Evaluating a Coach-the-Coach Model with Community Childcare Providers to Support Social Communication Development with Children

Thursday, May 12, 2016: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Hall A (Baltimore Convention Center)
C. Watts, N. D. Bond, T. Nelson, J. Stapel-Wax and E. Wang, Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta, GA

The National Research Council (2001) found that early detection and 25 hours a week of active engagement promoted and encouraged success for all children entering Kindergarten. Using principles guided by the  SCERTS framework, (Prizant et.al,2005), a coach-the-coach model was implemented to guide front-line workers by training and providing feedback related to their use of transactional supports. Using strategies for adult learning to enhance collaboration amongst providers and coaches has been successful in early intervention to support positive developmental trajectories for children (Friedman & Woods, 2012). 


This project looked at improving the coaching abilities within Georgia’s Bright from the Start (BFTS) Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) professionals by utilizing a multi-phase coach-the-coach model focusing on increasing knowledge of typical child-development and detection of ASD and developmental disabilities using transactional supports to promote active engagement in early childcare settings. 


This project tracked the progress of 14 ECP’s (Early Childcare Providers) from Bright from the Start and 5- Infant Toddler Specialists and 9- Inclusion Specialists from the second year.  Through the coaching and collaboration strategies to promote adult learning, the project focused on increasing active engagement in the classrooms and an increased awareness of red flags for ASD to provide the support the children needed to be successful.  Coaching was conducted in three (3) 12-week phases that started out with heavier support and moved to less frequent support. Classrooms were observed at the start of the project and after a three-month period in order to determine if practices increased or decreased and sustained in community settings. Effectiveness of practice 1) rate of support and coaching provided by the ECP’s during video-recorded independent-classrooms sessions with childcare providers throughout the coaching process. period and (2 number of children identified at risk for ASD. The Social Emotional Engagement-Knowledge Skills (SEE-KS) rating form was used to determine an increase or decrease in the following domains; Fostering Engagement, Presenting Information in Multiple Ways, and Allowing Students to Act and Express Themselves in Multiple Ways(Prizantet.al,2005) 


The data from this coaching model yielded an increase in all three areas of that were measured. Fostering engagement increased by <0.0001, presenting information in multiple ways increased by 0.0002 and allowing students to act and express themselves in multiple ways 0.00018. Over two years of coaching, 14 children were identified as showing red flags for ASD.


These results show the coach-the coach model enhanced the use of the transactional supports used in the childcare settings. Seeing an increase in the amount of this coaching model yielded an increase in  the coaching and support provided by the ECP’s increased awareness of red flags for ASD. Throughout this coaching project, the ECP’s were proficient coaching and collaborating with others and used this to increase the knowledge in the childcare settings.