Maine Child Care Research Capacity Project: A Study of Program Quality and Children's Progress
||The purpose of this project is to conduct an evaluation of Maine's Quality Rating System (QRS), a voluntary, four-step program designed to increase awareness of the basic standards of early care and education, to recognize and support providers who are providing care above and beyond those standards, and to educate families and the community about what high quality care is and why it is important. The evaluation focuses on standards of program quality of child care in Maine and on one component of program improvement: the use of child level assessment data. The project addresses three broad research questions: (1) What are the differences in program quality between programs enrolled in the QRS and programs not enrolled in the QRS? (2) What is the impact of the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) on improving the quality of care available to and utilized by low-income working parents?; and (3) How are programs assessing the developmental progress of infants and toddlers using that information for program improvement?
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