Workforce Development

Critical Competencies Coaching Program

The ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ Coaching Program supports and enriches coaches’ knowledge of and capacity to integrate the ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ into their direct practice with early childhood educators and program leaders.

ZERO TO THREE Expert Faculty will guide a cohort of up to 30 coaches (or other Technical Assistance providers) through a five-part program that equips them with strategies and resources to help their coachees reflect on, practice, and advance the Critical Competencies. Coaches receive a robust toolkit that includes: concept summaries, reflection prompts, audio and video files, the Critical Competencies eBook, access to an online community of adult educators, and more.

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The ZERO TO THREE Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ Coaching Program consists of the following five components:

Part 1: Orientation Web Meeting

ZERO TO THREE Faculty facilitate this 90-minute, interactive web meeting. During the event, participants:

A. Become familiar with the objectives, content, and structure of the Coaching Program;
B. Meet one another; and
C. Gain the information needed to set their own expectations for professional growth and learning.

Part 2: Critical Competencies Online Course

The full Critical Competencies Online Course is composed of 13 modules, one for each of the sub-areas in the model illustrated above. All courses use observation, modeling of best practice, critical thinking, and reflection on one’s own practice to facilitate and support knowledge and skill building.

The modules are designed for educators, who work in either home-based or center-based group settings with children under three years of age. Coaches and other Technical Assistance providers complete the Course as part of this Coaching Program to gain a full understanding of the Critical Competencies model in theory and practice. The courses provide opportunities to observe, understand, and reflect on critical interactions with infants and toddlers that support and nurture their development.

Within each module, learners will explore four age-based tracks: infants, toddlers, 2-year-olds, and mixed age. Each age track leads the learner through a series of three stories, or scenarios, and takes approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. At the end of each age track, and at the conclusion of the module, the learner is prompted to reflect on the information that has been presented and its application to their own practice.

Part 3: Onsite 2-Day Coaches' Seminar

Following the Coaching Program cohorts’ completion of the online course, two of ZERO TO THREE’s Expert Faculty will provide an onsite Coaches Seminar. This onsite experience provides the coaches with an opportunity to explore the online course content in depth and discuss and practice coaching skills and strategies for use in supporting integration of the Critical Competencies into the practices of early childhood educators and program leaders.

Participants in this coaching development opportunity will:

  • Reflect on their current beliefs, knowledge, and practice
  • Identify, analyze, and begin applying understanding of the Critical Competencies that support social-emotional, cognitive, and language and literacy development in children, ages birth through 3, and related coaching practices
  • Explore and begin integrating the Critical Competencies model and resources into current and potential coaching plans, curricula, and strategies
  • Explore the Critical Competencies coaching e-resources

Part 4: Wrap-up Web Meeting

ZERO TO THREE Faculty facilitate this 90-minute, interactive web meeting with the following goals to reflect on and discuss:

A. Questions, ideas, etc. on using the e-resources;
B. Concrete examples of coaching strategies planned or implemented;
C. Next steps for the cohort members; and
D. Additional supports available from ZERO TO THREE

Part 5: Additional Supports

ZERO TO THREE offers additional one-time and recurring supports for early childhood coaches, including:

  • Office hours: Virtual office hours for discussion with ZERO TO THREE’s Expert Faculty
  • Online Reflection Tool™ administrative and analysis support
  • Online coaching and adult educator communities: Connect with ongoing supports and access peer exchange opportunities through ZERO TO THREE’s online platform.

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