Date of Submission

Spring 6-9-2017

Document Type



Doctor of Education



OIP Defense Chair

Dr. Elan Paulson


Early child education, leadership, distributed leadership, early years, change plan



Currently, early education in Ontario is rapidly transforming to meet the diverse needs and demands of children, educators and families. With each change that the sector experiences leaders in early childhood education are called to guide their team through the change process. One recent change that leaders have been faced with is the implementation of Full-Day Kindergarten across the province and its impact on child care programs. Considering the wide range of child care programs that have been affected by Full-Day Kindergarten, this Organizational Improvement Plan explores a significant problem of practice: how can key stakeholders within a child care organization successfully navigate this changing landscape and implement a long-term plan for continued sustainability. This problem of practice is explored through a distributed leadership lens, with an emphasis on building on the most powerful resources within our setting, the educators themselves. Within the context of this Organizational Improvement Plan, distributed leadership refers to the collaboration of several educator’s knowledge and skillsets as a key resource for guiding the change process. In working through each stage of the change process, Cawsey, Deszca and Ingols’s (2016) Four-Step Change Model is presented as a key application tool. As leadership is distributed, organizational change readiness is assessed, the need for change is communicated, possible solutions to the problem of low enrolment are explored, and a change process communication plan is presented. This problem of practice is of significance as the sustainability of a high quality preschool program in our community is critical for society at large.