Imagine Staff Spotlight: Nadia Burkur

This week, we’re proud to feature Nadia Burkur, who is child care provider and mentor in Washington.


It’s not something she thought she’d be doing, but now Nadia Bukur says child care has become a passion for her. Working with the Imagine Institute as a mentor, she is helping others in her community become providers, and take advantage of the opportunities being offered.


Nadia came to the Western Washington from Ethiopia in 2000, with her family. She has two boys and started out working as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She enjoyed her job but was having trouble finding child care for her sons. She found someone in her area that was offering child care out of her home, and shortly after, Nadia started learning about the possibility of being a provider herself.

“When I was thinking about child care it was expensive. I didn’t know there was government help, but through my work as a nurse, I found out I could get federal help.”

Nadia then started offering child care out of her home in 2011 and has been thriving ever since. Nadia says she has a desire to learn, so she is always looking for ways to improve, but it can be hard for many providers who may not have the extra time. Nadia says that’s why Imagine is so important for providers.

“We come from Africa, when you come here you want to work, you want to learn, so you are always looking for ways to be better. Before the process was more simple. They did an evaluation and then you got your license. Now you have help, you have a coach, you have classes. I use all of it.”


Nadia found Imagine 3 years ago. She heard about it from another provider during one of the classes she was taking, and the started to read more on their website.

“I started getting training and I liked it. I liked the way they helped with child care providers.”

After seeing Nadia’s dedication, Imagine reached out to her in 2021 to see if she would become a mentor. Nadia speaks Arabic and she jumped at the chance to offer support to those who are looking to become providers. She is now a mentor with the Child Care Stabilization Grant program.

“When there are any questions about child care, I can explain it to them, any grants they need. There are a lot of people asking about how to get a license, and I help them out.”

Nadia has already helped at least two Ethiopian providers open a child care space. She is also currently working with three interns. Nadia says there is a lot of interest and Imagine creates a simple and easy space for people to learn more about becoming a provider.

“Imagine changed everything. They are helping create more child care and helping the country because they are getting financial and educational help. Imagine has helped providers and children a lot.”