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P-3 Ensuring QualitySelected Research & Readings
What States Are Doing
Selected Research & Readings

P-3 Child Care
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A Blueprint for Early Care and Education Quality Improvement Initiatives - This national scan addresses questions about how to effectively develop and implement technical assistance initiatives for early childhood programs. The study highlights best practices from existing research and early learning experts. (Child Trends, March 2015)...

State-Funded PreK Policies on External Classroom Observations: Issues and Status - As more states fund PreK to enhance school readiness, accountability becomes a greater issue in terms of cost and program quality. In the absence of standardized tests, classroom observation of preschoolers takes on greater importance. Which protocol is used? How capable are observers of generating reliable data? How often should these observations take place? This report provides a detailed analysis and description of classroom observation policies for 27 state-funded programs from the 2012-13 school year. (Debra J. Ackerman, Educational Testing Service, February 2014)...

College and Career Readiness: The Importance of Early Learning - This report reaffirms the importance of early learning and addresses the growing need of a system to support early learning in schools, as well as the obligation of educators and policymakers to promote public awareness of the advantages of early learning. (ACT, Feb 2013)...

Increasing the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Existing Public Investments in Early Childhood Education - The authors of this report describe how conflicting expectations, misaligned system requirements, and programmatic firewalls on the federal level create formidable barriers to the operation of a well-coordinated system of high-quality early childhood education for children from birth to 5 years old. They set forth 10 federal reforms that they believe will significantly advance the evolution of our federally supported early childhood education system, improve child outcomes, and ensure system accountability, as well as operational consistency and greater efficiency. (Center for American Progress, June 2012)...

A Count for Quality: Child care Center Directors on Rating and Improvement Systems - This report examines a range of approaches states and communities are taking in designing and implementing quality rating improvement systems (QRIS). The Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Women’s Law Center interviewed 48 child care center directors from nine states about their experiences with QRIS. The directors offered valuable perspectives on what is working in their QRIS and how the systems could be improved. (National Women's Law Center, February, 2012)...

Coaching and Quality Assistance in Quality Rating Improvement Systems - This report presents findings from an interview study with on-site technical assistance (TA) providers in 17 states that have statewide Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRISs). Results from interviews with QRIS technical assistance(TA) providers show trends in the types of settings receiving TA and coaching; the amount, frequency, and content focus of on-site assistance; TA providers’ use of different coaching methods; and training and supports available to TA providers. Recommendations for strengthening and documenting QRIS technical assistance and coaching are included. (National Center for Children in Poverty, January 2012) ...

Early Learning Programs and Related Delivery Systems: Audit Performed Pursuant to Chapter 2011-142, Laws of Florida - This audit focused on the governance structure of Florida's early learning programs, Statewide administration and oversight of the School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten Education (VPK) Programs (the primary early learning programs in the State), and early learning coalition program delivery and operations. The audit discloses areas in which the efficiency and effectiveness of early learning program administration and accountability could be enhanced. (State of Florida, Auditor General, December 2011)...

Pre-K as a School Turnaround Strategy - This brief documents five local efforts in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina and California in which district leaders have embedded high-quality early education as part of their larger school reform initiatives. Based on promising results from many of these districts, the brief provides recommendations for how federal policy makers can use the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to help more districts harness the power of pre-k to create a stronger foundation for school reform. (Anthony Buenafe, Pre-K Now, June 2011)...

A Framework for State Leadership and Action in Building the Components of an Early Childhood System - This brief provides an overview of exemplary state policies that contribute to each of four components of a comprehensive early childhood system – early learning; family support; special needs/early intervention; and health, mental health and nutrition. A section is also devoted to state actions that increase coordination among these four areas. (Charles Bruner, BUILD, 2011)...

State-Level Indicators for Social-Emotional Development - This brief surveys states' progress in adopting and tracking seven indicators that measure states’ and communities’ effectiveness in supporting young children’s social-emotional development. The publication also discusses steps states can take to develop systems that help them better understand the social-emotional well being of young children in their communities. (National Center for Children in Poverty, February 2011)...

Building Ready States: A Governors Guide to Supporting a Comprehensive, High-Quality Early Childhood State System - This report clarifies the features of a comprehensive, high-quality early childhood state system and suggests six actions states need to take to create the high-quality early childhood state system. Finally, they suggest what states need to do to get started. (Rachel Demma, NGA Center for Best Practices, October 2010)...

Education Transformation: Doing What Works in Education Reform - This report finds that the federal government lacks a "systemic, coordinated effort to ensure that young disadvantaged children reach school ready." It calls for a more focused approach to providing high-quality services by transferring Head Start into the Department of Education and consolidating a variety of early and family literacy programs, such as Even Start and Early Reading First. (Glenda Partee, Center for American Progress, April 2010) ...

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