LEADing the way in Early Childhood Education and Care Through a Mentor/Protégé Program

  • Tina Bonnett
  • Krista Ly
Keywords: mentor, protégé, mentoring programs, qualitative research


Mentoring is an approach utilized by many professions because it has been deemed to be advantageous, most notably for entry-level practitioners, those in search of career advancement, and students engaged in service learning. Research exploring elements that inform meaningful mentor/ protégé relationships in the Canadian childcare sector is, however, lacking. This qualitative research study seeks to unearth attributes that influence a formal mentor/protégé experience. Fourteen professionals participated in a one-year program in Ontario. Applied thematic analysis was employed to explore journals, focus group discussion transcripts, and researcher field notes. Predominant themes uncovered include structures that support the pairing, reciprocity, outcomes, goals and motivators, and recommendations for delivery of future mentor/protégé programs. 

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