Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education Project (ECE-ICHQ), 2014-2021

The goal of the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education (ECE-ICHQ) project is to:

  • Produce technically sound, systematic measures of the implementation and costs of education and care in center-based settings that serve children birth to age 5
  • Produce implementation and cost measures that can be used with existing measures of quality to examine the variation in ECE center capacities and resources that can make a difference in the experiences of children
  • Develop a feasible and useful instrument to guide the collection, development, and reporting of the measure for a broad range of users.

The final ECE-ICHQ measures what a center does to support quality, how quality features and practices are supported and implemented within a center, and how much the ECE services cost and how resources are allocated within a center.

The measures were developed through a literature review, consultation with experts, and a comparative multi-case study. A field test was scheduled to begin in March 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the field test was postponed. The project is planning data collection in spring 2021 to a small sample of centers from Phase II to understand how the tools collect information in the wake and aftermath of the pandemic. Once it is safe to do so, the field test will commence to further validate the measures. Following the field test, a user’s manual will be developed so that a broad audience including practitioners, state administrators, and researchers can use them.

Information collections related to Phase I of the Multi-Case Study were reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under ACF’s Generic Clearance for Pre-testing of Evaluation Data Collection Activities (OMB #0970-0355). Related materials are available on at the ECE-ICHQ Information collection page on RegInfo.gov Visit disclaimer page .

Information collections related to Phase II of the Multi-Case Study and the Field Test were reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under OMB #0970-0499. Related materials are available on at the ECE-ICHQ Information collection page on RegInfo.gov Visit disclaimer page .

The most currently approved documents are accessible by clicking on the ICR Ref. No. with the most recent conclusion date. To access the information collections (E.g. interviews, surveys, protocols), click on View Information Collection (IC) List. Click on View Supporting Statement and Other Documents to access other supplementary documents.

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation contracted with Mathematica Policy Research and consultant, Elizabeth Davis of the University of Minnesota, to launch the project.

Point(s) of contact: Meryl Yoches Barofsky, Ivelisse Martinez-Beck, and Tracy Carter Clopet.

Related Resources

Collecting data from center-based early care and education (ECE) settings poses unique challenges. Center directors and teaching staff have limited ability to participate in data collection activities because of time pressures and the immediacy of issues that arise in providing care to young children. Centers also vary widely in their size, funding, staffing and organizational structures, and quality, so instruments and methods for collecting data must be flexible enough to capture variation...

This report summarizes findings of a literature review and research syntheses in three areas — implementation science, early care and education quality, and costs. The goal of this effort was to create a draft conceptual framework to guide development of measures for the implementation and costs of early care and education in center-based settings that serve children from birth to age 5...