Welcome to the Maryland Early Childhood Leadership Program (MECLP)


The Maryland Early Childhood Leadership Program (MECLP), a program of the Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities at UMBC, is a workforce initiative designed to accelerate cross-sector leadership in early childhood. MECLP’s vision is to develop and support strong leaders who are catalyzing positive change and will significantly improve school readiness and related outcomes for early learners, particularly disadvantaged and vulnerable children and their families. MECLP is positioning Maryland at the vanguard in developing transformative early childhood leaders in Maryland and nationally by accomplishing its results:

  • Improve outcomes for young children, families and communities.
  • Affect state-level change in systems, policies and programs through cross sector early childhood leadership.
  • Advocate for equitable high-quality early childhood care and education experiences for all children.
  • Create a broad and diverse network of early childhood professionals recognized as transformative leaders in the field, creating a workforce pipeline.



MECLP in Action

●  In Spring 2021 MECLP released its brief – Filling the Early Childhood Leadership Gap in Maryland: Meeting the Challenges and Opportunities Ahead. Based on a survey circulated in Maryland to better understand the current state of ECE leadership in Maryland, the report enumerates four (4) findings and a conclusion that addresses the need to support leadership development and promote diversity in its ECE leadership pipeline. The full report can be found here.
●  In Summer 2021 MECLP released How Maryland Can Mitigate its Early Childhood Education Gap, a report that argues that MECLP’s contribution will fill a critical leadership gap in early education which will be exacerbated by the broad-based expansion of early childhood education programs in Maryland over the next 10 years.