Early Learning Mentor Coach Study (ELMC), 2011–2014

Project Overview

The Early Learning Mentor Coach Study (ELMC) was a descriptive study of professional development grants awarded competitively to Head Start programs. The Head Start Early Learning Mentor and Coach grants were funded in September of 2010 to 131 grantees in 43 states, each with a project period of 17 months. According to the grant announcement the ELMC funds were to pay mentor coaches to provide on-the-job guidance, technical assistance and training to classroom teaching staff, home visitors and family child care providers who work in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The overall goal of the coaches was to improve staff qualifications and training; assist grantees to promote positive, sustained outcomes for children; and promote career development in Head Start grantees. The model of mentor coaching was not prescribed, and grantees proposed approaches to fit their particular circumstances.

This Mentor Coach Study described the implementation of the Head Start coaching initiative and identified variations in approaches. Research questions included:

  1. How are grantees implementing the mentor coach initiative?
  2. What are grantee administrators, coaches and staff perceptions of coaching?
  3. What are implementation challenges and perceived areas of satisfaction?

The project team also developed a conceptual model to support program decision-making when establishing or refining a coaching model.

The contract was awarded to American Institutes for Research (AIR) in June of 2011. MEF Associates was subcontracted on the contract.

The point of contact is Wendy DeCourcey.

  • The Descriptive Study of Head Start's Early Learning Mentor Coach Grant Initiative: Final Report and Appendices

    Published: January 31, 2014

    The study presented in this report describes the objectives, activities, approaches, strategies, and other aspects of the Early Learning Mentor Coach (ELMC) initiative from the perspectives of HS grantees, coaches, and staff. In October 2010, the funds to support the ELMC initiative were distributed to 130 grantees in 42 states and the District of Columbia for a seventeen month period. Grantees used the funds to hire coaches to provide on-the-job guidance, training, mentoring and technical...

  • Putting the Pieces Together: A Logic Model for Coaching in Head Start

    Published: January 22, 2014

    This logic model was developed as part of the Descriptive Study of the ELMC Initiative. In September 2010, the Office of Head Start (OHS), in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Administration for Children and Families (ACF), awarded 17-month Early Learning Mentor Coach (ELMC) grants to 131 Head Start (HS) grantees. Contractors conducted a descriptive study of the ELMC initiative, detailing the coaching approaches HS grantees used in their programs. A key task...

More Reports on this Project