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What is a Coach?

A coach provides relationship-based coaching to increase quality in early learning programs in accordance with the Colorado Shines QRIS Coaching Framework. Directors and teachers interact with coaches to directly improve the quality in classrooms as well as the programs as a whole. The individual either has an active Coaching Credential or is pursuing a credential (through 6/30/2016).

As it relates to Colorado Shines, the coach describes the “what” and the “why” (from a content expertise perspective). For example, what is a family handbook, what is included in it, and why is it important in implementing a high quality program.

In Sugar, a Lead Coach is assigned to each Early Learning Program participating in a Quality Improvement program. Coaching Requisitions will be assigned to the Lead Coach by default at the time the Requisition is created, but can be assigned to any other coach as needed.

What is a QI Navigator?

As it relates to Colorado Shines, the QI Navigator is assisting with the how (from a technical perspective). For example, how to navigate the Colorado Shines website and access surveys and the documentation functions. The QI Navigator is assigned directly to a site, and is the main point of contact for any questions that site may have. The QI Navigator also typically assists with the QI Spending purchases, and may be involved in actually processing purchases and submitting to finance for final review and approval.

In Sugar, a QI Navigator is assigned to each Early Learning Program that is eligible to participate in a Quality Improvement program. QI Dollar Requisitions will be assigned to the QI Navigator and can not be reassigned. If the QI Navigator changes, simply update the QI Navigator on the Account record, and that will update the assignment of related Requisitions. This ensures that the QI Navigator is always cc'd or receives appropriate workflow emails regarding the QI Spending.

Communication in Sugar

Sugar offers two modules to support, record, and report on the ongoing communication and quality improvement support provided to early learning programs: the Communication Log (Calls) and the Coaching Details Log. 

Your role and the purpose of your communication will dictate how your communication is recorded, along with your Council's internal procedures and any grant requirements. In some Councils, a staff person may work in multiple roles and provide support both as a Coach and Navigator. It is important to be aware of which QI support activities necessitate which skill set. 

When entering effort related to coaching, technical assistance, or general communications into Sugar, you should consider the following:

1. Are you a coach?


Your primary module to record your communication with early learning programs will be the Coaching Details Log. If you are a coach, the Coaching Type will depend on your credential:

  • If you are credentialed, select QRIS.
  • If you are not credentialed and pursuing a credential, select QI Navigator TA.

However coaches may use the Communication Log in the following situations:

  • When attempting to schedule coaching, you should be prepared to record that communication with the early learning program. 
  • If the Schedule Attempt is not successful, record the schedule attempt in Sugar in a communication log. Unsuccessful scheduling attempts need to be recorded 100% of the time.
  • If the schedule attempt is successful you do not need to create a communication log. Create a Coaching Details Log instead. In the Status field, choose Scheduled.
  • Brief, ongoing communications with early learning programs may be recorded (at your Councils’ discretion) in the communication log. Typically, these are characterized as quick-hit supports that are less than 15 minutes (the billing threshold for a QI Coaching requisition). Note: You should be using Coaching Details for all calls longer than 15 minutes and anything that should be billable. 
    • An example of a communication log may include answering a short question over email.

2. Are you a program staff (such as a QI Navigator) providing technical assistance to a site (and do not meet the either coaching options)?


Use the communication log to track both inbound and outbound communication.  The Related To field will tie all communication to the early learning program’s Account in Sugar. Recording communications with early learning programs in Sugar allows all team members to review and feel more informed in supporting the program.

  • All outreach activities can be tracked – check with your Council to determine what, if any, requirements you have to track outreach activities beyond the initial outreach to all eligible sites.
  • Ongoing and Colorado Shines support communication can also be tracked.
  • The duration, purpose and funding stream are recorded.


There are many reasons why you may want to record a communication.

  • Outreach – information related to Council and community activities, events, and opportunities for feedback and participation. For example.
  • Spending Outreach - information specifically related to notifying the council about upcoming QI Funding opportunities including deadlines and how to apply. Note that 100% of all eligible providers must be contacted about spending outreach.
  • Scheduling Request – If a coaching visit attempt is successful, you only need to create a Coaching Details Log and do not need to create a communication log entry. However, if the coaching visit attempt is unsuccessful, use the communication log to track unsuccessful attempts. Use the communication log to also record scheduling notes.
  • Colorado Shines Support – Rating TA – Colorado Shines support related to the rating preparation that is time bound to the 2 months of the rating.
  • Colorado Shines Support – General – ongoing support related to Colorado Shines outside of the rating window.
  • PDIS Support – Support related to questions about the Professional Development Information System, including but not limited to registering and credentialing
  • Funder Requirements – Additional requirements for contacts that do not including spending outreach, Colorado Shines support, or support not listed in other categories.
  • ecConnect Support – Support related to accessing and using ecConnect, the provider portal for accessing QI resources. For example, if a provider doesn't understand how to use the Spending Module or needs their password reset.
  • QI Spending Support – Support related to helping an early learning program spend their QI funds. This may include support related to allowable expenses for a funding stream or communication related to back ordered items, balances, and shipping information.
  • Professional Development Support – Support related to registering for trainings and your Council offerings.
  • Basic Tech Support – Computer and technology support. This may include browser suggestion.
  • Other - Items not listed in this Communication Purpose. Make sure to include details in the Internal Notes field.
  • Not Applicable – Please use this rarely but if the categories above don’t fit the support you provided, your communication should be noted as not applicable. Make sure to include details in the Internal Notes field.


Communication Log Guidance

You are welcome to record any Communication that you feel is noteworthy in Sugar even if it is less than 15 minutes. Please use your professional judgement and think about whether that information is necessary and useful for other people on your team to reference.


Common Tasks by Role


QI Navigator


How to record in Sugar

How to create a Colorado Shines program profile



Communication Log

Suggested language to improve a policy in an employee handbook



Coaching Details log (if more than 15 minutes of support)

An email blast about a new QI funding opportunity



Communication Log

Rating debrief/consultation



Coaching Details Log


Primary Modules:  Coaching Details, Communications

Related Modules: Reports

Last Updated on: July 4, 2016