaders learn through a proven process which provides in-person training sessions, ongoing coaching, peer learning communities, and access to a suite of tools and resources.

We know that early childhood education leaders are busy professionals. Lead Learn Excel is not one more thing to add to your task list. It is a more effective approach to implementing your existing quality improvement initiatives.

Watch our video to learn more.

Who is an Instructional Leader?

Instructional leaders create learning organizations that continuously support teachers in improving their practice. These leaders focus on children’s learning, development and school readiness, supporting teachers to be effective in their work and cultivating strong partnerships with families.

Instructional leaders include program administrators for preschool, Head Start, Early Head Start or child care centers; school principals; assistant principals; early childhood coordinators and special education coordinators; teacher leaders; owners; executive directors; site directors; assistant directors; education coordinators; and site coordinators

Learn more about instructional leaders.

What is a Professional Development Provider?

A professional development provider delivers training and coaching for instructional leaders or teachers at an early childhood program or within an education system. They may be coaches, quality specialists, trainers or technical assistance providers employed by the systems (or an intermediary).

The Ounce partners with these professional development providers to equip them to deliver the Lead Learn Excel approach. During the initial implementation of Lead Learn Excel, the professional development providers will learn alongside the instructional leaders in training sessions. The Ounce will then provide them with additional supports to help them facilitate training, coaching and peer learning groups using the Lead Learn Excel approach.

What is On-the-Job Learning?

Continuous, on-the-job learning is different than traditional professional development, such as one-time workshops. Also known as job-embedded professional learning, this approach consists of learning that is grounded in the day-to-day practice of leaders and teachers, and is focused on children’s learning and development. With this approach to learning, early childhood professionals collaborate regularly to implement continuous quality improvement efforts.

Learn more about the benefits of job-embedded professional learning.

What Will Participants Learn?

When participating in Lead Learn Excel, both instructional leaders and professional development providers will learn how to lead continuous quality improvement efforts in their program and how to facilitate ongoing, on-the-job learning with teachers to improve instruction.

To equip program teams to engage in continuous quality improvement, Lead Learn Excel provides training in how to:

  1. Use data in early childhood programs
  2. Support teaching teams in creating developmentally appropriate lesson plans
  3. Implement professional learning communities to support peer learning

Professional development providers will receive additional training on how to deliver the Lead Learn Excel approach to instructional leaders, so the approach can be implemented and sustained over time. For example, they will learn strategies for helping instructional leaders transfer their new knowledge to practice and for establishing routines that support continuous, on-the-job learning.

What Do Participants Receive?

Lead Learn Excel will provide leaders and professional development providers with the following support services:

  1. Training: 4-5 days of training on instructional leadership and essential organizational conditions for effective teaching and learning
  2. Coaching: Individualized support during monthly sessions to help participants apply knowledge, establish systems and change practice
  3. Peer Learning and Support: Community for participants to reflect, examine their practice, and learn from and with their peers at monthly meetings
  4. Resources and Tools: Protocols, job aids, guides, and videos of effective leadership and teaching practices

Professional development providers will receive additional training on how to deliver the Lead Learn Excel approach to instructional leaders, so the approach can be implemented and sustained over time. For example, they will learn strategies for helping instructional leaders transfer their new knowledge to practice and for establishing routines that support continuous, on-the-job learning.

For a preview of some of the tools participants receive, visit the Lead Learn Excel Online Library.

How Much Time is Required to Participate?

Lead Learn Excel does require dedicated time and focus from an early childhood program team. Our innovative approach to on-the-job learning takes place over an intensive 9- or 16-month engagement. It includes 4-5 days of training, monthly peer learning group meetings and monthly coaching calls, to be scheduled at the participant’s convenience.

While it is intensive, the Lead Learn Excel approach provides the supports necessary for leaders to change their practice—and sustain those changes over time—in a way that gives children the strong foundation they need for success.

Who Can Participate?

The Ounce works with early childhood systems, such as state and local governments or large early childhood providers, to implement Lead Learn Excel. We work with system leaders to tailor the program to meet their unique needs and identify the instructional leaders and local professional development providers who may best benefit from the program.

How Can I Learn More?

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us at LeadLearnExcel@theOunce.org