Teacher Peer Mentorship Pilot

The Need

Demand for early childhood educators and directors is expected to increase by nearly 25% percent over the next ten years, especially in rural communities. This mentorship program aims to increase retention of the existing workforce by ensuring that child care programs develop leaders from within, giving experienced teachers professional development opportunities, and helping new teachers improve skills with the support of their peers. 

The Strategy

The Teacher Peer Mentorship Pilot will create career ladders for new leaders in the field and support new family child home care providers in their first years of being licensed. This program will allow assistant directors to have a director mentor to guide them through the transition to their new role. 

Key Outcomes and Learnings 

Cohorts 1 and 2 

29 mentors have been trained through a six and four-month mentoring cycle. The group was composed of directors, preschool teachers, infant/toddler teachers, and family child care home providers from Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Logan, Mesa, Montrose, Pueblo and Routt counties. 

All mentors reported improved confidence to engage in a relationship-based reflective process with their mentees. 

Mentees reported increased confidence in their practice, guiding challenging behaviors and avoiding burnout. 

Participants reported an increased desire to move into other roles within the early childhood field. 

Some mentors have received permanent pay increases through their schools. 


Through surveys conducted before and after each cohort, CDEC received the following feedback from participants and the program trainer: 

  • CDEC must improve outreach to Spanish-speaking professionals. Connecting with the bilingual licensing supervisor has increased applications.
  • Locating local mentees for family child care home providers who want to mentor was a challenge. 
  • Some participants stated that the cohort was too long. A shorter program may increase participant retention.
  • It was suggested that the observation module could be eliminated, as it was recognized that mentoring is not an accountability method.
  • Create a clearer pathway for mentees through the program, providing the Directors Sequence and the Positive Guidance Sequence as a foundation for their learning.

blue gear labeled workforce


Amount: $543,469 


  • American Rescue Plan Discretionary 
  • American Rescue Plan Stabilization 
  • Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) 


  • Cohorts 1 and 2: September 30, 2023
  • Cohorts 3 and 4: September 30, 2024

Next Steps

  • Cohort 3 starts in February of 2024
  • Cohort 4 start date is yet to be determined 
  • The Train-the-Trainer Model is currently being developed in-house for English and Spanish speakers.