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Researchers and policymakers in the early care and education (ECE) field are interested in understanding the factors that contribute to successful quality improvement (QI) initiatives in ECE settings. They also want to learn about factors leading to improved outcomes for children and families through successful QI initiatives. One factor posited to influence the success of such initiatives is the readiness of individuals and organizations to adopt new quality improvement practices.

States and territories have increasingly worked to strengthen their early care and education (ECE) systems to more efficiently and effectively serve young children. It can still be challenging, however, to coordinate ECE systems’ multifaceted funding streams, services, standards, and regulations.This report summarizes publicly available information about the coordination or inclusion of Head Start across various aspects of state and territory ECE systems. 

These snapshots describe U.S. households’ costs for, and usage of, ECE in 2012, looking at differences by age of child, household income, and community urbanicity.

Defining and monitoring early care and education (ECE) program engagement in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) are essential tasks that can inform implementation and improvement efforts. Accurate data about the types of ECE programs that are rated, where they are located, and who they serve can shape outreach and recruitment efforts. The term engagement is used as a broad term in this brief to encompass varying...

What does “curriculum” mean when applied to working with infants and toddlers?

This brief discusses the meaning of the term when applied to early education and care programs serving families with infants and toddlers. The discussion focuses on how programs can incorporate and use the concepts of a curriculum in a way that is developmentally appropriate for infants and toddlers...

This Guidebook addresses the development of a common understanding and approach to measuring access to early care and education.

The Guidebook provides information in four sections:..

This research brief summarizes the measures used in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems validation studies...

This white paper addresses the 2018 revision of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). Federal statistical agencies use the SOC to classify workers and jobs into occupational categories. ACF’s proposals in this paper include changes to the titles, definitions, and placement of the occupations involving the early childhood care and education (ECCE) workforce....

These two publications address the issues facing early care and education providers because of monitoring by multiple agencies and organizations...

The descriptive brief provides an overview of the qualifications and the professional development activities of the nation’s infant/toddler workforce, based on representative data collected by the National Survey of Early Care and Education. The goal of this brief is to help the field better understand the strengths and needs of the infant/toddler workforce in center-based as well as home-based early care and education programs...