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The Head Start Early Learning Mentor and Coach grants funded 131 grantees in 43 states beginning in September of 2010, each with a project period of 17 months. According to the grant announcement, the grant funds paid for 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 coaches provided professional development to improve staff qualifications and training; assist grantees to promote positive, sustained outcomes for children; and promote career development in Head Start grantees. The grant funds did not prescribe the model of mentor coaching and grantees proposed approaches to fit their particular circumstances.

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...