Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Glossary

  • Community Leadership Team – Serves the same function as a Program Leadership Team in implementation initiatives in cross-sector organizations in communities that collaborate on early childhood initiatives, e.g., CO’s Early Childhood Councils or NC’s Smart Start Partnership communities. See also: Implementation Site and Program Leadership Team.
  • Data & Evaluation Systems – The statewide implementation, scale-up, and sustainability process uses data-based decision making in almost all activities to ensure that implementation fidelity and outcomes are achieved. Data and evaluation systems refers to the use of tools for data-based decision making and evaluation of progress and outcomes.
  • DEC Recommended Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education – These practices were developed by the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children to provide practitioners and families with guidance on the most effective ways to promote the learning of young children with and at-risk of developmental delays or disabilities. Also available in an online format.
  • Demonstration Site – Demonstration sites are selected local high-fidelity implementation sites or programs that agree to serve as showplaces for fidelity implementation of the targeted practices. A site might be one agency, one program, or one location.
  • Early Adopters – Refers to the first programs or sites to implement the selected practices.
  • Evidence-based practice – Early childhood interventions or supports that have published research documenting their effectiveness. Practices that are considered evidence-based are ones that have been demonstrated as effective within multiple research studies that document similar positive outcomes. In this guide, the term “evidence-based practices” is used interchangeably with “Recommended Practices” and in some cases “targeted practices” when describing statewide initiatives to improve child outcomes.
  • Expansion – Refers to a systematic effort to increase the number of practitioner, classrooms and/or home-visiting sites using the targeted practices with fidelity within a program so that more children and their families have ready access to effective interventions and supports. The Program Leadership Team plans for and provides an expanded infrastructure to support additional practitioners, classrooms and/or home visiting sites to achieve full implementation.
  • Exploration – The first stage of implementation that involves stakeholders in assessing needs, identifying the innovation or practices that will address the needs, creating support for implementing the practices, and deciding to move forward with the effort.
  • Feedback Loops – Refers to communication processes used to gain input, analyze data, and problem solve during the implementation process. Feedback loops are used among the State Leadership Team, implementation sites, and the Professional Development Network.
  • Fidelity – Fidelity refers to the degree to which an intervention or practice is delivered as intended by the developers and achieves expected results. Fidelity implies strict and continuing faithfulness to the original innovation or practice. Fidelity can be measured and compared to previous or future efforts to deliver the intervention or practice.
  • Full Implementation – The stage in the implementation process where most practitioners are implementing the set of practices with fidelity and are achieving the expected outcomes.
  • Implementation Site – Implementation sites are local sites or programs that participate in training and enroll in an effort to implement the targeted practices and have a leadership team to guide the process of implementation. A site might be one agency, one program, or one location.
  • Initial Implementation – The practitioner coach provides practice-based coaching to practitioners in implementing the targeted practices. The practitioner coach is typically employed by the program or site or has an ongoing relationship with the program.
  • Installation – The stage of implementation that involves building system capacity and resources to adopt the new practices with fidelity. This stage involves selecting sites, program coaches, determining evaluation methods and providing training and TA.
  • Practices – Practices are the teachable and doable behaviors that staff will use with children and families that can be used, replicated, and measured for fidelity.
  • Practice-Based Coaching – Coaching that is focused on the implementation of specified practices. Practice-based coaching occurs in the context of a collaborative partnership and uses a cyclical process of action planning, observation, reflection and feedback for supporting practitioners’ use of recommended practices.
  • Practitioner Coach – The (internal) practitioner coach provides practice-based coaching to practitioners in the implementation of the targeted practices. The practitioner coach is typically employed by the program or site or has an ongoing relationship with the program.
  • Professional Development Network – A group of carefully selected professional development experts who are responsible for delivering training and providing program coaching to Program Leadership Teams to establish high-fidelity implementation of targeted practices in implementation sites.
  • Program Benchmarks of Quality – A tool used by the Program Leadership Team to assess their status in the implementation of the elements needed to support implementation and scale-up of targeted practices. The Benchmarks of Quality are used to assess initial status, plan activities, and monitor progress through all stages of implementation. This tool comes in two versions: Benchmarks of Quality for Classroom-Based Programs and Benchmarks of Quality for Home-Visiting Programs
  • Program Coach – The (external) program coach provides guidance and support to the Program Leadership Team on the implementation of targeted practices. The program coach provides an outside perspective that is informed by experiences across programs. Program coaches also serve as state training and technical assistance providers.
  • Program Leadership Team – A leadership team that is charged with ongoing guidance of program-wide implementation of the targeted practices in a program. This team includes administrators in the program and key stakeholders (e.g., practitioners, family members). Other key roles on the team include the practitioner coach and data coordinator. The leadership team meets monthly to discuss program needs and program-wide implementation progress and to review data.
  • Program-Wide Implementation – Program-wide implementation refers to a systematic effort to support the implementation of targeted practices by all practitioners in the program. A Program Leadership Team guides program-wide implementation.
  • Pyramid Model - Refers to the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. The Pyramid Model is a positive behavioral intervention and support (PBIS) framework to help early educators build skills for supporting nurturing and responsive caregiving, create learning environments, provide targeted social-emotional skills, and support children with challenging behavior. The Pyramid Model as been implemented in over 20 states. This guide represents lessons learned, examples, resources and tools from that initiative.
  • RP2: Reaching Potentials through Recommended Practices - Refers to a technical assistance opportunity ECTA provided to four states to implement scale up and sustain selected DEC Recommended Practices that are most likely to increase child engagement. This guide represents lessons learned, examples, resources and tools from that initiative.
  • Scale-up – Refers to a systematic effort to increase the number of communities and settings using the targeted practices with fidelity within the state so that more children and their families have ready access to effective interventions and supports. The State Leadership Team plans for and provides an expanded infrastructure to support additional programs to achieve full implementation.
  • State Leadership Team Benchmarks of Quality – A tool used by the State Leadership Team to assess their status in the implementation of the elements needed to support implementation and scale-up of targeted practices in the state. The Benchmarks of Quality are used to assess initial status, plan activities, and monitor progress through all stages of implementation.
  • State Coordinator – Person(s) authorized by leading state agencies that facilitates and represents the State Leadership Team, supports the Professional Development Network, and coordinates the state implementation activities.
  • State Leadership Team – A team of cross-agency state leaders and agency representatives who are responsible for planning and supervising all aspects of the initiative including funding, policy initiatives, evaluation and data-based decision making, training and program coaching, site selection, publicity, dissemination, scale-up, and sustainability.