Technical Training and Mentoring
Technical training and mentoring consists of one-on-one mentoring and professional development trainings for Lake County providers. The Coalition has six early childhood specialists on staff who monitor centers to ensure that health and safety requirements are met as well as class ratios. These early childhood specialists assess the environmental quality of the centers to ensure that age appropriate curriculum is being used and that providers are equipped with essential learning resource materials. Special trainings are held throughout the year specifically for infant/toddlers as well as early childhood.
The Coalition conducts a variety of special workshops and conferences throughout the year. These trainings range from two hours to a full day workshops, where providers can earn in-service hours or their CEUs. The Coalition’s training calendar is developed 6 to 12 months out and providers are encouraged to attend as many as they are available.
The Coalition also offers a Professional Development Reimbursement Program for Lake County providers to provide financial assistance for teachers who are seeking a degree in early childhood education. Applicants must be currently employed work with a Lake County provider and work directly with children birth to five years of age. The Coalition also provides guidance and financial assistance for those providers seeking to obtain their Gold Seal Accreditation.
The Big Blue Bus Program
The Big Blue Bus is a specifically designed bus that acts as a mobile resource for early childhood providers in Lake County. Through partnerships with Lake County’s Children’s Services Council and area foundations and businesses, the Coalition is able to provide this service to all Lake County providers free of charge. The Coalition now has two Blue Buses that travels throughout the community to reach children in private, public, faith-based or family home child care situations or in community events. The bus provides resource materials for parents and providers on topics ranging from kindergarten readiness to positive parenting. Early Childhood Specialist Nelida Diop offers a variety of services to providers and parents. When the Big Blue Bus travels to centers or family child care homes, Ms. Diop conducts science projects with the children, as well as reading and story time. An added benefit is that the children have time to learn and do activities on the computers that are provided on the bus.