On-Site Approaches to Quality Improvement in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: Building on the Research on Coaching

On-Site Approaches to Quality Improvement in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: Building on the Research on Coaching

This Child Trends brief looks at current research on the quality improvement (QI) practice of coaching and finds it to be a positive tool to improve quality of child care programs and child outcomes. However, there are gaps in research about the specific features and processes of coaching techniques that are most effective. Coaching, defined as “someone with specific expertise working with an early educator on implementing specific practices,” is a common practice for trying to improve the quality of early childhood programs.

Researchers reviewed 44 studies examining the practice of coaching in early childhood settings. Of these 44 studies, 33 included a measurement of coaching’s impact on early educator quality. Twenty-seven of these 33 studies found that coaching had a positive effect on the observed quality of early educator practice. Twenty-one of the 44 studies included measurements of child development outcomes in response to coaching practices. Of these 21 studies, 16 found that coaching has a positive effect on child outcomes.

The brief recommends focusing on QI practices not only at the classroom level, but also at the early childhood program and system level. The authors advise conducting future research that focuses on efforts to use coaching with program directors and across multiple classrooms. Additionally, the report suggests a greater research focus on system-wide QI practices.

Zaslow, M., Tout, K., & Halle, T. (2012). On-Site Approaches to Quality Improvement in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: Building on the Research on Coaching, Research-to-Policy, Research-to-Practice Brief OPRE 2012-40. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.