Course description

Given the vital role high-quality early education plays in learning and development, early education leaders need a broad, cutting-edge knowledge base, relevant strategies, and leadership competencies to generate sustained quality improvement. The Zaentz Professional Learning Academy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is offering a new Certificate in Early Education Leadership (CEEL) to provide leaders with the core knowledge, management skills, and tools necessary to build and advance high-quality early education across learning environments.

Led by HGSE Professors Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie Jones, faculty directors of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative, CEEL includes three series. Each series covers foundational knowledge, skills, and tools that enable early education leaders to improve and sustain high-quality early education for the learners they serve.

CEEL includes the following three series:

Series 1: Leading for Early Learning and Development

Series 2: Rethinking Leadership in Early Education

Series 3: Supporting Optimal Teaching and Learning Environments

Each series contains five modules. Four of these are instructional Learn modules that build participants’ core knowledge in key areas, including early learning and development, adult learning, and leadership and management. The fifth module in each series, the Plan and Apply module, is designed to support participants as they map key learnings and to create and implement a plan tailored to their site and work. ​Participants can register for the full Certificate, a Series in its entirety, or choose to complete the modules on an individual basis. Participants may complete the Plan and Apply module in a series after completing all four relevant Learn modules. Those who complete all 15 modules in the three series will earn the Certificate in Early Education Leadership.


  • Roy Edward Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development
  • Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
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