Early Care and Education Choices, Quality and Continuity for Low-Income Families: A Maryland-Minnesota Research Partnership
Forry, Nicole D.;
Susman-Stillman, Amy R.;
Davis, Elizabeth E.;
||Maryland and Minnesota are two states that have been leading innovations across early care and education policy and simultaneously investing in research and data infrastructure to ensure that their strategies are informed by evaluation and new evidence in the field. This project creates a Maryland-Minnesota Child Care Research Partnership, bringing together two states committed to examining critical issues in early care and education and using research findings to inform policy with an interdisciplinary team of researchers experienced in conducting studies on subsidy policy, quality improvement strategies, family experiences and child outcomes. Three cross-state sub-studies serve as the foundation for the work of the Partnership: (1) How families seek and process information about early care and education; (2) How families value and weigh different features of the quality of arrangements; and (3) Factors affecting and antecedents of child care stability/child care subsidy continuity. The studies were developed to build on existing research projects in both Maryland and Minnesota to maximize the investments made in development and data collection and to facilitate cross-state application of the learning. The research questions included: (1) How do families describe the process of making decisions about early care and education and what are the milestones in this process; (2) What family and community characteristics predict subsidy use and the type and quality of early care and education arrangements chosen; (3) What are parents' perceptions of family-sensitive caregiving, developmentally appropriate instructional practices, and practices that support children's social and emotional development, and to what extent are aspects of quality important to parents; (4) Which provider demographic characteristics distinguish those with a greater orientation towards family-sensitive caregiving, developmentally appropriate instructional practices, and practices that support children's social and emotional development; (5) What child, family, and community factors are associated with frequent changes in arrangements and what factors are associated with stability or infrequent changes; and (6) While participating in the subsidy program, how long do subsidized arrangements last and how many subsidized arrangements do children have while on subsidy
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