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Alternative pathways in family child care quality rating and improvement systems

As research continues to underscore the positive impact high-quality early childhood programs have on young children, numerous states have implemented quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) to measure and improve the services young children receive across a wide range of early learning settings. These state systems range from two to five levels with five levels being most common. While the overarching goal of all QRIS is to increase the quality of early learning and development services provided to children, state systems vary greatly in their design. At the time of this study, Illinois Quality Counts - QRS was a four-star system in which licensed family child care programs could follow one of two pathways to achieve a three-star level. One pathway involved achieving an average score of 4.25 on both the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised (FCCERS-R) and the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care (BAS). The second pathway required programs to achieve National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) accreditation status. This study, conducted in the fall of 2011, looked at the FCCERS-R and BAS scores of 31 NAFCC-accredited family child care programs participating in Illinois QRS at the three-star level and the likelihood of each program to qualify for a three-star level based on FCCERS-R and BAS scores without NAFCC accreditation. Data analysis revealed that only one program would have qualified for a three-star rating based on both FCCERS-R and BAS scores. The findings of this study suggest that the NAFCC accreditation pathway to a three-star level is not an exact proxy of program quality as measured by validated assessment tools such as the FCCERS-R and BAS. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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