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Georgia child care licensing study: Validating the core rule differential monitoring system

The purpose of this study was to validate Georgia's process for determining if a state-regulated child care facility is compliant with basic state health and safety requirements. The process was developed by staff at Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). Currently Georgia utilizes a "Core Rule" risk assessment approach in which the health and safety rules deemed most crucial to ensure children's health and safety are used to compute a program's compliance status. This validation study utilized a unique analytical model that compared licensing data with previous key indicator (for readers not familiar with this term, please see the definitions on page 4 of the report) research and ascertained if the Core Rules accurately indicated a program's overall compliance with the total population of licensing rules. Additional statistical analyses examined if the mathematical formula used to compute compliance was an appropriate configuration of the data that discerned between those programs that adequately met basic health and safety rules (compliant) and those that did not (non-compliant). Also licensing data were compared to a representative sample of quality data collected as part of a different study to examine the correlation between compliance and quality. A Differential Monitoring Logic Model/Algorithm (DMLMA (c)) (Fiene, 2012) and a previous validation framework (Zellman & Fiene, 2012) were used in the research. Child care centers (CCC) and family child care (FCC) homes were assessed. The analysis demonstrated that the Core Rules did serve as key indicators, though this list should be reexamined. The second analysis concluded that the computation could be simplified. Finally, the expected correlation between compliance and quality was found but only in state-funded Pre-K classrooms; it was not found in preschool classrooms and could not be validated. Family child care could not be validated either. As a result of the study, recommendations were made to strengthen Georgia's child care licensing system. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
State(s)/Territories/Tribal Nation(s):

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