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PHD - Doctor of Philosophy




Latina Family Child Care (FCC) Educators provide early education and care (EEC) for children in their homes. High quality EEC programs, including the FCC setting, help children form a firm foundation for future learning, resulting in positive outcomes. In order to provide this level of programming, educators must participate in specialized training related to early childhood education. Unfortunately, the literature provides limited guidance regarding professional development that meets the needs of the diverse adult learner in the field of early childhood education. The focus of this qualitative study is to articulate the elements of culturally responsive professional development for the Latina FCC Educator in Massachusetts. To accomplish this goal, interviews were conducted with 10 FCC Mentors who identified themselves as Latina. The mentors work for a Family Child Care System in Massachusetts. Each mentor is assigned an average of 25 FCC Educators for whom they provide on-site mentoring, as well as monthly professional development. Interview participants in this study clearly articulated that professional development responsive to the needs of Latinas in family childcare is facilitated through a relationship-based approach. Participants shared strategies for implementing this approach through the climate, context, and facilitation of the professional development experience. It is hoped that the findings of this study will be used to inform professional development design for Latina FCC Educators, with implications for use in other adult learning settings, especially adults from Latin American cultural backgrounds.



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