Providing a quality educational experience, inspired by the Montessori approach, for children farthest from resources.

Providing a quality educational experience, inspired by the Montessori approach, for children farthest from resources.

Workforce Enhancement

Our teacher workforce is the single most important contributor to a high quality early childhood education.

Workforce Enhancement Initiative

MHEL’s Workforce Enhancement Initiative focuses on enhancing teacher retention through interventions that include salary increases and training and testing their effectiveness on reducing turnover. MHEL launched the Workforce Enhancement Initiative in 2018 with the goal of enhancing the working conditions and well-being of its workforce. MHEL began delivering a set of interventions with teachers (starting with a significant increase in salaries of up to 20% in 2018) and testing the effectiveness of the interventions. Based on our initial findings, the wage enhancement substantially decreased turnover—80% for teachers and 79% for assistant teachers.

Workforce Recruitment

MHEL is addressing another intractable systemic issues in early childhood: workforce recruitment. MHEL has created a workforce pipeline with on-ramps through its Professional Learning Center. The CDA is a foundational credential in early childhood and serves as an entry point. MHEL is a pilot site for Teach For America in placing teachers in early childhood programs.

Professional Learning Resource

MHEL has embraced its role as a professional learning resource for early childhood professionals and has created a comprehensive and ongoing system of professional learning that employs a variety of strategies to provide professional development opportunities to both its early learning center staff as well as the broader early childhood workforce that include the CDA, Inclusive Practices in Early Childhood (IPEC) Credential, Place Based BA with University of Colorado Denver (UCD), and MA in Learning, Developmental and Family Sciences program offered in partnership with UCD.

Each professional development strategy in the MHEL system is designed to increase content knowledge, enhance practice through the use of coaching/consulting and practicum experiences, and create opportunities to meet the requirements for the state of Colorado’s leveled professional credentialing system—Professional Development Information System (PDIS). Training also incorporates a coaching/mentoring and/or practicum component to support implementation of new strategies.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, MHEL trained 230 early educators through its Professional Learning Center – including over 100 MHEL educators who received job-embedded coaching and/or participated in one of our continuing education programs.

To learn more, contact Mikayla Martinez, Chief Learning Officer, at or 303.962.2624.

Mile High Early Learning Centers
Eight early learning centers located throughout Denver.
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