Parent Aware, Minnesota’s voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), engages early care and education (ECE) programs across the state in quality improvement. A primary goal of Parent Aware is to connect families to high-quality care that supports children’s well-being and school readiness. To achieve this goal, Parent Aware offers a variety of resources to help ECE programs implement best practices and receive a Rating. Programs that want additional support prior to being Rated can participate in a Building Quality Cohort and receive 20 to 60 hours of free Quality Coaching for up to 12 months to learn and implement kindergarten readiness best practices. Understanding more about the content, delivery, and providers’ experiences of the coaching model can inform the Minnesota Department of Human Resources’ decision making about Parent Aware implementation, including trainings for coaches, development of coaching resources, and how coaches individualize their coaching strategies and activities depending on the characteristics of the program.
The purpose of this summary is to report key findings from two data collection activities: 1) surveys of Parent Aware Quality Coaches (n = 51) who support programs in Building Quality, and 2) interviews with
early care and education programs (n = 8) participating in Building Quality.
Coaches engaged in the four elements of the Relationship-Based Professional Development (RBPD) cycle—observation, providing feedback, modeling, and reflection—across multiple visits, with some elements occurring more often than others.
The Knowledge and Competency Framework (KCF) Observation Tools were used infrequently, by a small percentage of coaches.
Coaches are regularly setting goals with programs but are not always using Electronic Quality Improvement Plan (EQUIP) to track progress.
Programs that engaged in group coaching found this approach beneficial.
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