Coaching in early childhood is an interactive process of observation and reflection in which the coach promotes a parent's or other care provider's ability to support a child's participation in everyday experiences and interactions with family members and peers across settings. Focusing on collaborative relationships, coaching provides a supportive structure for promoting conversations between family members, childcare providers, and early interventionists to select and implement meaningful strategies to achieve functional outcomes that focus on the child's participation in natural settings. This article provides guidelines for early childhood professionals serving young children with disabilities and their families regarding whom and when to coach, and includes examples to illustrate the five phases of the coaching process: initiation, observation or action, reflection, evaluation, and continuation or resolution.
Senior Coordinator (Rush)
Director, Family, Infant and Preschool Program, Western Carolina Center and Research Scientist, Orlena Hawks Puckett Institute, Morganton, North Carolina (Shelden)
Developmental Consultant, Silver Spring, Maryland (Hanft)