The Early Childhood Coaching Handbook

Authors: Dathan D. Rush Ed.D., CCC-SLP, M'Lisa L. Shelden PT, Ph.D.; Foreword Author: Winnie Dunn Ph.D., OTR

Format: Paperback, 240 pages, 8.5 x 11.0
ISBN: 9781598570670
Price: $39.95

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Evidence-based and highly effective, coaching helps early childhood practitioners support other professionals and families as they enhance existing knowledge, develop new skills, and promote healthy development of young children. This hands-on guide shows professionals how to conduct skillful coaching in any setting—home, school, or community.

An expanded, more practical follow-up to the groundbreaking Coaching Families and Colleagues in Early Childhood, this is the guidebook that walks professionals step by step through the coaching process and shows them explicitly what best practices look like. Developed by the foremost authorities on coaching and informed by the authors' staff development and technical assistance activities with other professionals, this book directly addresses the real-world challenges of coaching and gives readers concrete guidance on successful strategies and interactions.

Preservice and in-service early childhood professionals will

  • master the five characteristics of coaching practices—observation, action, reflection, feedback, and joint planning
  • see exactly how to conduct a positive coaching session, with transcripts of successful coaching in action
  • learn about the qualities of effective coaches, including openness to experiences, adaptability, empathy, and honesty
  • adjust coaching techniques to meet the specific needs of early childhood educators, parents, and caregivers
  • incorporate coaching into professional development programs to ensure immediate use of the latest best practices
  • understand how coaching differs from other collaborative models, such as consultation, direct teaching, and counseling
  • discover cutting-edge early childhood research that demonstrates the effectiveness of a coaching approach

To keep their skills sharp and ensure adherence to best coaching practices, readers will get easy-to-use, photocopiable tools that help them implement coaching consistently and effectively. They'll also have samples so they can see how to use the tools to evaluate and improve their interactions.

With this essential coaching guidebook, every early childhood professional including developmental specialists, Early Head Start and Head Start staff, early literacy specialists, infant mental health specialists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, service coordinators, speech-language pathologists, and teachers will provide effective support to families and other professionals to enhance developmental outcomes for all young children.

Includes practical forms & tools:

  • Coaching Practices Rating Scale—determines how well a practitioner is using coaching practices with families or colleagues
  • Coaching Log—helps coaches record and critically analyze a coaching conversation
  • Coaching Plan—used to develop the initial coaching plan and the action plans for achieving desired outcomes
  • Framework for Reflective Questioning—helps coaches evaluate the entire coaching process, recognizing what worked and what could be done differently next time
  • Transcripts of successful coaching in action


Review by: Mary Jones, Part C Coordinator, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Boise

"This impressive collection of research references, definitions, concrete examples, and prompts for reflection serves as a one source guide for early interventionists engaged in coaching families. Each team committed to evidence based practices in early intervention should have a copy!"

Review by: Sue Reed, Director, Early Literacy for Every Child, University of Southern Maine

"This book makes coaching come alive! With pages and pages of real-life coaching dialog from home and classroom settings, this is an invaluable resource to any early childhood practitioner."

Review by: Camille Catlett, Scientist, FPG Child Development Institute

"Provides clear, thoughtful, well-researched answers, definitions, guidelines, and frameworks . . . a much-needed light at the end of the professional development tunnel."

Review by: Linda Labas, Early Childhood Coordinator, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (UCEDD), The University of Maine

"Finally a resource with information about 'why to' as well as 'how to' support professionals in the coaching role. Full of practical examples, resources and concrete strategies . . . A must-have for a coach's toolkit!"

Table of Contents

About the Authors
Foreword: Winnie Dunn
  1. Introduction to Coaching
  2. Research Foundations of Coaching
  3. Characteristics of Effective Coaches
  4. Coaching Compared with Other Approaches to Adult Interaction
  5. How to Use a Coaching Style of Interaction
    • Appendix A: Coaching Plan
    • Appendix B: Framework for Reflective Questioning
  6. Strategies for Learning the Coaching Process
    • Appendix A: Coaching Practices Rating Scale
    • Appendix B: Coaching Log
  7. Coaching Families
  8. Coaching Teachers
  9. Coaching as Part of Professional Development
  10. The Future of Coaching in Early Childhood Intervention


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