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Evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success

Evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success: Year 1 Report

Heather L. Schwartz
Lynn A. Karoly
Vi-Nhuan Le
Jennifer Tamargo
Claude Messan Setodji
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 141
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  • Book Info
    Evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success
    Book Description:

    As a first step in a larger study of Delaware Stars, a voluntary quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early learning and care programs, RAND researchers examined prior QRIS validation research, analyzed Delaware Stars administrative data, conducted key stakeholder interviews and focus groups, and implemented a virtual pilot test using national data to identify relationships between program quality and child developmental outcomes.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8984-7
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  9. Chapter 1. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    In December 2011, Delaware was in the first group of states to obtain a competitively awarded federal Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant to improve early care and education (ECE) services and increase the number of infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children in high-quality programs.¹ The state was awarded approximately $50 million starting in fiscal year 2011 to accomplish four goals: (1) expand comprehensive screening and follow-up for children; (2) expand the number of programs in the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) and, by extension, the number of high-need children in qualityrated programs; (3) strengthen...

  10. Chapter 2. Overview of Delaware Stars
    (pp. 7-16)

    The Delaware Stars QRIS began in 2007 as a pilot program active in each of the state’s three counties. In 2009, enabling legislation authorized the QRIS in state law (Title 14, Chapter 30, 3001), and state funding for the QRIS was first approved in 2011. Between 2007 and 2011, the structure of the rating system changed substantially, and, over time, the nature of other features—such as financial incentives and quality improvement (QI) supports—evolved as well.¹ In its current form, eligible home-and center-based care programs voluntarily enter the rating system and earn between one and five stars, depending on...

  11. Chapter 3. Participation in Delaware Stars and Rating Results
    (pp. 17-46)

    In voluntary QRISs such as Delaware Stars, one metric of the reach of the system is the participation rate among eligible providers. As part of its RTT-ELC grant, Delaware has annual participation targets from 2012 to 2015 for home- and center-based providers, and OEL tracks program participation patterns on a monthly and quarterly basis. Another useful metric in the QRIS is the extent to which programs move up (or down) the rating tiers and how long it takes to progress to the next tier. Finally, in a provider choice model like Delaware Stars, it is instructive to examine which quality...

  12. Chapter 4. Stakeholders’ Experiences with Delaware Stars
    (pp. 47-58)

    Although administrative data provide important insights into how Delaware Stars is operating, we also aimed to understand firsthand how key stakeholders perceive and experience Delaware Stars: What aspects of the system are succeeding, and where is there a need for improvement? In this chapter, we summarize the findings from our interviews and focus groups conducted in January 2014 with state leaders, center- and home-based ECE providers, parents, and those who work with parents. Our discussions centered on a variety of topics, including the implementation of Delaware Stars and its various components (e.g., ratings, TA, financial incentives), the marketing of Delaware...

  13. Chapter 5. A Virtual Pilot of Delaware Stars
    (pp. 59-72)

    The types of validation studies summarized in Chapter One are both time-consuming and expensive, primarily because they typically involve the collection of new data on ECE program quality and child developmental outcomes. Therefore, it is important to use existing data from administrative sources or survey data sets whenever feasible to validate a QRIS. In this chapter, we employ a rich source of preexisting national data to take a first look, in advance of the new data collection for the Delaware Stars validation, at the relationship between quality indicators included in Delaware Stars and child developmental outcomes. We used the ECLS-B,...

  14. Chapter 6. Conclusion and Implications
    (pp. 73-82)

    This initial report on the Delaware Stars evaluation aimed to address several questions to inform the subsequent validation study. The questions concerned what we know from prior QRIS validation research, the extent of participation in Delaware Stars and the outcomes of the ratings process, the experiences of key stakeholders with Delaware Stars, and evidence from existing data regarding the relationship between the indicators of quality included in the Delaware Stars ratings and child developmental outcomes. We addressed these questions through a literature review, an analysis of Delaware Stars administrative data, a series of key stakeholder interviews and focus groups, and...

  15. Appendix A. Additional Documentation for Delaware Stars
    (pp. 83-90)
  16. Appendix B. Data Sources for Administrative Data Analyses
    (pp. 91-94)
  17. Appendix C. Interview and Focus Group Protocols
    (pp. 95-102)
  18. Appendix D. Virtual Pilot Data, Measures, and Methods
    (pp. 103-110)
  19. References
    (pp. 111-117)