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ECLH Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions


What are you considering as the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley?
As the second cohort of this Fellowship, we are considering nominations and applications from the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley, and Central Coast specifically to support pre-existing channels of collaboration.

Understanding that regional identities span county borders, we are accepting nominations and applications from folks whose work directly impacts children birth to age 5 in the following counties:

  • Central Valley: Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare, Kings, Stanislaus, San Joaquin
  • San Francisco Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma
  • Central Coast: Santa Cruz, Monterrey

Do you have to live in the San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, and Central Coast counties named for this fellowship?
No, we understand that the cost of living is rising everywhere in California. The impact of the fellows’ work must cover the identified counties.

This is called the California Fellowship for Early Care, Learning, and Health, why are you selecting from only a certain part of the state?
Knowing how vast the ECLH field is, we are taking a regional approach to a statewide issue in order to prioritize relationship building and cross-discipline collaboration. We are choosing to concentrate on 3 regions to deepen the impact of this leadership development opportunity and to strengthen already existing collaboration pathways. This first year is focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, and the Central Coast. It is our hope but without certainty given our current economic condition to extend the Fellowship to future regions in following years.

If I get nominated, will I automatically make it into the cohort?
No, we will review all nominations to make sure that all criteria for the fellowship are met. From there, there will be an invitation to apply to the Fellowship. After reviewing applications, we will interview candidates in order to intentionally create a dynamic and diverse cohort of ECLH leaders.

How do I decide who to nominate from my organization?
We encourage folks to nominate as many people who fit the criteria for the Fellowship. We are especially seeking emerging leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to the field and who can really benefit from a leadership development experience like this Fellowship. We are NOT seeking “the best” leaders. We are intentional valuing and prioritizing direct experience working with the most underserved children. See next question.

Can I nominate more than one person from my organization?
Yes! Nominating multiple people from your organization does not “pit” one person against the other. In our cohort curation process, we consider and seek a diversity of individuals from multiple lenses including: gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, professional background, number of years of years in the field, role in organization, and role within the ECLH field.

We are especially seeking direct care providers or those with direct care experience, people of color, multiple language speakers, and those who seek to apply an equity lens to their work.

Is the request for 4 years of experience in early care, learning and health for emerging leaders or is the intent to attract candidates already in leadership positions?
Both! The 4 years of experience is intended to create a cohort of professionals invested in furthering their careers within the ECLH field. With that being said, a diverse cohort experience for Rockwood also means a diversity in professional experience and leadership positions. We want to break the isolation faced by top executive leadership while supporting the relationship development of those earlier in their careers.

I fit all the ECLH criteria, but I’m not sure if I’m the type of leader you’re looking for what should I do?
At Rockwood, we know how real imposter syndrome is AND we believe that everyone is a leader. Please nominate yourself or nominate those who you believe might not see themselves as an ECLH leader. Especially for direct care providers, health practitioners, or anyone else who sees themselves at the fringes of the ECLH field, we most especially are encouraging you to nominate yourself or those who may not see themselves in a “leadership development fellowship.”

This Fellowship is not about finding “the best” leaders within the ECLH field. We are seeking those who are eager for a leadership development opportunity that incorporates personal transformation and relationship building. We are looking for those with a clear commitment to the ECLH field—both established and emergent leaders. We are looking for leaders who are willing to be vulnerable and self-reflective about their leadership journeys. We are very intentional about creating a multi-faceted cohort of ECLH leaders who are ready to fortify their skills towards a vision of high quality, affordable, accessible, and equitable educational systems for all children.

Will the first session be held virtually, if necessary?
Yes! The safety and wellness of the fellows, trainers, and staff are our highest priority.

Why should anyone who is busy doing the work within ECLH make time for this Fellowship?
With so much uncertainty in the field and in the world right now, it is especially difficult to take time off for professional development. To that end, we are providing substitute teacher stipends for direct service providers, childcare stipends, travel stipends (when it is safe to travel to meet in person), and 2 coaching sessions per fellow to make the participation in this Fellowship as easeful as possible. It is intentionally created to center the experience of child care providers and those who serve our most under-resourced children.

What makes Rockwood different than other professional development opportunities?
Rockwood knows that it is new to the ECLH field. We have been supporting the transformation of thousands of community leaders for the last 20 years. Participants can expect personal transformation in service of their leadership, development in their own leadership skills based on Rockwood’s 6 core leadership practices, and guest trainers who are experts within the ELCH field.  Not only will participants be personally transformed, they can expect to intentionally build relationships with diverse colleagues from the many sectors within the ECLH field.

Who is Rockwood and why should I trust your organization to deliver effective leadership development for the ECLH field?
At Rockwood, we believe that everyone is a leader. We believe that the ability to inspire and align others is essential in every role, and at every level. We believe that the development of concrete skills, the space to slow down, and the development of community is transformative not only for individuals but for entire movements. We don’t promise to be perfect but we do promise to be present in meeting the emerging needs of the ECLH Fellows.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is going to happen at this training?

Rockwood trainings are designed to help you to create more effective, sustainable, humane life. Our curriculum is led by trainers who are steeped in leadership and organizational development. You’ll experience our curriculum through a variation of activities, including visualization, personal journaling, pair work, and group work. You can review training descriptions and their agendas for the Art of Leadership. You can also see What to Expect. We encourage you to also reach out to the Rockwood alum network, or any colleagues who have been through Rockwood’s trainings, to learn their experiences.

How much is the training fee?

Rockwood trainings are offered on a sliding scale basis. To determine your fee, review the charts on the Fees & Policies page, or go directly to the online application form to answer one of the questions in the “Training Fee” section of the form.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes! Please contact to discuss payment plan options.

I really want to go, but I need to convince my boss that the training is worth the time and money. Any tips?

Graduates of Rockwood’s trainings consistently tell us that they return to their work feeling affirmed about their purpose, and their strengths, which in turn transforms their organization. According to third party evaluations Rockwood conducted in 2009 and 2016, our trainings increase feelings of satisfaction and job effectiveness, deepen leaders’ partnership skills, and give alums a better understanding of their leadership style.

How have past alum raised or found funds to attend?

Past participants have contacted their organization’s foundations to apply for discretionary or capacity building funding. Please check out our Raising Resources blog post for a sample fundraising letter and more support.

I’m having technical trouble applying.

Please contact us at (510) 251-2500 ext. 129 or, and we can help you complete your application.

Do I have to be present for the entire training?

We have an agenda full of rich curriculum, and ask that you be present for the entire training from beginning to end. When applying, please choose dates in which you’re available for the entirety of the training. If a scheduling conflict comes up after applying or being accepted to a training, contact us at (510) 251-2500 ext. 129 or We’ll work with you to find the best solution to ensure you’re able to be present for an entire training.

Do I have to stay on-site during the trainings?

Based on the feedback we’ve received, when our participants stay on-site for the duration of the entire training, it allows them to build community with others at meals, and in the evening hours. For this reason, we require participants to stay on-site at the retreat center as a part of the training experience, rather than commute to the training.

Can I request a single room?

There is an extra fee for a single room. Depending on site availability, we will do our best to accommodate requests for single rooms but are limited by the capacity at the sites. We have heard from our participants that having a roommate is an important part in building relationships with other leaders at the training. We try our best to pair roommates with similar interests to help ensure a meaningful experience. If you have specific needs for your room, please let us know.

Are training sites accessible?

For information on training site accessibility, please view individual site pages here. If you need more information, or don’t see your training site listed, please contact Eileen Hazel.

What should I bring to the training?

Everything you need for a several night stay in a nice facility. This might include:

    • sturdy, flat-soled shoes
    • comfortable clothes and raingear depending on the weather
    • journal and/or book
    • earplugs (in case you’re a light sleeper, and/or your roommate happens to snore)
    • toiletries

Check the page for your training site for more information about recommended items to bring.

What if I need a W-9 from Rockwood?

You can download Rockwood’s W-9 here.

What if I need a VISA letter?

First, schedule a VISA interview with your embassy, if needed. Next, contact us, and provide the following information for a VISA letter:

  • Embassy Address :
  • Full name :
  • Date of birth :
  • Place of birth :
  • Passport no. :
  • Place of issue :
  • Authority :
  • Date of issue :
  • Expiration date :
  • Citizenship :

Can I stay extra days at my training site?

Please contact your site about their availability and pricing for the dates you hope to stay outside of the scheduled training.

Can I bring my family to the training?

Currently, Rockwood does not allow children in the training room to ensure that participants are fully engaged in the curriculum, and with one another. For questions about caretakers and children staying on site, please contact