Improving Head Start Teachers’ Ability to Promote Children’s Social-emotional Development


By Ann C. Rivera, Ph.D., Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

In one academic year, teachers in 104 Head Start centers and 307 classrooms across the country increased their use of evidence-based practices in support of children’s social-emotional development. These improvements in teacher practice resulted from the large-scale implementation of three preschool enhancements tested as part of the Head Start CARES (Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion) Demonstration.

A new report evaluates the extent to which the demonstration successfully scaled-up the three program enhancements: The Incredible Years Teacher Training Program (IY), Preschool PATHS (PATHS), and Tools of the Mind – Play (TOOLS).

Each enhancement improved the specific teacher practices that it emphasized:

  • IY improved teachers’ classroom management climate
  • PATHS bolstered teachers’ social and emotional instruction
  • TOOLS increased teachers’ support of interactions and play

Each of the enhancements used a similar model of professional development — teacher training, curriculum-focused coaching, and related supports — to support teachers in delivering the enhancements as intended.

For additional information on the demonstration’s implementation and the teacher practice findings, visit the resources of ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation and the contractor for this project, MDRC.

Source: Administration for Children and Families

Available at:

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s