The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) was created to improve practice in Head Start programs and help more than a million young children make gains in early learning and development.

Supported by a five-year grant from the U.S. Office of Head Start that concluded in 2015, this nationwide effort brought early education research and practical knowledge together to identify the research-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment tools that raise child outcomes and promote school readiness. NCQTL also supported application of new instructional techniques and curriculum through coaching, feedback, and other professional development approaches.

NCQTL and its academic partners worked toward these overarching goals:
• To identify the research-based practices that support school readiness.
• To work with Head Start programs and staff to inform development of relevant training materials and products.
• To improve professional development through individualized and innovative coaching and mentoring strategies for Head Start teachers and staff.
• To encourage effective transition to kindergarten.
• To professionalize early childhood education and to develop and implement degree-bearing higher education curricula that is affordable, accessible, relevant and effective for Head Start teachers.

University of Washington College of Education professors Susan Sandall and Gail Joseph led the NCQTL's work.

In 2016, NCQTL launched EarlyEdU to continue its mission to strengthen the early childhood workforce.

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