Enhancing Student Care Quality by Director Training and Collegial Mentoring

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Dr. Namita Mewara

Abstract- Although considerable evidence confirms that a director with good leadership and administrative skills is vital for developing and sustaining a high-quality child care program, many directors assume the role with little management experience or training. This paper reports on a training program in Canada that combined a formal curriculum to increase director administrative knowledge and skills with a mentoring component emphasizing peer support and collegial learning, delivered in a way that enabled participants to continue working full time. Mentoring is a facilitated process involving two or more individuals that have a shared interest in professional learning and development. Mentoring in early childhood is also seen as a leadership development strategy. Traditionally, mentoring has been used as a ‘solution strategy’ to enhance teacher pedagogical practice. Accordingly, what is mentoring and who can be a mentor are important to consider when assessing the veracity of the positive outcomes it claims. This paper will unpack the conceptual evolution of mentoring as a top -down model to the current collegial model by examining the definitions, functions, approaches and contexts of mentoring.