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The 2012 Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory pilot
Pennsylvania. Office of Child Development and Early Learning, May, 2013
Harrisburg: Pennsylvania, Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

As Pennsylvania builds a high-quality and accountable system of early childhood programs, parents, teachers and state administrators have expressed a need for information on the status of children's skills and abilities as they enter kindergarten. This report provides information about the development and pilot of the Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory. (author abstract)

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The 2013 Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory pilot
Pennsylvania. Office of Child Development and Early Learning, June, 2014
Harrisburg: Pennsylvania, Office of Child Development and Early Learning.

As Pennsylvania builds a high-quality and accountable system of early childhood programs, parents, teachers and state administrators have expressed a need for information on the status of children's skills and abilities as they enter kindergarten. This report provides information about the development and pilot of the Pennsylvania Kindergarten Entry Inventory. (author abstract)

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Aced out: Censorship of qualitative research in the age of "scientifically based research"
Ceglowski, Deborah A., October, 2011
Qualitative Inquiry, 17(8), 679-686

In this manuscript, we examine three layers of censorship related to the publication of qualitative research studies: (a) the global level of federal legislation and the definition of the "gold standard" of educational research, (b) the decline in the number of qualitative studies published in a top-tiered early childhood educational research journal after implementation of the Reading Excellence Act and No Child Left Behind, and (c) a local story of our experience in submitting a qualitative study for review. In the final section, we discuss the implications of these three levels of censorship. (author abstract)

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Agreement between parents and teachers on preschool children's behavior in a clinical sample with externalizing behavioral problems
Korsch, Franziska, October, 2014
Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 45(5), 616-627

An accurate interpretation of information obtained from multiple assessors is indispensible when complex diagnoses of behavioral problems in children need to be confirmed. The present study examined the similarity of parents and kindergarten teachers ratings on children's behavior in a sample of 160 preschool children (a clinical group including 80 children with externalizing behavioral problems and a matched control group including 80 children). Behavioral problems were assessed using the SDQ, and the DISYPS-II questionnaires for ADHD and conduct disorders. The results revealed low levels of parent-teacher agreement for their ratings on the children's behavior in both groups with the highest correlations in the non-clinical sample. Parent-teacher agreement did not differ significantly across the samples. Parent and teacher ratings correlated with the prevalence of externalizing disorders and were found to be almost independent of each other. The results highlight the importance of multiple informants and their independent influence within the diagnostic process. (author abstract)

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All you ever want to know about the public CCDF Administrative Data Series [PowerPoint]
Aschaffenburg, Karen, 15 August, 2012
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This powerpoint presentation accompanies a webinar that describes the public CCDF Administrative Data Series, explains how to use the data, and reviews the ACF-801 data reporting requirements. It portrays several concrete research questions with an analytic strategy. Finally, it summarizes an effective research/analysis process.

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Analysis methods including price conversions and the exclusion of facilities not in the priced child care market
Weber, Roberta B. (Bobbie), September, 2008
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This webinar describes the complications presented by price conversions (for example, hourly prices to monthly prices) in child care market rate surveys. It also addresses the issue of accounting for child care sites not in the priced child care market and which are excluded from consideration in market rate surveys.

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An analytic study of the professional development research in early childhood education
Schachter, Rachel E., November, 2015
Early Education and Development, 26(8), 1057-1085

The goal of this study was to examine empirical research on the design, delivery, and measurement of the effects of professional development (PD) for early childhood educators in order to provide insight into what the field has accomplished as well as suggest directions for future PD programs and research. Through the use of rigorous inclusion criteria outlined by S. M. Wilson, R. E. Floden, and J. Ferrini-Mundy (2001), 73 studies were included and analyzed. On average, 25% (M = 12.68, SD = 9.99) of references in each study were specifically about PD. The majority of studies (n = 39) targeted some form of language and literacy instruction, whereas only 5 studies targeted math and 1 study targeted science. A total of 35 different delivery mechanisms were used to provide PD, with 40 studies including some form of coaching and 45 including training workshops. The studies used a wide range of methods to measure PD-related outcomes: 51% (n = 37) of studies examined changes in teacher practice, 18% (n = 13) measured changes in teachers' knowledge, 40% (n = 29) measured changes in children's learning, and 11% (n = 8) measured changes in children's behavior. Practice or Policy: Based on the results of this study, there are 4 major ways in which PD for early childhood educators can be developed. Researchers and providers of PD should (a) continue to draw from multiple resources to inform PD implementation designs, (b) include more diversity in the content of instruction targeted by PD, (c) experiment with innovative formats for delivering PD, and (d) create better means of evaluating PD. (author abstract)

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Approaches to validating child care quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS): Results from two states with similar QRIS type designs
Lahti, Michel, Q1 2015
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 30(1), 280-290

In recent years, child care quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) have become an increasingly popular policy tool to improve quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings and have been adopted in many localities and states. The QRIS proposition is that with higher-quality child care settings, it is more likely that children who attend those high-quality programs will benefit in terms of outcomes like school readiness. However, in order to demonstrate this linkage, QRIS standards and ratings must function as intended, i.e. be valid. This paper presents a framework for validating child care quality improvement standards and processes, along with examples from recent QRIS validation studies in two states. The state examples provide useful data about the strengths and limitations of these validation approaches. We discuss the implications of applying these approaches and provide recommendations to researchers, policy-makers, and program leaders who implement QRIS validation studies. (author abstract)

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Are Headstart gains on the g factor?: A meta-analysis
Nijenhuis, Jan te, September-October 2014
Intelligence, 46(), 209-215

Headstart studies of compensatory education tend to show impressive gains on IQ scores for children from low-quality environments. However, are these gains on the g factor of intelligence? We report a meta-analysis of the correlation between Headstart gains on the subtests of IQ batteries and the g loadings of these same subtests (K = 8 studies, total N = 602). A meta-analytic sample-weighed correlation of -.51 was found, which became -.80 after corrections for measurement error. We conclude that the pattern in Headstart gains on subtests of an IQ battery is highly similar to the pattern in test-retest gains and is hollow with respect to g. So, Headstart leads to gains in IQ scores, but not to gains in g. We discuss this finding in relation to the Flynn effect, training effects, and heritability. (author abstract)

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Assessing children's school readiness in LA County neighborhoods
First 5 LA,
Los Angeles: First 5 LA.

When a community embarks on initiatives to improve population-level outcomes, one of the first orders of business is to designate the names and geographic boundaries of the community as a whole and of the specific neighborhoods within the community. Some areas of L.A. engaged residents in a boundary-definition process to ensure that the neighborhood boundaries had meaning for residents as they sought to make changes in their family and neighborhood spheres of influence. Other areas of LA are using predefined boundaries, often established by local governments. Collecting population data to represent all neighborhoods in the community is the goal, but the strategy for reaching that goal varies by community. With sufficient buy-in from key leaders and a clear plan for reaching all the elementary schools that serve the community, communities can achieve full EDI participation of the population quickly. Some communities begin by targeting a subset of schools or neighborhoods and then expand data collection over time. The EDI data reported in this brief are from the 19 L.A. County neighborhoods that achieved at least 70 percent participation as of July 2013, along with aggregate EDI data for L.A. County, Orange County and the U.S. (author abstract)

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Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education (ECE-ICHQ)
Kirby, Gretchen, 2014
Mathematica Policy Research

Growing evidence about the benefits of high quality care for young children, particularly low-income children, has garnered a strong commitment at both the federal and state levels to improve the quality of early care and education (ECE) programs. Yet, in an environment of competing demands and limited resources, policymakers, administrators, and other key stakeholders lack the information needed to effectively target funds to increase quality in ECE. The existing research base about the association between the costs and quality of ECE is not sufficient to inform these decisions. The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), has launched the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High-Quality ECE (ECE-ICHQ) project. The goal of the project is to create a technically sound, feasible, and useful instrument that will provide consistent and systematic measures of the implementation and costs of quality to help fill the knowledge gap about the cost of providing and improving quality in ECE. The unique contribution of the project is its focus on documenting implementation by using an implementation science lens (parsing out context and implementation inputs and activities) to identify the cost ingredients of quality and to measure differences in implementation and context that may matter to costs.

Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects


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Assessing kindergarten readiness in Pennsylvania: How can the Kindergarten Entry Inventory boost skills of young students?
Public Citizens for Children and Youth, January, 2015
Philadelphia: Public Citizens for Children and Youth.

In collaboration with United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) examined the Pennsylvania Entry Inventory and utilization of similar tools with a select group of schools in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties that were involved in the pilot testing of the Pennsylvania KEI. This brief summarizes the findings from the 2012 pilot test of the Inventory and offers recommendations for how to improve the pace of school districts adopting it, ensure appropriate utilization of the data and spur improvement in both the K-12 and early learning sectors. (author abstract)

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Assessing social competence and behavior problems in a sample of Italian preschoolers using the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation scale
Sette, Stefania, January, 2015
Early Education and Development, 26(1), 46-65

The main goals of this study were to examine the factor validity of the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation (SCBE-30) scale using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis and to test factor invariance across gender in a sample of Italian preschool-age children (241 boys, 252 girls). The concurrent validity of the SCBE scale was examined with measures of children's popularity and rejection. Our findings replicated a 3-factor model of the SCBE scale found in other studies with 3 correlated factors of social competence, anger-aggression, and anxiety-withdrawal. Multigroup confirmatory factor analyses provided evidence of configural, metric, and partial scalar invariance of the scale across gender. Popularity was positively related to children's social competence and negatively related to anxiety-withdrawal. Rejection was positively related to children's anger-aggression and anxiety-withdrawal and negatively related to social competence. Practice or Policy: The use of the SCBE scale in the Italian educational setting may help teachers understand children's emotional and social competencies and thereby improve social adjustment in the classroom. (author abstract)

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Assessing teachers' skills in detecting and identifying effective interactions in the classroom: Theory and measurement
Jamil, Faiza M., March, 2015
Elementary School Journal, 115(3), 407-432

Contemporary education reforms focus on assessing teachers' performance and developing selection mechanisms for hiring effective teachers. Tools that enable the prediction of teachers' classroom performance promote schools' ability to hire teachers more likely to be successful in the classroom. In addition, these assessment tools can be used for teacher training and preparation that contributes to improved student performance. This article summarizes the theoretical and empirical support for a direct assessment of teachers' skill in detecting and identifying effective classroom interactions--the Video Assessment of Interaction and Learning (VAIL). Findings from a study of 270 preschool teachers suggest that the VAIL reliably measures teachers' interaction detection and identification skills. Teachers who can accurately detect effective interactions on video exemplars tend to have more years of education and display more effective interactions with the students in their classroom. Findings are discussed in terms of the implications for teacher selection, preparation, and training. (author abstract)

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Assessment in early childhood: Instruction-focused strategies to support response-to-intervention frameworks
Snyder, Patricia A., December, 2008
Assessment for Effective Intervention, 34(1), 25-34

The current emphasis on alignment of early learning guidelines, assessment, curricular practices, and accountability in early education and care systems has provided an opportunity to revisit and refine early childhood assessment practices. Practitioners, researchers, and policy makers are increasingly interested in developing instruction-focused assessment strategies that have instructional and intervention validity. In particular, progress is being made in the development and validation of universal screening assessments and progress-monitoring methods that can support the application of response-to-intervention models in early childhood settings. This article provides a brief review of select assessment tools in early childhood that demonstrate instructional validity. The authors suggest future directions for strengthening the instructional and intervention validity of early childhood assessments in the context of response-to-intervention frameworks. (author abstract)

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Benchmarks for Quality Improvement Self-Assessment Tool
National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement, January, 2015
Fairfax, VA: National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement.

The Benchmarks for Quality Improvement (BQI) were developed by the Office of Child Care (OCC) to support your planning and implementation of early learning quality improvement systems. OCC recognizes that States and Territories are using quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) as a framework for organizing, guiding, and gauging the progress of quality initiatives. Therefore, this self-assessment tool is organized around the five elements of a QRIS: 1. Program Standards, 2. Supports for Programs and Practitioners, 3. Financial Incentives, 4. Quality Assurance and Monitoring, and 5. Consumer Education. The purpose of the BQI Self-Assessment Tool is to help you assess your current status and measure your progress in implementing program quality improvement systems. It is our hope that this tool will assist you in identifying areas that you would prioritize for moving forward. (author abstract)

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The brainification of early childhood education and other challenges to academic rigour
Vandenbroeck, Michel, February, 2014
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22(1), 1-3

This commentary touches upon several controversial issues encountered in the publication of early childhood research. The author identifies the following general challenges: the conflicts of interested faced by researchers affiliated with programs they are researching, the bias unwittingly caused by the "publish-or-perish" imperative, and the preference for new research over verification research. The author then discusses several controversies related specifically to early childhood policymakers' use of knowledge from the field of Neuroscience, specifically on the topic of brain pliability. He identifies challenges to the claims of neuroscience researchers that educational interventions delivered before children's brains are fully formed are more cost-effective than interventions provided after this developmental phase. The commentary also outlines several steps the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal is taking to increase the rigor of articles it puslishes.

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"Censorship", Early Childhood Research Quarterly and qualitative research: Not so much aced out as an own goal?
Chattoe-Brown, Edmund, Q2 2015
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 31(), 163-171

As its starting point, this article investigates claims published in Qualitative Inquiry by Ceglowski, Bacigalupa, and Peck (2011) that Early Childhood Research Quarterly censored qualitative research. Unfortunately they assert rather than demonstrate political bias against qualitative research, fail to show that its publication in Early Childhood Research Quarterly has actually declined and ignore alternate hypotheses compatible with their data. After breaking their argument into parts, I find their censorship claims completely unsupported by evidence. However, this article has two larger aims. The first is to show how mistaking hypotheses for evidence, arguing unconvincingly from quantitative data, and failing to consider alternative interpretations of evidence weaken qualitative research, lowering its credibility within social science. The second is to consider the wider academic ramifications of publishing a peer-reviewed journal article that totally fails to support its claims. Based on these concerns, the article offers some practical advice to avoid the negative outcomes demonstrated by the publication of Ceglowski, Bacigalupa, and Peck and considers the scientific implications of this rebuttal to their claims having been rejected previously by Qualitative Inquiry. (author abstract)

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Challenges of planning a birth-to-three evaluation: A universal early childhood system evaluation
Leow, Christine S., June, 2014
Journal of Early Childhood Research, 12(2), 128-138

In an effort to bring rigorous research into the education and social sciences field, the past decade had seen an increase in the advocacy of randomized controlled trials. The argument in favor of using randomized controlled trial is that one can evaluate the impact of an intervention in comparison to a control group with confidence during a summative evaluation. However, before coming to the stage of conducting a randomized controlled trial, extensive effort in planning and conducting process evaluation is needed. This article examines the perspective of an early childhood evaluation in the United States, and particularly highlights the challenges that arise when a state's whole system is being evaluated, where the system consists of a variety of program models and the provision of early childhood services is universal in the system. The challenges are highlighted so that future evaluators will be aware of such issues in planning their universal systemwide evaluation. (author abstract)

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Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2013: Survey materials
Brind, Richard, September, 2014
Manchester, United Kingdom: Great Britain, Department for Education.

These survey materials were used to conduct the 2013 Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey, a study of child care and early years providers and the workforce in England.

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Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2013: Technical report
Brind, Richard, September, 2014
Manchester, United Kingdom: Great Britain, Department for Education.

In order to inform policy development, the Government needs reliable information on the key characteristics of provision in the early years and childcare sector. Robust information on the workforce, the providers operating in the sector and the number of children attending are vital inputs to the policy decision making process. The Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey provides a very broad range of measures that help to address information needs in these areas. In addition to the Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey conducted in 2013, the Department for Education (DfE) and its predecessor departments also commissioned earlier waves of this survey. As such, the Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey began in 1998 and was repeated in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 2013 research, which is the focus of this report, consisted of surveys amongst the ten following types of settings: Full-day childcare; Sessional childcare; Children's centres (focusing primarily on full-day care and which are a sub-set of full-day care as a whole); Before school care; After school care; Holiday care; Childminders; Primary schools with nursery and reception classes; Primary schools with reception but no nursery classes; Nursery schools. (author abstract)

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Children, mathematics, and videotape: Using multimodal analysis to bring bodies into early childhood assessment interviews
Parks, Amy Noelle, June, 2014
American Educational Research Journal, 51(3), 505-537

Despite the increased use of video for data collection, most research using assessment interviews in early childhood education relies solely upon the analysis of linguistic data, ignoring children's bodies. This trend is particularly troubling in studies of marginalized children because transcripts limited to language can make it difficult to analyze embodied power relations between majority researchers and minority children. This article responds to this problem by outlining a theoretical position on power and bodies, describing multimodal analysis strategies, and using these strategies to analyze the subject positions available during a mathematical assessment interview for three African American preschool child-participants and the European American adult researcher. This study draws attention to the complexity of human interactions during assessment interviews by describing the ways children positioned themselves as willing (or not), attentive (or not), and competent (or not) as well as describing the ways the researcher sought to position herself. (author abstract)

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Choice of data sources and data collection methods
Weber, Roberta B. (Bobbie), 16 September, 2008
(3rd in series of Child Care Market Rate Survey webinars). New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections.

This webinar is a discussion of methodology used in the Guidance for Validating Child Care Market Rate Surveys project. It includes an assessment of the methods used to study the effects of data sources and data collection methods on resulting measurements of child care prices.

Webinars


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Collecting information from Head Start and Early Head Start grantees on implementation of the school readiness goals requirements: Survey items for program leadership, teachers, and administrative data collection
Rohacek, Monica, April, 2015
(OPRE Report #2015-36). Washington, DC: Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Though Head Start has a long history of efforts focused on preparing children for school and assessing children's development, it is only since December 2011 that Head Start regulations specifically require grantees to set school readiness goals and track progress toward those goals. To gain an understanding of how programs and child and family outcomes may change in response to the specific focus on school readiness goals, it is important to begin with how grantees are interpreting and responding to the new requirements. This report serves as a resource for future national surveys or data collection efforts that aim to understand the kinds of goals grantees set, how they collect and analyze data to track progress, ways the goals are being used at the local level, and factors that can support meaningful implementation of the school readiness goals requirements. (author abstract)

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Confidentiality issues: Addressing questions about sharing data among organizations
Thornburg, Kathy R., 21 April, 2014
Washington, DC: Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance Program.

This brief summarizes of a webinar on confidentiality issues faced by early childhood education programs that manage, view, and share data on children and/or interface with integrated and longitudinal data systems. It addresses select restrictions in place under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), and includes a list of commonly-asked questions and answers on the topic as well as a record of those asked and answered during the webinar.

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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