Becoming a State-Approved Peer Mentor
Becoming a State-Approved Peer Mentor
What is Imagine U?
Experienced licensed family child care providers who have demonstrated excellence in their profession will work directly with aspiring child care providers to mentor them as they prepare to open their own child care. Mentors will spend 20 hours a month observing and guiding their intern while the intern works in the mentor's child care.
North Seattle College has designed a Relationship-Based Professional Development course specifically for participants of Imagine U. This class will teach mentors valuable coaching skills and how to support positive and impactful relationships with interns. Only new mentors are required to take this class. Second year Mentors will be required to complete the State Trainer Modules to continue their development in adult learning and teaching.
Mentors enrolled in Imagine U will be eligible for one "Wages Stipend" of $500/month and one "Milestone Incentive" of $500/month for their first intern, $375/month for their second and $250/month for their third. Mentors who successfully help their interns complete all milestones and complete an in-person licensing orientation will receive a bonus of $5,000 to invest in their child care.
Both mentors and interns will grow professionally through Imagine U. While mentors will often teach interns new skills, there will be times mentors learn things alongside, or even from, their intern. We know relationship-based professional development is the most effective way our industry grows and evolves. This program is rooted in this investment in reciprocal growth.
The Four Phases of Career Development
Get to know your intern. Work with them to assess their needs. Attend an in-person training on RBPD. Ensure intern meets staff policies and WAC.
Begin attending Imagine's Relationship-Based Professional Development Course. Help intern meet new milestones.
Attend STARS training on topics like the business of Family Child Care. Help intern complete final steps before their in-person licensing orientation.
Help your intern prepare for their licensing visit. Continue attending STARS training. Receive your bonus.
Be an active LFCCP
Care for a subsidized child and be within the SEIU 925 bargaining unit
Maintain a license in good standing
Meet the minimum education requirement
Find or be willing to be paired with an intern or interns
Be rated a Level 3 or higher in Early Achievers*
*Exceptions will be made based on cultural and linguistic need
In addition to meeting the program's minimum eligibility requirements, prospective mentors will also complete an application. Applicants will be chosen based on a variety of factors, such as:
-Has an intern who can participate
-Early Achievers Level
-State-Approved Trainer status
-Experience as an Employer
-Serves on ECE-related committees/boards/community organizations
The Early Care and Education Intern
Early care and education interns are individuals who are interested in opening their own family child care business. All interns must complete an orientation to the program where they will learn the requirements for becoming a licensed family child care provider. In addition to the orientation, interns must complete or are in the process of completing lead teacher requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure they meet these requirements, or refer them to the ECE substitute pool, where they can receive training to become lead teacher qualified.
-Apply to Imagine U
-Apply for STARS ID
-Set up a Gmail Account
-Complete an orientation
-Complete Child Care Basics Training
-Complete Safe Sleep Training
-Complete Child Abuse and Neglect
-Obtain Food Worker's Card -Complete First Aid/CPR/Bloodborne Pathogens Training
-Complete Portable Background Check
-Obtain negative TB test
-Complete education application in MERIT
-Sign Intern Agreement
Enrollment and Family Engagement
Policies: Care and Curriculum
Policies: Your Program
Policies: Health and Safety
Policies: Staff, Volunteers, and Household Members
Caring for Children with Special Needs
These licensing milestones have been designed to prepare prospective family child care providers for opening a successful business. Interns must complete all nine licensing milestones before becoming licensed. They may choose to complete their these milestones prior to their in-person licensing orientation or to complete some during the period of time between their in-person licensing orientation and licensing visit. These decisions will vary from intern to intern, so it is your responsibility to help them make a plan.
Wages Stipend: Mentor receives $500/month after completing a monthly written report on their time with intern and copy of their sign-in sheet reflecting intern's hours. This stipend is intended to cover the costs associated with hiring and training a new staff person.
Milestone Incentive: Mentor receives $500/month for the first intern, $375/month for the second intern and $250/month for the third intern after submitting monthly written or verbal report on their intern's progress toward meeting one or more milestones and proof of intern's completion of one or more milestones.
Successful Mentor Award: Mentor submits documentation for Successful Mentor Award and receives $5000 to invest in their child care after helping their intern complete 100% of their milestones and intern has attended an in-person licensing orientation.
New Provider Award: Intern submits application for a New Provider Award and receives $4,000 toward quality improvement for becoming licensed and caring for a subsidized child.