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Infants & Young Children





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Coaching is a form of consultation used in early childhood settings to support positive outcomes for young children and families. While some research shows the effectiveness of coaching on practice and outcomes, little information is available on the experiences and perspectives of “coachees” as recipients of coaching support. The purpose of this study was to understand, from the coachees’ point of view, the benefits and challenges of participating in an early childhood coaching relationship. Twenty-one parents, preschool teachers and childcare providers who had engaged in coaching relationships participated in interviews and completed surveys regarding their experiences and perspectives. Data were thematically analyzed. Five overall themes, and sixteen subthemes, emerged as salient to the experiences of these coachees: (1) qualities of the coach; (2) resources provided by the coach; (3) qualities of the coach-coachee relationship; (4) coachee transformation; and (5) challenges to the coaching process. This in-depth, qualitative examination of coachees’ experiences revealed a powerful story of the transformative nature of their partnerships with their coaches. The study has implications for hiring early childhood coaches, planning professional development activities for EC coaches, and implementing models of early childhood coaching.


This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in: Knoche, L. L., Kuhn, M., & Eum, J. (2013). “More Time. More Showing. More Helping. That's How It Sticks”: The Perspectives of Early Childhood Coachees. Infants & Young Children, 26(4), 349-365. This final article can be accessed at: