You don’t have to walk this path alone!

Step Up to Quality coaches help programs of all types, big or small, create individualized goals and action plans to improve quality. Your coach will help you identify and maximize your strengths and guide you along your path to quality improvement.

Step Up to Quality coaches are an asset for ANY program. Our coach provided resources to help us learn more about what we needed to accomplish to raise quality. She worked one–on–one with staff that needed assistance and together we developed action plans and goals.

— Center director, Step 4, Lincoln

Questions your coach might ask:

  • What do you want your program to accomplish?
  • What have you tried so far? How has it worked?
  • What options do you and your staff see for moving forward?
  • What kind of input do you want from a coach?
  • What is your program’s plan for moving up to the next step?
  • How can a coach best support your program?

You are not required to have a coach, but many participating programs agree that this is the most beneficial form of support offered by Step Up to Quality. Coaches provide an extra layer of support and encouragement for you and your program staff as you work toward your goals.

Our coach has been wonderful –– every interaction is positive and individualized for our program and our needs. She has helped us see things from a new perspective, but has also stayed open to how we do things based on our philosophies and goals.

— Center director, Step 2, Omaha

How do I get a Step Up to Quality coach?

There are now two different coaching opportunities for enrolled providers: quality foundations coaching and one-on-one coaching. Both forms of coaching are completely free and voluntary.

Quality Foundations Coaching

Enrolled providers can begin working with a Step Up to Quality coach once they achieve Step 1 (or enter at Step 3). This coaching will be in the form of weekly virtual meetings where providers will join together to learn about high-quality practices, gain motivation, prepare for one-on-one coaching and build a network of support across the state — all while having fun! 

Request to Join a Quality Foundations Cohort

One-on-One Coaching

Programs enrolled in Step Up to Quality can request one-on-one coaching once they complete the requirements for Step 2. If you are interested in a coach, please complete the Coach Interest Questionnaire over the phone with Step Up to Quality so we can learn more about your program’s specific interests and needs.

Request a Coach Interest Questionnaire

Interested in becoming a Step Up to Quality coach?

If you are a looking for a rewarding career in early childhood and are committed to helping programs understand and implement quality, consider applying to be a Step Up to Quality coach.

Coaches provide constructive feedback and suggestions to programs and collaborate with providers to draft and implement quality improvement plans. They implement a variety of strategies to engage providers in goal–setting and to facilitate growth.

Coach candidates should have a degree in early childhood education or a related field, have excellent oral and written communication skills, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to develop reports and track data. The ideal candidate has five or more years experience working in early childhood or a related field in a leadership role or as a coach or mentor.

Learn more about coach qualifications.

To apply to be a Step Up to Quality coach, complete the coach application and submit to the Nebraska Department of Education.

For questions about becoming a Step Up to Quality coach, contact Lynne Cook at or at 531-207-2218.