Variations in Implementation of Quality Interventions: Examining the Quality-Child Outcomes Relationship in Child Care and Early Education (VIQI) 2016 - 2021

Experts agree that the quality of children’s early care and educational experiences is critical for promoting children’s development. However, there is a lack of consensus around which aspects of quality matter most, what levels of quality are essential for promoting children’s development, and how quality enhancement efforts should be designed in order to reliably promote children’s developmental outcomes, particularly in light of the varied landscape of child care, Head Start, and early care and education nationally.

The VIQI project is a large-scale, rigorous, multi-year study that started in 2016 and is being conducted in two key stages to address these issues and to build substantial new evidence to inform center-based child care and Head Start policies and practices. The VIQI project is guided by the following research questions:

  • Do overall improvements in classroom quality promote children’s developmental outcomes?
  • Do different dimensions of classroom quality yield different effects on children’s developmental outcomes?
  • Do critical levels in classroom quality need to be met in order to promote children’s developmental outcomes?
  • Do the effects of classroom quality — different dimensions or levels — on children’s developmental outcomes differ, depending on child, staff, and center characteristics? Do differences in children’s developmental outcomes vary based on the initial levels of classroom quality?
  • Do classrooms with varying initial levels of readiness to implement the intervention benefit from quality improvement efforts differently? Do classrooms with varying initial levels of classroom quality benefit from quality improvement efforts differently?

The first stage of the VIQI project includes a pilot feasibility study to refine protocols and measures to inform the second stage, a larger-scale impact and implementation study. At the core of the project is a 3-group randomized controlled study (i.e., two intervention groups, one comparison group) testing two theoretically distinct interventions consisting of curricular and professional development supports that target different dimensions of classroom quality (e.g. structural, interactional, instructional). The VIQI project is designed to examine how these interventions improve a range of children’s developmental outcomes in mixed-aged classrooms serving 3- and 4-year-olds in community-based child care and Head Start settings that vary in initial levels of quality.

To learn more about the study design and interventions, timeline and theoretical framework underlying the VIQI project, refer to our VIQI Project Description.

The VIQI project is being conducted through a contract with MDRC and its subcontractors Margaret Burchinal at the University of Virginia, MEF Associates, and Abt Associates/Abt SRBI.

Point(s) of contact: Ivelisse Martinez-Beck, Amy Madigan, Tracy Carter Clopet, and Bonnie Mackintosh.

Information collections related to this project have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under OMB #0970-0508. Related materials are available at the https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201805-0970-003 Visit disclaimer page  page on RegInfo.gov.

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.

Information collections related to this project have also been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under ACF’s Generic Clearance for Formative Data Collections for ACF Research (OMB #0970-0356). Related materials are available at the Variations in Implementation of Quality Interventions page on RegInfo.gov.

Related Resources

The VIQI study will test how different levels and features of classroom quality relate to children’s developmental outcomes. The study will look at the relationship of initial child care and early education (CCEE) classroom quality to changes in observed quality and children’s outcomes through a rigorous experimental design...