Looking at classroom and program quality through multiple lenses: Lessons from the Universal Preschool Child Outcomes Study
First 5 LA is using multiple strategies to improve children's access to affordable, high quality early care and education (ECE) in Los Angeles (L.A.) County. These strategies include supporting the development of a uniform quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). A QRIS is an approach to measuring the quality of ECE programs. A uniform QRIS in L.A. County would enable parents to make more informed decisions about their children's care and would help First 5 LA and other stakeholders to identify the improvements that are needed in ECE programs. To inform First 5 LA's efforts in this area, this brief presents several findings from the Universal Preschool Child Outcomes Study (UPCOS), a multiyear study of Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) programs. These analyses drew on data collected through UPCOS and LAUP's own administrative data. The findings are particularly valuable because they are specific to L.A. County and include not only center-based programs but also family child care (FCC) homes. Though all the analyses are descriptive in nature, we observed some important associations. In this brief, we present findings that shed light on key considerations for practitioners and policymakers as they design and implement a QRIS in L.A. County. (author abstract)
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