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Accountability comes to preschool: Florida's approach to evaluating pre-kindergarten programs based on their graduates' kindergarten assessments
Miller, Luke, September, 2015
Charlottesville: University of Virginia, EdPolicyWorks.

This policy brief describes one state's experience using child assessment data to evaluate the quality of early childhood providers. In 2005, Florida introduced its Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program, a free, universal preschool initiative. VPK currently serves about 75 percent of the state's 4-year-olds, and is a national leader with respect to preschool access. Since its inception, Florida has evaluated the quality of VPK programs based on their participants' score on an assessment administered at the beginning of kindergarten. This memo describes Florida's unique approach to program-level accountability and also highlights some potential unintended consequences of Florida's early childhood accountability system. In particular, we focus on the lack of a pre-test and the related possibility of mislabeling programs "low performing." (author abstract)

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The Administration for Children & Families common framework for research and evaluation
United States. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, March, 2016
(OPRE Report #2016-14). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This document outlines the roles of various types of research and evaluation in generating information and answering empirical questions related to the human services provided by the Administration for Children & Families (ACF). More specifically, this document describes the purpose of each type of research, the empirical and theoretical justifications for different types of studies, types of study outcomes, and quality of evidence. (author abstract)

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Ages & Stages project: Evaluation for DHS/DCCECE
Whiteside-Mansell, Leanne, 2011
Little Rock: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.

This project assessed the feasibility of the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) to identify children 6 months to 5 years at risk for developmental delay in home- and center-based childcare facilities throughout Arkansas. The ASQ project had three goals: 1) Increase the knowledge of childcare providers 2) Integrate the ASQ into early childcare programs 3) Identify parent, provider and physician barriers to on-going use of the ASQ. The UAMS evaluation of the ASQ project addressed each of these three goals using both quantitative and qualitative methods. (author abstract)

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Ages & Stages project: Evaluation for DHS/DCCECE [Executive summary]
Whiteside-Mansell, Leanne, 2011
Little Rock: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine.

This project assessed the feasibility of the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) to identify children 6 months to 5 years at risk for developmental delay in home- and center-based childcare facilities throughout Arkansas. The ASQ project had three goals: 1) Increase the knowledge of childcare providers 2) Integrate the ASQ into early childcare programs 3) Identify parent, provider and physician barriers to on-going use of the ASQ. The UAMS evaluation of the ASQ project addressed each of these three goals using both quantitative and qualitative methods. (author abstract)

Executive Summary


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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)

Literature Review


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Applying implementation science in early childhood programs and systems
Spector, Barbara S, 08 February, 2016
Teachers College Record,

A review of a book containing a collection of writings on the role of implementation science in early care and education, with examples of applications of implementation science principles, strategies, and frameworks to early care and education practices, programs, and systems

Book Reviews


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Approaches to measuring Early Head Start-child care partnerships: Recommendations and considerations
Paulsell, Diane, September, 2015
(OPRE Report #2015-62). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), awarded a contract to Mathematica Policy Research and its partners to carry out the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. ACF's goal for the study is to understand whether these partnerships provide continuity of care; meet families' needs for child care; and improve outcomes for providers, families, and children. As part of the project, we developed a theory of change that includes four sets of constructs: (1) inputs to the partnerships, (2) partnership activities, (3) short- and long-term outcomes, and (4) organizational and contextual factors that influence the partnerships. The purpose of this report is to provide a roadmap for measuring all aspects of the partnerships included in the theory of change. We developed the report with a broad range of stakeholders in mind, including researchers, administrators, and practitioners. The recommended measurement approaches will also inform the evaluation design and data collection plan for the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. For each element in the model, we describe the constructs, data elements, data collection methods, and recommended measures, as well as the types of questions that can be answered and how the proposed data collection can inform policy, practice, and research. We conclude with a description of our approach to developing and pre-testing new measures and qualitative data collection protocols. (author abstract)

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Approaches to measuring Early Head Start-child care partnerships: Recommendations and considerations [Executive summary]
Paulsell, Diane, September, 2015
(OPRE Report #2015-62). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), awarded a contract to Mathematica Policy Research and its partners to carry out the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. ACF's goal for the study is to understand whether these partnerships provide continuity of care; meet families' needs for child care; and improve outcomes for providers, families, and children. As part of the project, we developed a theory of change that includes four sets of constructs: (1) inputs to the partnerships, (2) partnership activities, (3) short- and long-term outcomes, and (4) organizational and contextual factors that influence the partnerships. The purpose of this report is to provide a roadmap for measuring all aspects of the partnerships included in the theory of change. We developed the report with a broad range of stakeholders in mind, including researchers, administrators, and practitioners. The recommended measurement approaches will also inform the evaluation design and data collection plan for the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. For each element in the model, we describe the constructs, data elements, data collection methods, and recommended measures, as well as the types of questions that can be answered and how the proposed data collection can inform policy, practice, and research. We conclude with a description of our approach to developing and pre-testing new measures and qualitative data collection protocols. (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 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)

Reports & Papers


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Assessing quality in family and provider/teacher relationships: Using the Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality (FPTRQ) measures in conjunction with Strengthening Families (TM) and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community engagement frameworks and self-assessment tools: A research-to-practice brief
Porter, Toni, April, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015-56). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This research-to-practice brief is intended to help policymakers, program managers, and practitioners learn how the newly released Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality(FPTRQ) measures can be used to complement or supplement two approaches, Strengthening Families (TM) and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement (PFCE) frameworks, and their related self-assessments, that have been frequently used by Early Care and Education (ECE) stakeholders to support their work with families and to assess their programs, providers and teachers in these efforts. It is based on a systematic review of the Strengthening Families (TM) and the Head Start PFCE frameworks and self-assessment tools, and their alignment with the FPTRQ conceptual model and measures. (author abstract)

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Assessing teacher beliefs about early literacy curriculum implementation
McKenney, Susan E., 2015
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-14

Against the backdrop of growing international concern for a narrowing view of early literacy, this study was initiated to determine how teachers of four-year-olds view their task of fostering early literacy. This paper reports on the first steps to design and validate an instrument which captures teachers' perceptions of early literacy content goals; developmentally appropriate and effective pedagogical practices related to each content goal; and their own competencies to offer a suitable environment for developing early literacy. The content validity of the instrument was evaluated by an expert screening; the reliability and practicality of the instrument were assessed through a pilot study involving 20 teachers from 2 countries. Validation findings indicate that the instrument appears to be reliable. The findings from the pilot run show that teachers focus on decoding skills most; there is some attention to book orientation and understanding, and relatively little to the functions of written language. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers


Center-Based Provider Survey [PowerPoint]
National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team, 2015
(NSECE Downloadable Presentation III). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.

This presentation focuses on the Center-Based Provider Survey used in the NSECE. Examined aspects of the survey include: data collection; topics covered by the survey; provider data; survey respondents; levels of observation; and key differences across the categories of survey files.

Other


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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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Child Caregiver Interaction Scale (Rev. ed.)
Carl, Barbara, 2010
Indiana, PA: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Instruments


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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.

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Classroom Assessment Scoring System: Infant Version
Jamison, Kristen Roorbach, May, 2014
Early Education and Development, 25(4), 553-572

Instruments


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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)

Other


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Comparison of observational methods and their relation to ratings of engagement in young children
Wood, Brenna K., February, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(4), 211-222

Although, collectively, results of earlier direct observation studies suggest momentary time sampling (MTS) may offer certain technical advantages over whole-interval (WIR) and partial-interval (PIR) recording, no study has compared these methods for measuring engagement in young children in naturalistic environments. This study compared direct observations of child engagement using WIR, PIR, and MTS methods to continuous duration recording (CDR), using measurement error, correlations, and inter-observer agreement. Results indicated that MTS consistently demonstrated measurements closer to CDR compared with PIR and WIR, although in this study, the differences between MTS and PIR across indicators were not as great as has been demonstrated in the literature. WIR, PIR, and MTS were all strongly correlated with CDR, although there were issues with under and overestimations. Finally, the four observational methods were all moderately to strongly correlated with expert ratings of engagement, although none was significantly correlated with teacher rankings of classroom engagement. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers


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Conditions for effective application of analysis of symmetrically-predicted endogenous subgroups
Peck, Laura, December, 2015
American Journal of Evaluation, 36(4), 532-546

Several analytic strategies exist for opening up the "black box" to reveal more about what drives policy and program impacts. This article focuses on one of these strategies: the Analysis of Symmetrically-Predicted Endogenous Subgroups (ASPES). ASPES uses exogenous baseline data to identify endogenously-defined subgroups, keeping the analysis of some postrandomization choice, event, or milestone grounded in the strength of experimental design. Building on lessons from prior applications of ASPES and also adding some new analyses, this article focuses on four specific practical considerations: first-stage prediction success, assumption credibility, data availability, and sample size. Discussion implies the optimal conditions for effective application of ASPES and points to future research that can enhance the overall tool kit of "what works" analyses. (author abstract)

Other


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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 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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Confirmatory factor structure of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children--Second Edition with preschool children: Too young for differentiation?
Potvin, Deborah C. H., September, 2015
Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 33(6), 522-533

With an age range from 3 to 13 years, the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children--Second Edition (KABC-II) offers an appealing option for the assessment of cognitive abilities for children. Although independent research has provided evidence of the construct validity of the KABC-II for school-age children, previous studies have rarely included an examination of preschool-age children. This study used confirmatory factor analysis to investigate the structure of the KABC-II in preschool children in relation to the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of intelligence. By examining competing models based on CHC theory, this study found that the constructs measured by the KABC-II subtests matched those specified within the manual, for children ages 4 through 5. In addition, these results suggested that Gf and Gv are in fact distinct broad abilities for this age group. These findings provide support for differentiated cognitive abilities within young children. (author abstract)

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Data Activities Inventory: Leader's Level
National Center for Program Management and Fiscal Operations,
Waltham, MA: National Center for Program Management and Fiscal Operations.

Instruments


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Data files and documentation [PowerPoint]
National Survey of Early Care and Education Project Team, 2015
(NSECE Downloadable Presentation II). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.

The slides of this presentation provide information on the structure and use of the dataset of the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE). The data files and documentation are described in detail in this tutorial. The slides will describe the type of variables available in each of the five categories of data files the NSECE will offer: Quick Tabulation, Public Use, Level 1 Restricted-Use Questionnaire, Level 2 Restricted-Use Geographic, and Level 3 Restricted-Use Identifying. In addition, types of documentation and the information they contain is described.

Other


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Data Governance Checklist
Privacy Technical Assistance Center, December, 2011
Washington, DC: Privacy Technical Assistance Center.

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Data management: Best practices for producing high quality data
Tout, Kathryn, 16 May, 2013
(INQUIRE Webinar Series, Webinar 3). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This webinar will provide an overview of best practices in data management. These practices promote data integrity and ensure that high quality data are available for reporting, monitoring and evaluation.

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Data management: Best practices for producing high quality data [Powerpoint]
Tout, Kathryn, 16 May, 2013
(INQUIRE Webinar Series, Webinar 3). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Powerpoint slides from a webinar that provides an overview of best practices in data management. These practices promote data integrity and ensure that high quality data are available for reporting, monitoring and evaluation.

Other


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Data Security Checklist
Privacy Technical Assistance Center, December, 2011
Washington, DC: Privacy Technical Assistance Center.

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Designing a measurement framework for Response to Intervention in early childhood programs
McConnell, Scott R., December, 2014
Journal of Early Intervention, 36(4), 263-280

The overall architecture and major components of a measurement system designed and evaluated to support Response to Intervention (RTI) in the areas of language and literacy in early childhood programs are described. Efficient and reliable measurement is essential for implementing any viable RTI system, and implementing such a system in early childhood programs presents several special challenges. This article describes (a) the general approach taken to developing and evaluating this measurement system, including its conceptual and methodological foundations, methods, and results for developing items and scales for second-generation Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs 2.0), and (b) use of these scales in a larger decision-making framework for differentiating language and literacy instruction to match the needs of preschool children at risk of academic difficulties. The authors conclude with a review of some challenges associated with developing measurement for differentiated instruction in early childhood settings. (author abstract)

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Developing a tool to examine teachers' use of ongoing child assessment to individualize instruction
Monahan, Shannon, September, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015-87). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This report describes the iterative development of the Examining Data Informing Teaching (EDIT) measure. The EDIT is specifically designed to help researchers understand how teachers conduct ongoing assessments for individualization and use those assessments to guide instruction. The measure focuses on the processes the teacher uses for (1) planning what information to collect and how to do so, (2) collecting valid data, (3) organizing and interpreting the data, and (4) using the data collected to inform both overall and individualized instruction. The EDIT uses a multi-method approach in gathering evidence with checklists, ratings, and rubrics that describe how the teacher collects and uses assessment. EDIT raters review assessment and instructional planning documents, as well as video recordings of assessments and instruction. Raters also conduct a one-hour individual teacher interview. (author abstract)

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Development of the CECER-DLL Parent and Teacher Questionnaires: New tools for characterizing preschool DLLs' experiences
Gillanders, Cristina, 12 March, 2014
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

CECER-DLL (Center for Early Care and Education Research-Dual Language Learners) has developed parent and teacher questionnaires to document the characteristics of Dual Language Learners (DLLs), their families, and their classrooms, as well as DLLs' experiences with their two languages. This webinar presents: the content of questionnaires, the process used to develop them, preliminary findings from a validation study, and the next steps in the development process.

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The development of a descriptive measure of early childhood writing: Results from the Write Start! Writing Assessment
Rowe, Deborah Wells, June, 2015
Journal of Literacy Research, 47(2), 245-292

This study describes the development of an observational tool, the Write Start! Writing Assessment, created to provide descriptive information on four features of preschoolers' writing: forms, directional patterns, intentionality (ways of assigning meaning to marks), and message content. Observational categories were generated from a review of research and then refined through constant-comparative analysis of the writing of 139 low-income, African American children aged 2:6 to 5:11. Children participated in the study from 1 to 3 years. Fall and spring writing samples were collected as children responded to a standard task asking them to write a photo caption. Cross-sectional analyses across seven age bands show the range and relative frequencies of writing categories. A wide range of normal variation was observed within age groups. Growth curve analyses confirmed that children showed significant change in all four writing features over the preschool years. Data from a subsample of 10 children were analyzed longitudinally over 3 years to triangulate findings. Although children moved toward more conventional writing, inter-individual variability in initial starting points and pacing of transitions into more advanced categories was observed for all four writing features. Intra-individual variability was observed in back and forth movement between less and more advanced writing performances, concurrent use of multiple hypotheses, and differential development of the four writing features. The authors conclude that the descriptive information provided by Write! Start! measure provides a starting point for differentiation of instruction for young writers. (author abstract)

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Development of a method to observe preschoolers' packed lunches in early care and education centers
Sweitzer, Sara J., August, 2015
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(8), 1249-1259

As early childhood education (ECE) centers become a more common setting for nutrition interventions, a variety of data collection methods are required, based on the center foodservice. ECE centers that require parents to send in meals and/or snacks from home present a unique challenge for accurate nutrition estimation and data collection. We present an observational methodology for recording the contents and temperature of preschool-aged children's lunchboxes and data to support a 2-day vs a 3-day collection period. Methods Lunchbox observers were trained in visual estimation of foods based on Child and Adult Care Food Program and MyPlate servings and household recommended measures. Trainees weighed and measured foods commonly found in preschool-aged children's lunchboxes and practiced recording accurate descriptions and food temperatures. Training included test assessments of whole-grain bread products, mixed dishes such as macaroni and cheese, and a variety of sandwich preparations. Validity of the estimation method was tested by comparing estimated to actual amounts for several distinct food types. Reliability was assessed by computing the intraclass correlation coefficient for each observer as well as an interrater reliability coefficient across observers. To compare 2- and 3-day observations, 2 of the 3 days of observations were randomly selected for each child and analyzed as a separate dataset. Linear model estimated mean and standard error of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and amounts of energy, carbohydrates, protein, total fat, saturated fat, dietary fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, sodium, and dietary fiber per lunch were compared across the 2- and 3-day observation datasets. Results The mean estimated amounts across 11 observers were statistically indistinguishable from the measured portion size for each of the 41 test foods, implying that the visual estimation measurement method was valid: intraobserver intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.951 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.97) to 1.0. Across observers, the interrater reliability correlation coefficient was estimated at 0.979 (95% CI 0.957 to 0.993). Comparison of servings of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains showed no significant differences for serving size or mean energy and nutrient content between 2- and 3-day lunch observations. Conclusions The methodology is a valid and reliable option for use in research and practice that requires observing and assessing the contents and portion sizes of food items in preschool-aged children's lunchboxes in an ECE setting. The use of visual observation and estimation with Child and Adult Care Food Program and MyPlate serving sizes and household measures over 2 random days of data collection enables food handling to be minimized while obtaining an accurate record of the variety and quantities of foods that young children are exposed to at lunch time. (author abstract)

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Digging into the NSECE: Exploiting the potential of the household and provider data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE): Age of child in the NSECE
Milesi, Carolina, July, 2015
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This video presentation examines both definition distinctions concerning age of child and types of care used in the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE).

Multimedia


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Digging into the NSECE: Exploiting the potential of the household and provider data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE): Populating the calendar file (CAPI demo)
Datta, A. Rupa, July, 2015
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This video presentation provides a Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) demo used to capture non-parental child care provision data to populate the calendar file used in the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE).

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Digging into the NSECE: Exploiting the potential of the household and provider data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE): Prices and cost in the NSECE
Datta, A. Rupa, July, 2015
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This video presentation discusses price and cost definitions as related to those used in the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE).

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Digging into the NSECE: Exploiting the potential of the household and provider data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE): Type of care in the NSECE
Datta, A. Rupa, July, 2015
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This video presentation discusses definitions of specific types of care, along with samples used in the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE).

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Digging into the NSECE: Exploiting the potential of the household and provider data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE): Using household and provider data to measure enrollment, usage
Datta, A. Rupa, July, 2015
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This video presentation discusses the availability and potential uses of the non-parental care usage and enrollment data found in the National Survey of Early Care and Education's (NSECE) household and provider data files. Topics examined include: usage definition; types of variables provided; which data set to use (household or provider); considerations in choosing a data file; and advantage comparisons to using each dataset.

Multimedia


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Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) 2009: Data training
Bleckman, Johanna, 27 May, 2015
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This webinar provides training in the use of data from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) 2009. Overviews of the study's design and methodology, along with information on data access and files, analytic and technical issues, software options, and data usage rules are included.

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Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) 2009: Data training [PowerPoint]
Bleckman, Johanna, 27 May, 2015
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This PowerPoint presentation accompanies a webinar that provides training in the use of data from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) 2009. Overviews of the study's design and methodology, along with information on data access and files, analytic and technical issues, software options, and data usage rules are included.

Other


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Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) design options report
Xue, Yange, September, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015-99). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This report summarizes lessons learned from the design of Baby FACES 2009 and describes ways that future descriptive studies of Early Head Start may be designed to build on past work and address the questions and information needs for research, policy, and practice. (author abstract)

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Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) design options report [Executive summary]
Xue, Yange, September, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015-99). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This report provides an overview of the purposes of continued investment in Early Head Start research, summarizes lessons learned from Baby FACES 2009, and describes ways that future descriptive studies of Early Head Start could be designed to address the questions and information needs highlighted by the TWG members. (author abstract)

Executive Summary


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Effective analysis of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) administrative data
Bleckman, Johanna, 15 August, 2012
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This webinar describes the public CCDF Administrative Data Series, it explains how to use the data, and it reviews the ACF-801 data reporting requirements. Several concrete research questions with an analytic strategy are discussed. Finally, an effective research/analysis process is summarized.

Multimedia


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Embracing multiple ways of knowing in regulatory assessments of quality in Australian early childhood education and care
Jackson, Jen, September, 2015
Australian Educational Researcher, 42(4), 515-526

In 2012, a new assessment and rating process for Australian early childhood education and care (ECEC) services was introduced, using a new National Quality Standard (NQS). The NQS assessment and rating process has similarities to observational assessment systems used in educational research, and involves similar strategies for upholding "rigour", as defined by a positivist research paradigm. Drawing on the author's own experience supporting authorised officers to conduct NQS assessments, the paper argues that the NQS assessment and rating process also contains certain similarities to educational research conducted using a constructivist paradigm. Understandings of rigour from constructivist research--including rapport with participants, reflective practice and comfort with ambiguity--can therefore offer valuable insights into how NQS assessments can best be implemented. Although government actors maintain a preference for positivist paradigms, greater attention to constructivist paradigms may help to align the NQS assessment process with the ways of knowing valued in contemporary ECEC practice, and improve its ability to accommodate the complexity and diversity of ECEC quality. (author abstract)

Other


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Empirically based analysis of methodological and ethical challenges in research with children as participants: The case of bullying in kindergarten
Lund, Ingrid, 2015
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-13

When conducting research with children it is essential to consider not only the data, which have been produced as a result of the research, but also the research process itself. This article represents an attempt to contribute the accumulation of knowledge regarding methodological and ethical issues concerning research with children. The data in this article are based on individual and focus-group interviews with children where ethical and methodical challenges related to dealing with children's experiences in the context of bullying in kindergarten are discussed. The topics that will be discussed related to methodical issues are (1) the nature of interaction between the researcher and children and the interpersonal style adopted by the researcher, (2) the style of questioning and (3) challenges in group dynamics in focus-group interviews. Furthermore, topics related to ethical subjects are (1) how to gain access and seek consent with the aim of protecting children as research participants and (2) the issues of privacy and confidentiality. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers


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Evaluation of the utility of the Revised Get Ready to Read! for Spanish-speaking English-language learners through differential item functioning analysis
Farrington, Amber L., September, 2015
Assessment for Effective Intervention, 40(4), 216-227

Children who are Spanish-speaking English-language learners (ELLs) comprise a rapidly growing percentage of the population in U.S. schools. To determine which of these children have weaker emergent literacy skills and are in need of intervention, it is necessary to assess emergent literacy skills accurately and reliably. In this study, 1,318 preschool children were administered the Revised Get Ready to Read! (GRTR-R), and item-response theory analyses were used to evaluate and compare the item-level characteristics of the measure. Results of differential item functioning (DIF) analysis identified significant DIF for seven items. Correlational analysis demonstrated that ELL children's scores on the GRTR-R were more strongly related to oral language skills than were non-ELL children's scores. These results support the use of the GRTR-R as a screening tool for identifying ELL children who are at risk for developing reading problems. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers


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Evidence-based social policy: Recommendations for programs that fit communities' needs
Bridgman, Anne, 2015
Social Policy Report Brief, 28(4).

There has been a movement toward public policy that directs funding for programs and practice with evidence of effectiveness in achieving outcomes. For example, legislation authorizing the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program requires that most of the $1.5 billion dollars over the program's five years be spent on models that have evidence they improve outcomes. Evidence-based policy involves integrating the best scientific knowledge, clinical experience, and input from clients to choose the most effective course of action for a problem. Interest in applying these concepts to social policy comes, in part, from increasing pressure by federal, state, and local funders to demonstrate improved outcomes for children and families from social expenditures. There has also been a rapid increase in federally sponsored systematic reviews that support states' and communities' selection of programs or practices with evidence of effectiveness. However, most evidence is from small-scale, tightly controlled efficacy trials in a few communities, so it's unclear whether programs will show the same impacts in different communities with different populations. An emerging body of research (summarized here) is pointing to the importance of planning for and carefully structuring the transition from small and tightly controlled demonstration projects to large-scale implementation in communities. (author abstract)

Fact Sheets & Briefs


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Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality: Family Services Staff Measure: Short Form
United States. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation,
Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Instruments


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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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