Connecticut Early Education 
Consultation Network
Guidance, Leadership, Support

Hiring an Education Consultant

Hiring an education consultant requires more than asking someone who meets the minimum qualifications to sign off on a license application. Ideally, it will develop into a long-term, trusting, collaborative relationship focused on program development. Both consultant and operator need to agree to the extent and terms of service and together create a realistic plan that meets regulations and fulfills the expectations of both parties. An interview with more than one consultant is desirable, approaching the opportunity for a working relationship much like hiring for any other position. The following five components of an introductory meeting cover the basic information exhange necessary for consultants and operators to make a decision on “good fit.” Both parties need to feel comfortable after reflection over the information learned. 

1. Interview – The operator will:
  • Learn the background, experience, areas of expertise, and level of education of the consultant
  • Learn about the connections the consultant has to resources, professional associations, and agencies that support consultation
  • Share the philosophy and mission of the program
  • Learn the educational philosophy and orientation of the consultant
  • Share the goals of the program for improvement and development 
  • Share the needs of the staff in professional development
  • Identify conflicts of interest between the consultant and the program

2. Tour of the Facility – The consultant will:
  • Observe classroom environments in operation 
  • Observe additional facilities such as playgrounds, common activity areas, meeting and staff spaces.

3. Overview of the Educational Program – The operator will:
  • Share the center’s curriculum framework and approach
  • Share documentation and assessment procedures used
  • Explain policies and procedures that affect the educational program

4. Administrative Overview – The consultant will:
  • Learn who operates the program and the role they have in the administration of the program
  • Learn the role of the director, head teacher, and others in an administrative/supervisory role with whom there will be contact
  • Explain the terms of a consultation contract, describe services and conditions, limitations, insurance, fees, etc.
  • Outline a preliminary plan for the use of the consultant including reference to regulations, operator expectations, or 3rd party requirements

5. Reflecting on the Introductory Meeting - Questions that operator and consultant should consider:
  • Do the consultant and operator understand and accept each other’s philosophy and share a common vision?
  • Does the consultant have the skills and expertise necessary to fulfill the goals for improvement this program has?
  • Does the consultant have adequate networks and resources to support and enrich the consultation process?
  • Is there a conflict of interest in terms of competing programs, funding sources, or relationships?
  • Can the consultant work comfortably at the level of quality where this program functions and have realistic
            expectations for improvement?
  • Does the consultant understand the educational program and have experience with the curriculum, approach, and assessment procedures used?
  • Does the consultant understand and feel they would be effective with the cultures and community this program
             serves?
  • Does the consultant communicate well with the operator? Was the meeting productive and comfortable?
  • Does the consultant and operator share a vision or common plan for the program?
  • Is there understanding and agreement on terms of the contract and expectations, including where they are required by a 3rd party?
  • Will the consultant have a relationship with all parties involved in the administration/operation of the program? If not, how will that impact progress or success?