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Assessing the Validity of the Qualistar Early Learning Quality Rating and Improvement System as a Tool for Improving Child-Care Quality

Assessing the Validity of the Qualistar Early Learning Quality Rating and Improvement System as a Tool for Improving Child-Care Quality

Gail L. Zellman
Michal Perlman
Vi-Nhuan Le
Claude Messan Setodji
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 128
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  • Book Info
    Assessing the Validity of the Qualistar Early Learning Quality Rating and Improvement System as a Tool for Improving Child-Care Quality
    Book Description:

    As a result of the generally low quality of child care in the United States, quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) are proliferating in the child-care arena. This study examines the QRIS developed by Qualistar Early Learning, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado, evaluating how reliable the system's components are, whether the QRIS process helped providers to improve, and whether and how much children benefit from such improvement.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4523-2
    Subjects: Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    Research findings in recent years point to the importance of the preschool period in children’s longer-term development. These findings have focused attention on the quality of care young children are receiving outside their homes, a focus reinforced by the growing numbers of young children cared for by non–family members (Lamb, 1998; Scarr, 1998; Vandell and Wolfe, 2000). These concerns about quality have been abetted by a policy focus in the K–12 sector on students’ academic achievement. Growing concerns about performance outcomes in elementary school have led policymakers and others to examine the degree to which early education promotes...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Methods
    (pp. 13-30)

    The goal of this study was to assess the validity of the Qualistar quality rating and improvement system. Validation of the Q-QRIS involved three main tasks:

    1. examination of properties of each of the system components

    2. assessment of the relationship of the components to each other and to other measures of quality

    3. assessment of the relationship between the system components and the summary ratings and child functioning, concurrently and across time.

    To test the individual components, we drew, at times, from other sources of data, as described in Chapter Three. This chapter describes the methods used to address the primary goal...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Analyses of Q-QRIS Components
    (pp. 31-54)

    Since RAND was not involved in the development of the original Q-QRIS and the selection of the component measures, our first step was to examine each of the Q-QRIS components. In this chapter, we describe our efforts to analyze and, in some instances, improve on the five Q-QRIS components: classroom environment; ratios; staff education, training, and experience; family partnerships; and accreditation. Where possible, we drew on existing data to answer basic questions about each construct. Because a number of these analyses rely on different databases from those presented in Chapter Two, each section includes—in addition to background, findings, and...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Relationships Among Components and Component Changes over Time for Center Providers
    (pp. 55-60)

    This is the first of two chapters that examine the Q-QRIS components simultaneously. We first examine the relationships among the Q-QRIS components, looking at classroom-level, provider-level, and a mix of classroom-level and provider-level correlations for the center sample. Then, we examine improvement over time in the quality of participating providers as measured by key Q-QRIS components.

    Each of these sets of analyses addresses the validity of the Q-QRIS. Analyses of the interrelationships among the component measures of the Q-QRIS speak to its internal structure. Ideally, we would find moderate correlations, which would indicate relatedness but not redundancy. Since providers volunteered...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Relationships of Q-QRIS Components and Star Ratings to Process-Quality and Child Outcome Measures for Center Providers
    (pp. 61-78)

    In this chapter, we focus on three additional aspects of the validation process: the relationship of the star ratings and the individual Q-QRIS components to the measures of process quality we employed, the relationship of the star ratings and the individual Q-QRIS components to child outcomes, and the relationship of the process-quality measures to child outcomes. As part of these analyses, we examine whether these relationships vary for particular subgroups of children. In these analyses, we examine whether there were improvements over time in child outcomes and, if so, whether these improvements are associated with improved quality ratings as measured...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Family Child-Care Providers
    (pp. 79-86)

    While most children cared for outside their homes are enrolled in child-care centers, many children receive out-of-home care in family child-care homes. A recent study reported that 14 percent of working mothers use family home care as their primary form of child care for their children age six or under (Boushey and Wright, 2004). Johnson (2005) reports that almost one-quarter of children spend some time in family child care. These homes are less likely to be included in research studies and only rarely are the central research focus. One important reason is that the cost per child of conducting such...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Discussion
    (pp. 87-94)

    The overarching goal of this study was to examine the validity of the Qualistar QRIS as an indicator of child-care quality and as a policy tool to improve quality. However, we needed to consider measurement of the components of the Q-QRIS before we could study the system as a whole. We assessed the validity of the Q-QRIS by addressing the following research questions:

    1. What are the characteristics of the Q-QRIS components as measures?

    2. How closely related are the five Q-QRIS component measures?

    3. Do providers that receive high scores on the Q-QRIS components also receive high scores on process-quality measures (the...

  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 95-104)