All Our Kin Collaborates with Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral to Provide Three-Day Coaching Training

Technical Assistance Team
April 24, 2024 / 5 minutes mins read

In All Our Kin’s technical assistance (TA) work, we join forces with inspiring organizations across the country doing innovative work to grow and bolster family child care (FCC) in their communities. In this edition of our “All Our Partners'' series, we spotlight our partnership with Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral (TN CCR&R). Our new collaboration spans several TA program areas, and this piece focuses on our recent in-person education mentor coach training with the TN CCR&R team in Murfreesboro, TN.

AOK’s Education Mentor Coach Marina Rodriguez leading the group in a morning circle

For two decades, Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral (TN CCR&R) has been providing essential training and resources to early care and education professionals across the state of Tennessee. In 2023, they deepened their work with family child care educators statewide, bringing on a team of 17 new coaches dedicated specifically to supporting home-based child care programs. As part of building this new team, TN CCR&R reached out to All Our Kin to help train and equip the cadre of coaches.

All Our Kin is honored to partner with TN CCR&R as they embark upon this important and ambitious project to scale and deepen their services for family child care educators in Tennessee. We commend them for investing in a specialized team devoted to family child care, as we know it will have an impact on the supply, quality, and sustainability of child care in the state.

Over the course of a year, the coaching team will engage in trainings specific to FCC, including a Business Series Train-the-Trainer, a “Fundamentals of Family Child Care” workshop focused on the foundations of working with home-based child care educators, and an in-person training on relational, responsive, and reflective (3Rs) practice in educational coaching.

TA team members Marina Rodriguez (Education Mentor Coach), Kelly Ramsey (Network Development Strategist), and Travonda Davenport (Network Development Strategist) recently traveled to Tennessee to deliver an educational coaching workshop called “Grounding Your Coaching in the 3Rs.” This training, offered over three days, is steeped in All Our Kin’s unique FCC-focused coaching framework and is designed to create an interactive and shared learning environment for participants. Team-building and rich connections foster an environment meant to decrease the isolation that both educators and coaches in family child care can experience.

All Our Kin offers “Grounding Your Coaching in the 3Rs” to our partners nationwide virtually (an upcoming session is happening in early June!). During this in-person 3Rs workshop, the TN CCR&R team “deepened their emotional connections with each other and constantly connected the work to transformative outcomes for children,” according to Marina. Our facilitation team was impressed with the TN CCR&R coaching staff’s level of engagement and the true partnership that emerged, where both organizations were sharing expertise, experiences, and a sense of togetherness. “It was powerful to see us establish and build trust…[and then] see their vision come alive in terms of what their coaching model looks like,” said Kelly.

Marina leading the group in an exercise on our experience of ourselves and others

“After 30 years in the field I didn’t know what to expect from All Our Kin but I was pleasantly surprised,” noted Jennifer Haag, a member of the TN CCR&R coaching team. She continued, “I learned things about myself and others that I will use in my professional and personal life for years to come. It is an interactive and thought-provoking journey that I encourage any team to take to grow stronger.” The TN CCR&R team reflected that the training brought their work as coaches in family child care to the next level and increased their cohesion as a team. Another coach, Rebecca McDonald, shared that the series was ”soul searching, transformative, and reflective. Everyone working with educators should attend this class.“

Storie Ray, Family and Group Child Care Quality Coach at TN CCR&R shared this about her experience in the 3Rs:

This week has given me more confidence as a coach, a deeper understanding of myself, and a greater appreciation for my teammates. I was able to reflect on how my own sensitivities show up in my work and how they might show up for others I work alongside."

The TN CCR&R and All Our Kin teams together on the last day of the training

By the end of the training, All Our Kin saw the TN CCR&R team becoming the facilitators themselves. The team was imagining how they would imbue the learnings from the 3Rs into their coaching work with educators, apart from their interactions with All Our Kin. “That felt like the embodiment of a healthy partnership,” said Marina.

We want to thank the entire team at TN CCR&R for their ongoing partnership and participation in our technical assistance!