Topical Meetings Supported by ACF/OPRE
The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has sponsored meetings on the following topics:
Application of Implementation Science to Early Care and Education Research (September 2010)
There were three main goals of this working meeting: 1) to clarify the definitions and key concepts used in implementation science and thereby to develop a shared understanding of the role implementation science can play in early care and education (ECE) research, 2) to explore the potential lessons learned from applying implementation science principles in early care and education research and evaluation, and 3) to identify products that will assist policymakers and early childhood researchers in applying implementation principles within their research and evaluation work. The meeting was held September 21 - 22, 2010.
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Child Care Decision-Making (December 2008)
In December 2008 Child Trends hosted and U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation sponsored a Working Meeting on Child Care Decision-Making. The purpose of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for discussion aimed at deepening understanding of parental decision-making about care and education for young children.
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Collaborations in Early Care and Education (May 2010)In May 2010 the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) hosted the meeting Collaborations in Early Child Care and Education: Establishing a Framework for a Research Agenda. Invited experts discussed how collaboration in early care and education across the state, local, and program levels are increasing in their scope and complexity, and the difficulties in measuring the effectiveness of collaboration processes and collaboration outcomes. An overall goal of the meeting was to build a framework for researching and evaluating collaborations in early care and education.
View the presentations from this meeting:
Webinar on Collaborations in Early Child Care and Education
On April 6, 2011, Research Connections held a webinar on the topic of Collaborations in Early Care and Education This webinar highlighted why collaboration is important, what the research says about how to establish effective collaborations at the state and city level, and how to evaluate the outcomes of these collaborations. Using a 'Theory of Change' model as a concrete framework for both creating and evaluating collaborations the webinar provided examples of a state-wide collaboration (Maryland) and a city-wide collaboration (Philadelphia). The webinar built on the May 2010 roundtable organized by OPRE that brought together researchers and state- and local-level policy makers to construct a framework for research and evaluation regarding collaborations in early care and education.
Developing Measures of Child Care as a Support to Employment and Self-Sufficiency (September 2006)
A September 2006 Research Roundtable explored development of long-term performance measures for the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) to assess the impact of child care assistance on low-income families, particularly on their employment. Performance measures help government agencies demonstrate the effectiveness of programs and help inform funding decisions. Hosted by the Child Care Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, the roundtable brought together state child care administrators, researchers, and representatives of federal agencies that gather administrative and survey data potentially useful for eventual measures.
The various materials from this roundtable
are also available.
Developing the Next Wave of Quality Measures for Early Childhood and School-Age Programs (January 2008)
As a follow-up to a roundtable on Measuring Quality in Early Childhood and School-Age Settings: At the Junction of Research, Policy, and Practice, Child Trends convened a second roundtable in January 2008, Developing the Next Wave of Quality Measures for Early Childhood and School-Age Programs. Sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this meeting gathered experts specializing in a range of topics related to child care quality and child outcomes to guide the field on possible directions for developing, refining, and strengthening measurement strategies.
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Evaluation of State Quality Rating Systems (April 2008)
In April 2008 Child Trends convened a meeting on the Evaluation of State Quality Rating Systems. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, the meeting provided an opportunity for discussion of similarities and differences across state QRSs, a common framework for identifying evaluation goals, and an opportunity to identify and communicate key issues that have arisen in the implementation and evaluation of state QRSs. Participants included teams from nine states (Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee) represented by State Child Care Administrators and evaluators, several invited researchers, and federal partners.
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Family-Sensitive Caregiving and Family Engagement (June 2010)
On both the federal and state levels, policymakers and program administrators are interested in the topics of family engagement and family-sensitive caregiving. States are interested in including the core elements of family engagement/family-sensitive caregiving in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and there is a growing interest in measurement tools that measure common core elements from both of these concepts. In response to this interest, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with the Office of Head Start and the Child Care Bureau, sponsored the Family-Sensitive Caregiving and Family Engagement Working Meeting: Identifying and Measuring Common Core Elements on June 10-11, 2010. This meeting brought together researchers and federal staff to work towards identifying common core elements of family engagement and family-sensitive caregiving in early care and education settings.View the Meeting Summary
Guidance for Validating Child Care Market Rate Surveys Project (September 2008)
Child care market rate surveys describe prices that are set in the open market by child care providers. The 1998 federal Child Care and Development Fund Final Rule requires states, territories and tribes to conduct a market rate survey within 2 years of their currently approved CCDF plan. Great variation exists in the costs, methods, and utility of market rate surveys across the nation.
The Guidance for Validating Child Care Market Rate Surveys
project is a study of the ways states currently conduct market rate surveys, methods to validate market rate survey findings, and the effects of child care subsidies on the larger child care market. The study is funded by the federal Child Care Bureau and is being conducted by Oregon State University, University of Minnesota, and the National Center for Children in Poverty. The three objectives of the project are:
- Objective 1: Describe key elements of market rate survey methods, policies, and practices in order to capture current practice of states, tribes and territories, and to refine the proposed research design for validating market rate survey findings.
- Objective 2: Evaluate the effect of using various samples and methods on validity, market representation, and cost effectiveness in producing child care market rate findings at the level of community and state, territory, or tribe.
- Objective 3: Explore the effects of subsidies on child care prices in different policy environments.
All materials from the project are available here. These include: a discussion of The validity of child care market rate surveys
, (PDF 146K) by Arthur Emlen; the first report from the three-year study titled Practices and policies: Market rate surveys in states, territories, and tribes
; the study's second report Tribal child care and development fund grantees: Market rate surveys and other child care practices and policies
; the third report Study of market prices: Validating child care market rate surveys
; and Dataset
generated by the project. Also available are summaries of the project Advisory Committee Meetings: Summary of the First Advisory Committee Meeting
(PDF 208K), Summary of the Second Advisory Committee Meeting
(PDF 149K), and Summary of the Third Advisory Committee Meeting
(PDF 127K), which generated recommendations on guidance to states, territories, and tribes growing out of issues identified in the study's third report.
In September 2008, Research Connections
hosted a series of five interactive Webinars that examined the challenges to producing accurate price findings with child care market rate surveys based on the findings from the Guidance for Validating Child Care Market Rate Surveys research project.
The recorded webinars
are available for download in Windows Media Player (WMV) format.
Measuring Quality in Early Childhood and School-Age Settings: At the Junction of Research, Policy and Practice (December 2006)
A December 2006 Research Roundtable meeting explored current quality measures used for identifying characteristics of child care that contribute to children's development and the increasing use of these measures for making policy and practice decisions. Hosted by the Child Care Bureau in collaboration with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, the roundtable brought together state child care administrators, researchers, and representatives of federal agencies to address questions of quality including: what does the research say about the strength of our existing measures of quality; are there further measures of quality needed; and do states agree what measures of quality should be included in state quality rating systems.
The various materials
from the roundtable are posted.
Playful Learning as an Academic Yardstick (PLAY) (December 2009)
In December 2009 the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation hosted a meeting "Playful Learning as an Academic Yardstick" (PLAY). Invited participants, including federal policymakers and researchers, engaged in critical dialogue regarding the research on play and children's development and policies related to play in early care and education settings. Goals of the meeting included: assessing the state of play research and establishing a basic research foundation; exploring whether policies are in line with the current research on play; and determining steps necessary to move the field forward.View The Meeting Notes
Professional Development Definitions and Measures (December 2005)
The Workgroup on Defining and Measuring Professional Development of the Early Childhood Workforce evolved out of a series of meetings, sponsored by the Child Care Bureau in collaboration with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, DHHS and other federal agencies. The meetings focused on identifying problems in defining and measuring professional development of the early childhood workforce. These problems have implications not only for understanding research findings but also for policy and practice. The purpose of the Workgroup is to build on what was learned during these meetings and to take specific steps towards addressing definition and measurement issues.
The Workgroup's Statement of Purpose and materials
from its various meetings and presentations are posted.
Supporting Positive Language and Literacy Development in Young Language Minority Children: Research, Policy, Practice (April 2008)
In April 2008 the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation along with several other federal agencies hosted a roundtable meeting, Language and Literacy Development in Young Language Minority Children: Research, Policy, and Practice, where invited participants engaged in critical dialogue regarding how research can support and expand policy and practitioner concerns regarding the language and literacy needs of young language minority children (0 to 5 years of age). Two central goals framed many of the discussions that took place at the meeting: 1) to gain a better understanding of the needs of policy and practitioner audiences in the area of supporting positive language and literacy outcomes for language minority children and 2) to gain a better understanding of how available research can presently inform these needs (while identifying gaps in, the literature along the way).
The various materials
for this roundtable are posted.
Stress, Neurodevelopment, and Programs that Promote the Well-Being of Children and Families: Early Childhood (March 2012)
The overall goal of this roundtable meeting was for participants to explore the added value of biological constructs in our efforts to better understand both the theories and intervention strategies behind early toxic stress and development. Specifically, this meeting sought to address three key questions: 1.) What do we already know about toxic stress from the relevant research in the field? 2.) Can we identify the specific gaps in our knowledge that would be vitally useful for promoting healthy development in child care, Head Start, home visiting, and child welfare populations? 3.) Which of these findings and recommendations for future directions are ready for dissemination for programs and policy makers?
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The Way Forward: ACF Research with American Indians and Alaska Natives (April 2014)
On April 17-18, 2014, OPRE held a meeting titled "The Way Forward: ACF Research with American Indians and Alaska Natives" at the National Museum of the American Indian. Over sixty researchers and federal staff who do research with American Indian/Alaska Native communities gathered to learn about the current state of ACF research in tribal communities and to discuss future directions. From Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants to Tribal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting, participants engaged in a lively discussion regarding how best to build knowledge that can increase understanding and help inform decision-making in tribal communities.
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- Setting the Stage: An Overview of Human Development Research Relevant to ACF Programs Serving AIAN Children, Families, and Communities (Monica Tsethlikai)
- Co-Creating a Strategic Roadmap for Collaborative and Effective Evaluation To Improve Tribal Child Welfare Programs (Paulette Running Wolf, Malia Villegas, Carol Hafford, and Melinda J Baldwin)
- Tribal Health Program Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Evaluation: Applying the Roadmap Principles (Carol Hafford and Alana Knudson)
- Building Capacity to Conduct Scientifically and Culturally Rigorous Evaluations in Tribal Communities through the Tribal Home Visiting Evaluation Institute (Erin Geary, Kate Lyon, and Julie Morales)
- Community-Engaged Measure Development for Framing Questions about Culture in Interventions: Questions about Culture (Nancy Rumbaugh Whitesell)
- Community-Engaged Measure Development for Framing Questions about Culture in Interventions: Culture and Intervention--Measuring Outcomes (James Allen)
- Challenges of Using Existing Measures of Early Development in Tribal Contexts (Jessica Barnes, Ann Belleau, Hi Fitzgerald, and Michelle Sarche)
- Designing and Scaling Interventions with and across Cultures: Communities That Care (CTC) (Richard F. Catalano and Tessa Evans-Campbell)
- Designing and Scaling Interventions with and across Cultures: The Family Spirit Story (Allison Barlow)
- Ho'Ouna Pono: Culturally Grounded Substance Abuse Prevention for Rural Hawaiian Youth (Scott K. Okamoto)
- Thinking Outside the Box of RCT's: What Additional Rigorous Options are There? (David Henry)
The Way Forward II: Measurement for Human Service Programs in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities (November 2015)
On November 3-4 2015, OPRE held the meeting "The Way Forward II: Measurement for Human Service Programs in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities" at the National Museum of the American Indian. This meeting built on the seminal meeting the "Way Forward: ACF Research with American Indians and Alaskan Natives," which was held in April 2014. Over sixty researchers, federal staff, and grantees who work with AIAN communities gathered to discuss challenges and priorities for measurement development.
The meeting was structured over two days to cover four broad topics including: the role of tribal sovereignty and community participation in measure development; cultural adaptation and measurement of implementation fidelity; performance measurement for programs serving tribal communities; and measuring strengths and protective factors in AIAN communities. Academic researchers, federal staff, contracted researchers, and grantees gave presentations. Staff from the meeting planning committee moderated the presentations and facilitated questions and discussion between presentations.
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