Early Childhood Mentor Network

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A system of support for professional growth in early childhood careers

The Early Childhood Mentor Network (ECMN), under the guidance of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), is a collaborative group of experienced early childhood teachers serving as mentors to those new in their career.

Quality programs that support New Mexico’s young children and families depend upon a dedicated, experienced workforce. One way that the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) supports early educators and caregivers to advance in knowledge, connect with others, and grow professional opportunities is through mentorship.

For Mentors


  • Helping to shape the next generation of Early Childhood professionals in a growing community support system
  • ECECD Mentorship Certificate
  • Professional development and learning opportunities
  • Ongoing guidance from Mentor Network leadership
  • Reflective practice and networking with colleagues
  • Stipends of up to $300 per term


  • Associate’s Degree or higher in Early Childhood Multicultural Education or similar educational degree
  • Three years of classroom experience
  • Interest in mentoring pre-service teachers
  • Direct experience with New Mexico families


  • Apply online to become a mentor on the CNM website.
  • Answer questions about your experience, education, and interest in becoming a mentor
  • Include references, recommendation from director, and transcripts


  • Applications may be submitted during Spring through Summer. Upon receipt they are reviewed by the Mentor Network team within 10 days. New cohorts
    begin each Fall.
  • Once accepted, a new mentor attends a welcome workshop and orientation and is paired with a cohort that is overseen by a Lead Mentor for training and advisement.
  • Required coursework offered by CNM includes two, three-credit classes on mentorship in Fall and Spring with textbooks and college credit at no cost.
  • Once training is complete, mentors receive a State Mentorship Certificate, become part of the statewide network, and may be paired with local students.
  • Time commitment of mentors varies, and all interaction with mentees is currently held virtually.
  • Mentors meet with the network virtually each month to share experiences and knowledge with their peers.
  • Mentors find that the experience invigorates their own career, and leadership is applied in their workplace.

For Students


  • Connection with a trusted Early Childhood mentor for guidance and encouragement
  • High-quality learning experiences on the path to becoming an educator
  • Workforce development pipeline to job opportunities after graduation


  • Final year of an Associate’s Degree program in an Early Childhood track from an
    accredited New Mexico school
  • Practicum study in a lab school center or other local Early Childhood center
  • Mentorship opportunities for the Infant-Toddler Teacher Network are being developed with specific requirements
  • Visit the CNM website for updated information


  • Talk with a faculty advisor and express interest in connecting with a mentor
  • Faculty works to pair students with an experienced professional in the Mentor Network

What to Expect

  • Practicum faculty match each interested student with a mentor, preferably in their community for easy access, one-on-one learning, and local knowledge.
  • The mentor meets with the mentee in the classroom/virtual classroom during the practicum year to observe and offer insights and support.
  • Time commitment varies, and all interaction with mentors is currently held virtually.
  • Strong bonds develop and the mentor relationship often lasts beyond the college program.
  • Students are encouraged to continue their education and earn a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Positive mentorship experience and community connections lead to high levels of success with job placement and career confidence.
  • Former mentees give back by mentoring others.


CNM Early Childhood Mentorship Network gathering


Natane Lim
Early Childhood Mentor Network Program Manager
CNM School of Communication, Humanities, and Social Sciences


The program is working to establish mentorship connections with additional institutions of higher education, as well as Tribal and Spanish speaking communities. Visit CNM website for more information.