“Het eerste half jaar heb ik niet eens gecoacht … Ze moeten zich eerst veilig voelen”: De percepties van Coaches en Pedagogisch Medewerkers over Coaching en de Coachingsrelatie in Voor- en Vroegschoolse Educatie Voorzieningen
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Rationale: Professional development, in the form of coaching, is a ‘hot topic’ in childcare facilities with early childhood education (ECE). Despite the growing need to coach ECE teachers, little research is available on how, when and in what way to implement the effective features of coaching. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to better understand the conditions of coaching ECE teachers in language and cognitive developmental outcomes for children. Method: Semi-structured interviews were completed with coaches (n = 5) and ECE teachers (n = 8) who were working in five different childcare facilities with ECE. Coaches' and ECE teachers' perceptions of essential aspects of coaching and the coaching relationship were analysed. The collected data were examined through a thematic analysis via NVivo12. Results: Respondents described five essential aspects in coaching: observations, goal setting, feedback, reflection, and align with the dispositions of ECE teachers. Furthermore, respondents described seven essential aspects in the coaching relationship: responsiveness and sensitivity, safety and trust, dispositions of the coach, equality, empowerment and specified clarification of role coach as essential aspects in the coaching relationship. Conclusion: This study has shown that ECE teachers thrive best in a coaching relationship that offers them trust, safety and support and in which the role of the coach is clearly specified. Furthermore, as a coach, it is important to align with the preferences, strengths and needs of the ECE teachers and actively stimulate the ECE teachers to guide the early cognitive and literacy development of children in ECE.