Research Spotlight: Get Started!—Resources on Using Evaluation for Continuous Improvement

Having the right information available at the right time goes a long way toward helping organizations improve their program performance and meet their goals. Continuous improvement denotes a shift from thinking about evaluation as a one-time effort to assess the effectiveness of a completed program to treating evaluation as a continuous learning process that provides programs data to show whether and how they are delivering value to their community over time.

Modeling the Cost of Quality in Early Achievers Centers and Family Child Care

The purpose of this project is to assist the Washington State Department of Early Learning to develop a set of dynamic models for estimating the cost of operation of early learning programs at various levels of quality consistent with Early Achievers to inform the design of a set of financial incentives in support of the state’s participation goals for programs and children.

Strengthening the Early Childhood and School-Age Workforce

To support the Office of Child Care’s and the Office of Head Start’s priority of a strong early childhood (EC) and school-age (SA) workforce, the PDW Center developed the Strengthening the EC and SA Workforce briefs, guide, presentation, and tool.

California Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Continuous Quality Improvement Pathways – Core Tools & Resources

California developed the Pathways by streamlining the rated elements on their Framework to prioritize research-based tools that demonstrate improved child outcomes (e.g., the CLASS). This narrowed the Hybrid Rating Matrix to include only the “few and the powerful” – seven rated elements for center-based sites and five rated elements for family child care homes (FCCH).

California’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Quality Continuum Framework – Hybrid Rating Matrix and Continuous Quality Improvement Pathways

The Framework includes common, research-based elements, tools, and resources grouped into three core areas: (1) Child Development and School Readiness, (2) Teachers and Teaching, and (3) Program and Environment. This Framework is being implemented in the 17 Regional Leadership Consortia (Consortia) participating in RTT-ELC and is designed to both evaluate and rate early learning programs based on scientific early childhood research (Hybrid Rating Matrix) and provide a continuous quality improvement pathway (Continuous Quality Improvement Pathways or Pathways). 

The Cost of Quality Early Learning in Rhode Island: Interim Report

Rhode Island set out to explore the cost of operating quality early learning programs in 2012. The overarching goal of this effort is to develop a set of recommended financial incentives and supports to promote quality improvement and sustain high quality through BrightStars, the state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. These incentives and supports are intended to fill the gap between available revenue sources and the cost of producing higher quality. 

Author: Anne Mitchell for the Rhode Island Early Learning Council