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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...

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’ 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 of the ELMC project was to develop a conceptual model of coaching, both to provide a framework for the study and to help identify factors that grantee administrators should consider when designing and implementing a coaching initiative. The team chose a logic model framework for portraying coaching because it allowed them to characterize the entire coaching initiative—not only the structure and processes of various coaching approaches, but also the assumptions and resources, the intermediate outputs and potential outcomes, and the contextual factors that may influence the implementation and success of a coaching initiative. When establishing an early care and education coaching approach, program administrators will need to make decisions on multiple important dimensions. This brief presents key dimensions shaping coaching approaches, along with a graphic representation of the program logic model for coaching in early care and education settings.