Dr. Elena Merenda

Assistant Program Head, Early Childhood Studies, University of Guelph-Humber

Early childhood education; Leadership in early childhood studies; Therapeutic play; Children with exceptionalities; Children with special needs; Children's grief; Inclusive Education; Child care


Why do people in Early Childhood Studies care so much about kids?

Dr. Elena Merenda shares a personal letter to commemorate Children’s Day


URL: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/966-in-conversation-45918518/episode/elena-merenda-momo-challenge-45945792/

Elena Merenda is Assistant Program Head of Early Childhood Studies at University of Guelph-Humber. Her recent article in The Conversation, "‘Momo challenge hoax’ prompts parents to help children deal with scary media" has prompted some deeper conversations about the images and stories that young children encounter in their online lives. How do parents and educators monitor not only the content, but how children are responding to that content?

Father’s Day: Involved dads are healthier and happier

‘Momo challenge hoax’ prompts parents to help children deal with scary media

With larger classes, teachers can’t attend to children’s needs

Disappointment about gifts is good for kids who have enough

The real way to prevent bullying: Create inclusive homes and classrooms

Organizational Improvement Plan: Responding to the Absence of Leadership Education in the Early Years Curriculum

by Elena Merenda, Nikki Martyn

Published by Common Ground Research Networks

June 2, 2018

The purpose of this paper is to provide an organizational improvement plan for incorporating leadership education and preparation in the early years curriculum. The field of early childhood is rapidly changing. There is a growing body of research that demonstrates early engagement with children and families leads to positive outcomes for not only the children and families that professionals engage with, but also for the whole community. The organizational improvement plan is in response to the social and political expectation that early childhood professionals act as influential leaders who have an important role in improving the quality of education, care, and services for children and families. This is an important step in ensuring that the field of early childhood is recognized as a credible profession with unique expertise that is equal to other professions. The organizational improvement plan proposes three recommendations for addressing the absence of leadership education and preparation.

URL: https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/organizational-improvement-plan


Elena Merenda is the Assistant Program Head of Early Childhood Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber. Since 2015, she has worked alongside the Program Head with all administrative and academic aspects of the program; managing and guiding faculty with course development; supporting student initiatives; and managing the redevelopment of the program curriculum. She has more than 15 years of experience in early learning and therapeutic settings. Her background is in early childhood education, with a specific expertise in therapeutic play and supporting families with children who have special needs. Merenda holds a Masters of Art in Early Childhood Studies from Ryerson University and is currently enrolled in a Doctorate Education program at Western University, to be completed in 2019. In addition to her experience at the University of Guelph-Humber, she has taught academic courses at Humber College ITAL, where she was the Program Advisor for a continuing education stream of the Early Childhood Education program at Humber College ITAL. She has spent multiple years supervising students practicing in the field.


  • Early childhood education
  • Leadership in early childhood studies
  • Therapeutic play
  • Children with exceptionalities
  • Children with special needs
  • Children's grief
  • Inclusive Education
  • Child care


  • Western University
    Educational Leadership
    Doctorate of Education, 2019