We are thrilled that our own Janna Wagner, Chief Education and Learning Officer and Co-Founder of All Our Kin, was selected as a Fellow with the ZERO TO THREE Fellowship Program, a prestigious fellowship that engages, enriches, and inspires leaders who are dedicated to advancing the health, development, and well-being of infants and toddlers. In its press release announcing the 2014-16 Fellowship cohort, ZERO TO THREE praised Janna for her “wealth of knowledge and expertise” on infant and toddler development, as well as “her leadership in New Haven and across the country to improve the quality of family child care programs.”
What is the ZERO TO THREE fellowship?
The ZERO TO THREE fellowship (established in 1981) engages a diversity of early childhood professionals and experts from across the country to help them work with each other across areas of expertise, become more knowledgeable about the latest child development research, and become equipped with leadership skills needed to advance change in programs, systems, and policies that impact the well-being of infants and toddlers. Janna will be joined by nine other fellows who are from eight states across the United States and Australia. The fellows bring a wealth of experience from such fields as psychology, child development, law, pediatrics, parent education, mental health, social work, research, and public health.
“The Fellowship will allow me to receive support and mentorship from experts in the field – both other fellows and ZERO TO THREE staff,” Janna said. “I’m really looking forward to building relationships that inspire and challenge me to deepen my knowledge of best practice and develop my leadership ability.”
How will the Fellowship impact Janna’s work at All Our Kin?
Although Janna will attend a few retreats and conferences throughout the year, she will remain at All Our Kin full time. “The ZERO TO THREE Fellowship is really designed to enrich my work here at All Our Kin, not to take away from it,” Janna explained. Monthly calls with ZERO TO THREE staff members and communications with other fellows will support her in thinking reflectively and doing strategic planning about All Our Kin’s impact and future.
“I’m especially interested in exploring new ways to build upon All Our Kin’s educational consulting model,” Janna said. “The skills, knowledge, and dispositions that educational consultants need to be successful – are those competencies inherent in a person, or can they be taught? How can we develop and support them? We know some of the answers, but we want to refine them, especially as we consider sharing and expanding our model.”
The Fellowship will also introduce Janna to new ways of leading and thinking that she will bring back to Connecticut. “All of the ZERO TO THREE Fellows are leaders, but they expand the definition of leadership,” Janna said. “It’s important to challenge the idea of ‘leader’ as just a person with power. Leaders sometimes have to upset things and break rules. They have to look at problems in their full complexity and recognize the values that undergird potential solutions. They have to be flexible, to adapt to changing circumstances.”
Janna looks forward to networking with the other Fellows. “All of them are committed to infants and toddlers and their families. I’m excited to share my insights and knowledge about family child care with them. Family child care providers play a key role in states’ early childhood systems, and they provide quality early childhood experiences to the children and families who need it most.”
ZERO TO THREE is a national nonprofit that provides parents, professionals, and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development to ensure that all infants and toddlers have the strongest start in life.
For more information about ZERO TO THREE, please visit http://www.zerotothree.org