The Open Society Foundations Early Childhood Program is pleased to announce the MA in Leadership in Early Childhood Development and Education Scholarship for the 2014 – 2016 academic year. The Open Society Foundation Early Childhood Program (ECP) is cooperating with the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSSES) and Manchester University to develop and implement a new part-time, post-graduate course in Leadership in Early Childhood Development and Education.  The program aims to provide policy makers and existing or potential leaders in the field of Early Childhood Development (ECD) from Russia and neighbouring countries (Central Asia, the Caucuses etc.) with the knowledge and skills to design effective ECD policies and to develop, implement and evaluate servicesThe OSF’s Early Childhood Program (ECP) is offering a limited number of scholarships to cover tuition and partial costs of travel/expenses for participants from Caucasus and Central Asia .  It is open for the applicants from the following countries:

1.         Armenia

2.         Azerbaijan

3.         Georgia

4.         Kazakhstan

5.         Kyrgyzstan

6.         Tajikistan

7.         Uzbekistan



The deadline for submitting applications is: 31 July 2014

Application is here.


For additional information please contact Almaz Ismayilova 

Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSSES, Russia) and Manchester University (MU, UK)

Leadership in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Education

The MSSES/MU post-graduate program in ECD is an innovative higher education initiative that focuses on training experts in the most important period in the development of children, birth to age eight. Effective ECD programs, particularly for poor and vulnerable children, positively impact children’s future school performance, their social skills, and, ultimately, their lives. Many countries in Europe, Eurasia and worldwide, have identified ECD as an important strategy for improving education and employment across the lifespan.

The MSSES/MU program has a global emphasis and includes the participation of an international team of leading ECD specialists in collaboration with outstanding Russian faculty. It focuses on the most modern, innovative, and effective approaches found worldwide. The program aims to provide policy makers and existing or potential leaders in the field of Early Childhood Development (ECD) from Russia and neighboring countries (Central Asia, the Caucuses etc.) with the knowledge and skills to design effective ECD policies and to develop, implement and evaluate services.  In addition, participants will gain an understanding of current ECD research and will develop basic research skills needed to obtain and utilize evidence for informed decision-making.

Participants can, in preparation for their thesis, develop materials and service models that address challenges in their communities and countries. Participants in the program will take four core courses and then select from among several specializations:

  • Inclusion and Early Intervention for Diverse Children, including Children with Special Needs and their Families
  • Quality Teaching and Learning
  • Administration, Policy, and Planning

The program starts in October 2014, led by Professor Elena Yudina, head of the National Center for the Assessment of Quality Early Childhood Education in the Russian Republic. The majority of teaching and learning will take place in Russian language, though students may be required to complete some readings in English.  The program is designed both for early childhood specialists from Russia as well as those from neighboring countries (Central Asia, Caucuses etc.), who would benefit from an international academic program delivered primarily in Russian language, and reflecting a balance of perspectives from East and West Europe as well as from around the globe.

Neighboring countries and regions of Russia interested in implementing innovative approaches in ECD are invited to send a team of professionals with different specialties, who, in the future, could lead the modernization of systems and programs for young children.  The program is designed to enable participants to continue working while studying.  It is implemented as a part-time degree program with five face-to-face two week sessions scheduled across the two year program.  Students are required to attend these five 2 week-sessions and to complete independent tasks in-between sessions. Sessions are scheduled for:

  1. October 13-24, 2014
  2. February 9-22, 2015
  3. May 11-24, 2015
  4. October 12-25, 2015
  5. February 8-21, 2016


The dates of the sessions may be adjusted, but not more than 1-2 days

Language of instruction: Russian (with some English)

List of Courses:

Course Title




ECD 001. Child Development


Liudmila Obukhova and Sofia Mescheriakova

ECD 002. Program Models & Approaches in ECD



Elena Yudina and Cassie Landers



ECD 003. Methods of Social Research in ECD



Elena Bodrova and Dmitry Rogozin




ECD 004. Leadership for Change



Elena Lenskaya




Area of Specialization 1. Inclusion and Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs and their Families


ECD 005. Foundations of Young Children (0-3). Early Intervention



Elena Kozhevnikova



ECD 006. Inclusion of Children with

Special Needs in Pre-schools



Victoria Ryskina



ECD 007. Working with Special Populations in ECD



Victoria Ryskina


Area of Specialization 2:  Quality Teaching and Learning

ECD 008. Play and Creativity


Ludmila Elkoninova


ECD 009. Best Practices in Curriculum Design and Implementation


Steffen Saifer and Elena Bodrova


ECD 010. Tools for Quality Enhancement and Professional Development Tatjana Vonta and Elena Yudina



Area of Specialization 3: Administration, Policy and Planning

ECD 011. Innovations in Early Childhood Funding and Financing


Nataliya Tipenko


ECD 012. Systems, Policies and Partnerships Tigran Shmis



There is a program-wide emphasis on:

  • International and multi-sector perspectives
  • Diversity and equity
  • Addressing development from prenatal through age eight
  • Child-centered and family-focused practices
  • View of the child within the social context of family & community
  • Strengths-based approaches
  • Inclusive practices
  • Theory to practice with a focus on identifying quality
  • The evidence base for understanding development and best practice – particularly brain development

The program is guided by the following principles and ideas:

  • The program respects the knowledge and experience of participants and encourages participants to learn from each other
  • Participants will have the ability to apply the knowledge gained from the program in practice
  • Teaching methods will engage students in active and interactive learning, which includes field-based and practicum experiences
  • Participants will analyze their own experiences, build on their existing knowledge, and will be motivated to engage in designing their future career paths
  • Participants will not only be «students,» but will be encouraged to become change agents prepared to modernize regional and municipal education systems and educational institutions, to take on the roles of analysts and designers, and to seek and utilize evidence on promising educational projects and the progress of reforms in their regions, programs, and schools
  • Graduates of this program will be introduced to a wide range of issues related to management in education, including knowing modern models, understanding principles of planning and implementation, and assessing the quality of ECD programs

Graduates will receive a diploma of vocational retraining with a specialty in «Management in Education» from the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, as well as a Masters of Education (M.Ed) in Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Development from the University of Manchester in the UK.

Tuition fee: $7000.  Some limited tuition scholarships are available for participants from outside of Russia in 2014-2016 (contact ). For more information you can visit:

Address: 119571, Moscow, pr. Vernadsky, House 82, Block 2 (on the territory of the Academy of National Economy). M. «South West»

Administrative contact for applications:  Julia Salamatova; E-mail: salamatova@universitas.rutel.

Phone: (495) 564-85-82

Fax: (495) 434-75-47

Mobile: 8-916-335-15-58