Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis (CCEEPRA), 2005-2018

Project Overview

The Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project is a contract awarded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation to Child Trends. The purpose of this contract is to support the provision of expert consultation, assessment and analysis in child care and early education policy and research to the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), including activities related to: (a) providing expert advice, assistance and consultation in support of the agency’s research priorities and goals; (b) conducting assessment, analyses and summaries of policies, practices and research of relevance to the agency’s mission; (c) conducting studies to inform policy and practice and the development of new research priorities; (d) identifying and refining measures and instruments to improve the collection of data related to program policies and practices, and to program outcomes for families and children; (e) identifying sources of data and conducting statistical analyses on national and other original data-sets to answer questions of relevance to the Agency on child care utilization, child care supply, and the effects of child care and other early childhood policies on parental and child outcomes; (f) providing expertise in the preparation of written materials; and (g) convening experts on early care and education research and policy issues of relevance to the administration of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and other early childhood programs in States, Territories, and Tribes. Products supported through this contract include literature reviews, measures compendia, meeting summaries, briefing papers, webinars, research briefs, and research-to-policy/research-to-practice briefs.

The point of contact is Ivelisse Martinez-Beck.

  • Implications of QRIS Design for the Distribution of Program Ratings and Linkages between Ratings and Observed Quality

    Published: April 22, 2014

    The majority of states are currently implementing, designing, or piloting a Quality Improvement and Rating System (QRIS). One key component of a QRIS is the way it assigns program ratings. However, there is a great deal of variability in the structure states use to determine a program’s rating level, with states using three primary structures. Block structures specify a set of quality standards at each level of quality. Before a program can move up to a higher level of quality...

  • Supporting Continuity through Child Care and Development Fund Subsidies: A Review of Select State Policies

    Published: April 14, 2014

    The prevalence of child care changes is a noteworthy issue, and subsidies may assist low-income families in maintaining continuity of care. In this brief, authors review select Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) state policies, as of October 1, 2012, that have been, or may be, associated with exits from the subsidy program. The summaries provided may be used to contextualize research findings across states and to inform conversations about facilitating continuity in subsidized care among...

  • Early Childhood Developmental Screening: A Compendium of Measures for Children Ages Birth to Five

    Published: March 27, 2014

    This document describes a review of research on developmental screening tools designed for use with children from birth to age five. It provides detailed profiles for 16 commonly-used and/or publicly available developmental screening tools, as well as a set of summary tables providing an “at a glance” review of some common features across the tools. The compendium aims to translate technical psychometric information about the reliability and validity of the developmental...

  • Child Care Subsidy Literature Review

    Published: February 19, 2014

    What does recent research say about child care subsidies? This literature review summarizes recent research on topics related to child care subsidies with the intent to provide a foundation of empirical knowledge for state administrators, program developers, and policymakers as they choose among and implement subsidy policies. The three sections of the report include: descriptive information about subsidy use; a review of the literature addressing the association between subsidy receipt and...

  • Family-Provider Partnerships: Examining Alignment of Early Care and Education Professional and Performance Standards, State Competencies, and Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Indicators in the Context of Research

    Published: February 13, 2014

    Interest in the quality of provider-family relationships in early care and education (ECE) settings has sharpened the focus on defining and measuring elements of these relationships across settings for program improvement purposes.  In this brief, authors examine the alignment of research-based elements of family-provider partnerships with professional and performance standards from three national ECE organizations as well as selected professional competencies and Quality Rating and...

  • INQUIRE Data Toolkit

    Published: January 30, 2014

    The INQUIRE Toolkit grows out of the growing awareness of the importance of collecting data related to early care and education.  The Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium (INQUIRE) Data Work Group was convened to address a request from stakeholders for information on building an effective data infrastructure to support activities including monitoring, continuous program improvement, reporting, validation and evaluation in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and...

  • Child Care Decision-Making Literature Review

    Published: December 13, 2013

    Many factors influence parents’ decision-making in their child care choices. This literature review provides an overview of empirical knowledge about the factors that influence parents’ decision-making in their child care choices. Findings from the literature are organized into four main sections reflecting empirical findings about: 1) parents’ child care decision-making processes, 2) parents’ preferences and priorities in selecting a care arrangement...

  • Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say: Terminology Agnosticism in Child Care Questionnaires

    Published: December 2, 2013

    Child care survey data and analyses can be improved by stepping away from terminology which may have unclear or multiple meanings to different audiences. This brief, which draws from the Design Study of the National Survey of Early Care and Education, reviews the importance of child care data, as well as some of the pitfalls of misinterpretation of survey items. Through a review of literature, cognitive testing, and feasibility testing, the brief considers terminology issues as they... 

  • Conceptualizing and Measuring Collaboration in the Context of Early Childhood Care and Education

    Published: November 27, 2013

    There is increasing emphasis on coordination and collaboration across early care and education sectors to provide consistent, high-quality services to meet the needs of families with young children. This brief presents work on the conceptualization and measurement of collaboration in the field of early childhood.  The brief identifies key components of collaboration and encourages the development and use of measures of collaboration in the early childhood field.  The brief presents...

  • Validation of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS): Examples from Four States

    Published: November 18, 2013

    Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) are only useful if their ratings are valid.  This brief provides detailed examples and findings from QRIS validation activities in four states: Indiana, Maine, Minnesota and Virginia. The brief demonstrates how different states have approached QRIS validation, compares findings, and highlights challenges in designing and conducting QRIS validation studies. 

    Authors use a framework provided by Zellman and Fiene through the Quality Initiatives...

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