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Evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success: Final report

In June 2013, the Delaware Office of Early Learning contracted with the RAND Corporation to conduct an independent evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success, the state's quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early learning and care programs. The purpose of the RAND evaluation was to support Delaware in its efforts to design and implement an effective, robust system for measuring and reporting on the quality of early learning and care programs in home and center settings. The evaluation further aimed to inform efforts to improve the quality of programs in ways that are beneficial for participating children and their families. The project entailed a series of interrelated research tasks designed to provide objective and rigorous empirical evidence of the extent to which rating tiers reflect relevant differences in the quality of home- and center-based programs and whether the system is operating effectively in terms of technical assistance (TA), financial support, and other features. In support of the overall evaluation goals, this final report summarizes the findings from all components of the evaluation. Our primary focus is on addressing two sets of questions central to the evaluation: Do early care and education (ECE) programs with higher ratings in the QRIS deliver higher-quality care and early learning than those with lower ratings? What is the relationship between program characteristics and quality in Delaware Stars?; Do children in programs with higher ratings in the QRIS have better learning and developmental outcomes than children in programs with lower ratings? What dimensions of Delaware Stars program ratings are most vital to child learning and developmental outcomes? These questions are examined using data collected in 2014-2015 on program quality from a sample of Delaware ECE providers, along with measures of learning for children enrolled in the sampled programs. We also report on results from a survey of the directors of the sampled providers. Other components of the evaluation are also addressed in this report, including findings regarding quality improvement supports, financial incentives, and other aspects of system performance, some of which were analyzed in more detail in two earlier reports. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
State(s)/Territories/Tribal Nation(s):

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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