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Imagine Spotlight Pierce County: Diego Ramos

The Imagine Institute helps support early learning providers all across Washington State, and like to keep track of the progress these providers are making. This week, we want to introduce you to Diego Ramos, who is helping kids in Pierce County, and helping to start a new trend in helping other providers in his community.

 

MEET DIEGO

Diego lives in Tacoma and has been a licensed family home child care provider for about three years, but his training goes back even further than that. He grew up in El Salvador and moved to the United States when he was about 6 years old. He grew up, surrounded by early childhood educators thanks to his mom.

“My mom had a child care business in our home when I was growing up, so I have been seeing how being a provider works through my mom. Initially when I was younger, I wanted to dedicate myself to healthcare, but I decided the biggest way I could have an impact was through early childhood education.”

When Diego was around 12 years old, he started helping his mom with her child care business, and continued to learn about the industry throughout high school. Once he graduated, he went to Tacoma Community College to get his degree in early childhood education, and soon after, participated in the Imagine U mentorship program.

“I felt prepared in my schooling but didn’t know how to complete the paperwork or set up a policy handbook. I felt safer and way more confident talking to people daily through Imagine U about how to do things properly, how to find resources, and how to create a child care business.”

HELPING HISPANIC PROVIDERS IN PIERCE COUNTY

In April of 2022, Diego started his own child care business. He says Imagine helped him in ways he didn’t even think about, by offering him resources to get started.

“I was getting emails, mentors were calling. We stayed in touch and talked daily. I was able to create great relationships that I don’t think I would have gotten if I didn’t have the Imagine U mentor program.”

Diego grew up in the Tacoma area, and as he got his business started, he wanted to make sure to shine a light on providers working in Pierce County. So, he joined a group of 17 other providers who completed the Imagine U program to start a group called the Hispanic Educators of Pierce County (HEOPC).

“Basically, we want to raise awareness across the state, that it’s not just King County where you can find high quality child care. Pierce County should be getting just as much resources.”

So far, the HEOPC group has held several events around Pierce County, highlighting both child care and Hispanic heritage. Diego says most of the kids he helps in Pierce County are Hispanic, and it’s important to have a community that can share their knowledge with each other.

“It’s tough for Pierce County providers to go to trainings in King County. There was nothing like that in Tacoma. So, we want to change that.”

Diego says the Imagine Institute shaped his child care business and is still helping him learn and grow.

“It’s been great having that support group and being able to utilize the resources they provide. They are supporting us while in the journey of being a provider, not just setting up your business but keeping it going.”