The CAYL Institute began with a single grant under the Schott Foundation for Public Education, forming its first Fellowship and alumni network for mid-career professionals to gain skills and knowledge to implement new quality early education programs in Massachusetts. Alongside this Fellowship, CAYL led a series of seminars, roundtables, publications and initiatives related to major concerns in the field including diverse representation in educational leadership, supporting the out-of-school-time workforce, and access to childcare for communities of color.
At this point, CAYL emerged from its single grant to a fully formed 501(c)(3) non profit, and became a successful umbrella organization with a number of grants and programs under its belt. Following the Schott Fellowship came the CAYL Principals Fellowship, Early Education Fellowship Initiative, and Wean Scholars Fellowship which spanned the states of Massachusetts and Ohio, including both administrators and educators of young children. And, during this time, CAYL hosted four national conferences centered around equipping principal and childcare directors with developmentally appropriate practices as well as the opportunity to connect with early education professionals nationwide.
CAYL continued to pursue initiatives close to its mission, such as Vibrant Voices in the Valley – an educational support program targeting low income families in Mahoning Valley, Ohio, and Opening Pathways – analyzing and strategizing ways to help English language learning childcare workers gain access to higher degrees and positions in Massachusetts. Additionally, CAYL conducted several professional development workshops for public school educators, childcare programs, and higher education scholars.
After a brief 4-year hiatus due to leadership focusing on opportunities elsewhere, CAYL returns amid a worldwide pandemic, educational crisis, and racial justice movement – and this is no coincidence. Now, we are back to meet at the intersection of these crises and continue the fight for quality early education and care for all families.