ERIC Number: ED566254
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Reference Count: 64
Defining and Measuring Quality: An In-Depth Study of Five Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement Systems. OPRE Report 2011-29
Caronongan, Pia; Kirby, Gretchen; Malone, Lizabeth M.; Boller, Kimberly
Administration for Children & Families
Quality measurement serves as a foundation for child care Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). Understanding the variation that exists in quality measurement, the different contexts in which states make decisions, and the factors that play into their decisions can help administrators identify where their state may fall along the spectrum in practice (or the direction in which they should steer), and can help researchers design approaches that take these differences into account. Such information can also aid in identifying opportunities for moving toward some common practice and research goals. The quality components included in a QRIS define a state's framework for measuring quality and signal to providers and parents the practices that should be included in high-quality early child care and education programs. There are commonalities in the quality categories that are included across QRIS (Tout et al. 2010), demonstrating that many states and communities are using a similar foundation upon which to build their rating systems. However, the manner in which states and localities combine and aggregate these quality categories to develop QRIS ratings has many nuances, producing rating systems with important variations that can impede direct cross-QRIS comparisons and research approaches. Recognizing the need for information on the quality measurement practices in QRIS, this in-depth study of select QRIS was launched as part of the Child Care Quality Rating Systems (QRS) Assessment project, funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families. Approaches used by states and communities to measure quality through the QRIS were examined by focusing on three research questions: (1) What is the variation in how select QRIS define and measure quality, and what accounts for the variation in their approaches?; (2) What are the specific processes used by select QRIS to measure each component of the quality rating and determine the overall rating level?; and (3) What is the availability of consistent and reliable data on quality ratings within select QRIS and how are the data currently being used? To answer these questions, five QRIS were selected for the in-depth study: Miami-Dade County, Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Pennsylvania; and Tennessee. A summary of key characteristics of the five QRIS is presented. Licensing and NAEYC Accreditation Requirements for Center-Based Programs are appended.
Descriptors: Child Care, Early Childhood Education, Rating Scales, Measurement Techniques, Data, Information Utilization, Access to Information, Educational Quality, Evaluation Criteria, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Validity, Reliability
Administration for Children & Families. US Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Washington, DC 20447. Web site: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: Administration for Children and Families (DHHS), Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; Child Trends; Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Pennsylvania; Tennessee
Grant or Contract Numbers: HHSP233200800394G
IES Cited: ED555393