Coaching and Reflective Supervision in Early Childhood


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources. Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

parent liaisons talking to other parents


Coaching Parents of Young Children with Autism
Sally Rogers, et al.
Guilford Publications, 2021
A growing body of evidence supports the benefits of high-quality parent interventions for building social and communication skills in 0- to 5-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Only available as an eBook 

Coaching with powerful interactions : a guide for partnering with early childhood teachers
Judy Jablon, et al.
National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2016
This book is a practical guide for all coaches and professionals who support the work of teachers and includes access to 30 coaching videos and bonus material.
Call#: HV 854 .J11 2016

A critical introduction to coaching & mentoring : debates, dialogues and discourses
David Gray, et al.
Sage, 2016
This book introduces coaching and mentoring, written by an experienced and multidisciplinary team. Taking you all the way through from the emerging theory to informed practice, the book covers: skills, purposes and outcomes of coaching and mentoring processes, and the many settings in which they take place.
Call#: HD 57.7 .G75 2016 

The early childhood coaching handbook
Dathan Rush and M’Lisa Shelden
Zero to Three, 2020
This book provides a research based foundation for coaching early childhood and early intervention professionals. The authors provide concrete examples of how strategies can be applied to improve practices.
Call#: LB 1775.6 .R87 2020

Practical approaches to early childhood professional development : evidence, strategies, and resources
Pamela J. Winton, et al.
Zero to Three, 2008
This book is a comprehensive resource with practical strategies for promoting reflection among early childhood professionals. Accompanying CD-ROM lists hundreds of additional resources (including in print, on-line and on video) and contains many activities and course syllabi that can be used both in pre-service and in-service training.
Call#: LB 1732.3 .P895w 2008

Reflective supervision and leadership in infant and early childhood programs
Mary Claire Heffron and Trudy Murch
Readleaf Press, 2011
This comprehensive resource book provides background information about reflective supervision and practical advice for implementing this type of supervision in programs serving infants and young children
Call#: LB 1775.6 .R87 2011

Transformational Coaching for Early Childhood Educators
Constant Hine
Redleaf Press, 2019
The GROOMER Framework for Change Model™ is a mental model that offers an intentional framework to facilitate transformational lasting change. This workbook can be used by supervisors working with staff or peer-to-peer.
Only available as an eBook 


Bilingual Parent Coaching in Early Intervention Settings 
92 min; DVD 
PESI, 2020 
This video demonstrates how to serve bilingual families in early intervention settings and telehealth visits, discusses the roles of parent and therapist in EI bilingual homes, and considers the role of interpreters. It also presents tips, case studies, ethical considerations, and video examples of best practices.
Call#: LB 1775.6 .B5958 2020

EI: A Coaching Mindset – Considerations for Family Sessions
34 min; online
Central Institute for the Deaf, 2018
This video will refresh providers’ thinking with the strategies of experienced, working early interventionists who use the CID Domains of Knowledge as a framework for planning and preparing for family sessions. This course will help focus planning and preparation using a coaching model to accomplish the all-important goal of parent engagement, bringing results that last a lifetime. Note: this video is free, but you must register and purchase (for $0.00) the link to the video.

EI: Foundational Strategies for Coaching Families
35 min; online
Central Institute for the Deaf, 2018
In this video, working early interventionists share their experiences to help other professionals confidently work with families. Their field-tested strategies, examples and tips will guide professionals toward cultivating mutual respect and common purpose through coaching. Note: this video is free, but you must register and purchase (for $0.00) the link to the video.

Finding the words, finding the ways: exploring reflective supervision and facilitation
80 min; DVD
California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health at WestEd Center for Prevention and Early Intervention, 2012
This video discusses the benefits of reflection during the supervisory process and demonstrates strategies for reflective supervision. The accompanying manual provides additional resources for using the DVD in training setting.
Call#: HF 5549.12 .H382 2012

Learning through observation: five video vignettes to spark reflection and discussion
65 min; DVD
Zero to Three, 2003
This DVD presents five video vignettes that can be used to encourage careful observation and reflection of real-life interactions between professionals and families. Discussions follow each vignette and discussion questions are provided for further exploration.
Call#: BF722 L438 2003

Supporting the social emotional development of infants and toddlers through family coaching
24 min; DVD
Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI), 2014
Videos discuss and demonstrate positive strategies for communication among adults to support infants and toddlers.
Call#: WS 105.5 .E5 Su768 2014

Using Coaching Strategies to Engage With Families in an Early Intervention Context
33 min; online
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2016
This video, featuring Dathan Rush, describes characteristics of the coaching interaction style with parents of children receiving early intervention services.

Using Everyday Routines to Support Families in Early Intervention
80 min; online
UC Davis MIND Institute, 2019
This presentation describes the practice of using everyday activities and routines to support children and families in early intervention. The process of coaching families is detailed with tangible examples and resources for supporting family practitioners-partnerships.


The ASHA Leader 23(10)
From Couching to Coaching
Dathan Rush, (2018)
This article provides suggestions on using the coaching model to engage families in early intervention visits.

The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy 9(3), 1-7
They Said: Coaching Alongside Families in Early Intervention
Beth Elenko. (2021)
This article, included in a special edition dedicated to coaching in EI, provides a transcript of a conversation with Dathan Rush and M’Lisa Shelden about incorporating coaching practices into early intervention.

Topics in Early Childhood Special Education
Mind the Gap: Strategies to Bridge the Research-to-Practice Divide in Early Intervention Caregiver Coaching Practices
Mollie Romano and Melissa Schnurr. (2020)
This article examines the caregiver coaching divide and identifies strategies for researchers and Part C programs to bridge the gap so that all families benefit from a capacity-building approach during this critical developmental period of the child’s life. Using available evidence and implementation science frameworks, the authors suggest five actionable strategies for research and practice teams.

Young Children 65(6):86-91
Take Charge of Your Personal and Professional Development
Carla Goble and Diane Horm. (2010)
This article presents an overview of the changing landscape of professional development for early childhood educators. The article discusses of why professional development is important for early childhood educators and provides resources related to coaching and reflective supervision.

Young Children 66(1):50-55
Ten Tips for Coaching Adults: An Emotionally Healthy Approach
Rebecca Ruth Curtis, et al. (2011)
This article presents a practical discussion of ten important factors to consider when coaching adults to improve their caregiving practices.

Web Resources

10 Strategies for Engaging Parents (not Children?) during Tele-Intervention
This article from the Virginia early intervention program describes strategies to successfully engage families during live video visits in early intervention.

Coaching Families
This training module for Texas EI providers provides foundational information on the coaching approach to service delivery, offering the opportunity to observe each of the five fundamental coaching components through video demonstrations.

A Coaching Model in Early Intervention: What’s That?
Early Intervention (EI) programs serve families of young children (birth through 36 months) who have delays and disabilities. Recent movements in early intervention have emphasized caregiver coaching as an avenue for promoting family involvement and child outcomes. This article from the Military Families Learning Network, provides an over view of five coaching strategies used in EI.

Early Childhood Educator Central: Teaching Supports
This web-based resource includes articles and videos to help infant-toddler educators build competencies. Tools are provided for supervisors and administrators to assist in coaching infant toddler educators to improve quality of practices.

Early Intervention Specialist Program Coaching Manual
Ongoing professional development is critical to support early intervention providers’ implementation of best practices for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. This article, created by Early Intervention in Natural Environments Specialization Training (EI-NEST) at Kent State University, describes coaching in the context of supporting families in EI.

Foundations for Coaching in Early Childhood: Partnering with Parents and Professionals (video series)
This video training resource for early childhood coaches is based on the 5 key characteristics of coaching as outlined by Rush and Shelden. These characteristics can be applied to a number of early childhood settings.

Learning Lab: Exploring Coaching for Practice Change
These ECTAC (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center) web resources includes webinar videos and web-based tools to improve practice-based coaching. Tools are aligned to the DEC Recommended practices.

Practice Based Coaching Key Resources
Created by the US Office of Head Start, this web resource provides information about practice-based coaching and tools to implement coaching. Video resources are included.

Special Issue on Early Intervention
This special issue of The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy highlights current practice and research in occupational therapy with our youngest clients, from birth to 3 years of age, and their families in early intervention (EI).