Understanding, Applying, and Doing Research in QRIS Systems Building

Kathryn Tout
Kelly Maxwell
Rena Hallam
Thu, 10/31/2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
The BUILD Initiative and the QRIS National Learning Network hosted the eighth webinar in our "Let's Talk" series, Understanding, Applying, and Doing Research in QRIS Systems Building:

Recently there has been a great deal of discussion about the emerging research related to Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). State leaders are taking the initiative to improve their ability to understand research methods, findings, and limitations; discuss implications of research for implementation; and glean promising practices. How can research findings be used to inform QRIS design and revisions? Kathryn Tout and Kelly Maxwell from Child Trends and Rena Hallam from the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood discussed tips for reviewing research, things to consider when applying research to your own QRIS work, and advice about conducting research/evaluation/validation in your own state.

Speaker Biographies:

Kathryn Tout serves as Co-Director for Early Childhood Development and Senior Research Scientist Education at Child Trends. Under a contract with the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Dr. Tout directs the Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium (INQUIRE). She was also a co-Principal Investigator on the Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Assessment project. In Minnesota, she is the Project Director for multiple evaluations including an evaluation of the statewide rollout of Parent Aware, a five-year evaluation of the professional development system for early care and education and school-age care, and a four-year evaluation of a child care accreditation facilitation project. Dr. Tout also directed a process evaluation of the Kentucky STARS for KIDS NOW QRIS.

Kelly Maxwell is Co-Director for Early Childhood Development and Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends. Kelly has over 15 years of experience in early childhood policy, research, and evaluation. She is known for her policy-relevant research and evaluation focused on helping states improve their early care and education systems. Her research interests include early childhood policy issues, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), school readiness assessment, and evaluation of early childhood initiatives. Kelly has worked on several research and evaluation projects in North Carolina. She is currently providing support for NC’s Early Learning Challenge grant. For the past few years, Kelly has conducted various evaluation studies for the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. She has also consulted with multiple states about QRIS development and evaluation. Kelly serves on the editorial team for the Society for Research in Child Development’s Social Policy Report.
Rena Hallam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Director of Delaware Stars for Early Success at the University of Delaware. Previously, Rena directed a university laboratory school and served as program coordinator for an Early Head Start program. Her research expertise focuses on systemic issues related to the quality of early care and education programs with an emphasis on programs serving low-income children and children with disabilities. Rena has served in a lead investigator role across multiple federally funded research projects on topics of early childhood transition, child assessment, and the intersection of child care quality and subsidized child care.
Web Resources:
Research Connections - www.researchconnections.org
Center on the Developing Child, Early Childhood Program Evaluations: A Decision-Maker’s Guide - http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/reports_and_working_papers/decision_makers_guide/
Quality in Early Childhood Care and Education Settings: A Compendium of Measures (Second Edition) - http://www.researchconnections.org/childcare/resources/18804/pdf