Directors as Mentors: The Role of Child Care Center Directors in Encouraging Preschool Teachers and Teachers Aides to Go Back to School



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This study examines the role of child care in the lives of preschool teachers aides and teachers who are going to school in accordance with educational mandates in Massachusetts. Telephone interviews were conducted with 78 directors in Hampden County. Results demonstrated that for teacher s aides, the more directors believed higher levels of education lead to higher quality care, and the younger the teacher s aides were, the more likely teacher s aides were attending college classes. For teachers, the more directors agreed with the educational mandates, the more confident directors were in teachers academic ability, and the younger the teachers were, the more likely teachers were attending college classes. Furthermore, the more directors believed that mentoring was important, the more directors provided instrumental educational mentoring and the less they mentored for self-oriented reasons, the higher the percentage of teachers at their center were going to school. Educational mentoring, career mentoring, and socializing mentoring were not significantly related to whether or not teachers and teacher s aides were in school. Limitations and directions for future research on child care centers will be discussed.



child care, education director, psychology mentor