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Understanding The Role of Licensing in Early Care and Education (TRLECE), 2019 - 2024

Project Overview

This project will:

  1. Identify and address gaps in knowledge about how key features of the licensing system in early care and education (ECE) are related to ECE quality and outcomes for children, families, and key stakeholders (e.g., child care providers, licensing agencies, and state administrators); and
  2. Develop resources to support states and territories in evaluating and strengthening their licensing systems.

The team will begin its work by:

  • Refining a conceptual framework for how licensing can support quality and key outcomes;
  • Synthesizing existing information about licensing research, policies, and administrative practices; and
  • Engaging stakeholders and experts to inform the project.

To help shape some of the project work, the team will ask state and territory licensing administrators and staff about their needs for data and research to inform their licensing system and their priority research questions about the licensing system.

The team will analyze findings from the synthesis and needs assessment; discuss findings with stakeholders and experts; and, in collaboration with OPRE, identify gaps and priorities for future research.

Additional project activities include secondary analysis of data (e.g., national data sets, state licensing administrative data) and may include studies that require new data to be collected.


The task order was awarded to Child Trends, with a subcontract to ICF.

The points of contact are Tracy Carter Clopet, Emily Ross, Ivelisse Martinez-Beck and Ellen Litkowski.

More Reports on this Project