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Dr. Amy Payton

(720) 588-2841
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Dr. Amy Payton joined ECCLA as the Executive Director in January 2020. In this role she will provide leadership, advocacy, resource development, and accountability for ECCLA as well as be the primary voice for the organization.

Amy has over 25 years of experience working on behalf of young children, families, and ECE providers as a teacher, program director, researcher, and professor and is a seasoned early childhood leader. Most recently, Amy was a professor and the Director of the Institute for Building Early Relationships at Oklahoma State University. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Human Development and Family Science and a B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Oklahoma in Early Childhood Education.

Amy has served as PI on cross-sector collaboration grants and contracts totaling over 1.3 million dollars with scopes of work that include early childhood mental health systems building, self-care programming for ECE providers, and workforce development. She has published numerous research articles and chapters on early development and education, presented nationally and internationally, and recently co-edited a book on building early relationships.

Amy is a strong public advocate for social justice and the importance of quality early childhood experiences that support young children’s healthy development. She works hard to support ECE providers and elevate public understanding of their important role in young children’s lives through mentoring, advocacy, and education. Amy is skilled at cross-sector collaborations and breaking down silos. She strongly believes that supporting healthy children, families, and communities requires all stakeholders to have a voice in the process.

In her spare time, Amy is an avid traveler and enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family and pets. She and her husband have a blended family with four children, two dogs, and a cat. Amy also plans to continue her research and writing on early development and education as her time allows.