Did you know that Illinois is one of only six states that require principals to take course work that covers early learning content during their principal preparation program? In fact, Illinois’ principal training in early childhood content goes further than any other state requiring that candidates of the P-12 Principal Endorsement have clinical experiences in early childhood settings. These experiences must be aligned with early learning competencies that they must show evidence of mastering.

Dr. Erika Hunt shared this information and more on August 6 during a roundtable discussion at the national virtual convening “Parts of a Whole: Critical Aspects of Support for Pre-K to Third Grade Learning,” hosted by National Governors Association (NGA), Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO), Education Commission of the States (ECS), and National P3 Center. The goal of the virtual convening was to provide a focus on school systems and their need to emphasize whole child strategies that will support children in schools such as social and emotional learning, mental health consultation, and meaningful family engagement.

Hunt presented in a roundtable discussion, “Leadership Development to Enact PreK-3rd Grade Work.” During her presentation, she shared information and resources about Illinois’ P-12 Principal Endorsement as well as discussed the journey in which the endorsement was codified. Moderated by Dr. Kristie Kaurez, National P-3 Center at the University of Colorado Denver, other participants included

  • Bobbie Burnham and Mike Brown, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Gracie Branch, National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Jean Allen, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

Resources shared by Hunt during her presentation included the following:

More information about Illinois’ P-12 Principal Endorsement and the process of its creation can be found on this website.

Leaders who are interested in exploring how to be better informed PreK-3 leaders can check out these sites: