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N is for Note Impact of New Practices

In Quality First, we use the VISION model to guide the quality improvement journey and the process of quality improvement coaching. This is the sixth in a series about the stages of the VISION model. If you haven’t already, check out our blogs on vision casting, investigating current practices, setting goals, and implementing action steps., and ongoing monitoring and adjustments.

At this stage, you have finished the steps in your quality improvement plan. Congratulations! Now you may feel ready to move on to your next goal or task on your to-do list. But before moving on, take some time to think about the impact of new practices on your program quality.

Here are a few ideas:

Notice the impact

This stage is about noticing how new practices affect your program quality. Whether it’s new routines, teaching techniques or learning activities, take time to see the difference these changes have made. Are children more engaged? Are there differences in children’s behaviors? Are teachers more relaxed? Observing for a direct look at new practices in action is helpful. If you work with a Quality First coach or other technical assistance professional, ask them to observe and share what they see.

Consider the Process

As you’re thinking about the goal you completed, consider what you learned along the way. A few questions to consider:

  • What were the biggest successes? What contributed to those successes?
  • What were the biggest learning moments?
  • Were there action steps that were not completed? If so, what were the barriers? What shifts are needed to avoid those barriers in the future?
  • If you work with a coach or other technical assistance professional, what supports were most helpful? Least helpful?
  • What other types of support will be helpful in the future?


Completing a goal is a big deal! Celebrate your success.

  • Congratulate those involved. Some people prefer private recognition over public.. Ask your staff and colleagues what they like.
  • When noticing your team’s hard work, connect it to your program’s vision and the benefits for children.
  • Share your progress with the families you serve. Families love hearing about the improvements you’ve made.


Once you have put new practices in place, you need a plan to maintain them. It helps to put one into writing. A few tips:

  • Include new practices in your handbook and written procedures.
  • Select who will be in charge of ensuring new practices continue. If possible, identify a lead and support staff for a team approach.
  • Include regular check-ins on the new practice. Maybe it’s part of a regular classroom observation or checklist. Or you may include the topic in an annual training plan. The key is to plan regular times to review how the new practice continues.

Now that you have moved through the VISION stages, you’re ready to begin the cycle again. Start by revisiting your long-term vision for quality. Remember, every goal you complete moves you closer to your vision. And every step you take benefits the children in your care.

At Quality First, we love to hear from you. Share your innovative practices to help inspire others . Email us at QualityFirst@FirstThingsFirst.org.