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1.

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)

Fact Sheets & Briefs

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2.

Adaptive interventions and SMART designs: Application to child behavior research in a community setting
Kidwell, Kelly M., September, 2016
American Journal of Evaluation, 37(3), 344-363

Heterogeneity between and within people necessitates the need for sequential personalized interventions to optimize individual outcomes. Personalized or adaptive interventions (AIs) are relevant for diseases and maladaptive behavioral trajectories when one intervention is not curative and success of a subsequent intervention may depend on individual characteristics or response. AIs may be applied to medical settings and to investigate best prevention, education, and community-based practices. AIs can begin with low-cost or low-burden interventions and followed with intensified or alternative interventions for those who need it most. AIs that guide practice over the course of a disease, program, or school year can be investigated through sequential multiple assignment randomized trials (SMARTs). To promote the use of SMARTs, we provide a hypothetical SMART in a Head Start program to address child behavior problems. We describe the advantages and limitations of SMARTs, particularly as they may be applied to the field of evaluation. (author abstract)

Other

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3.

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)

Other

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4.

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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5.

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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6.

Applicability of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System in Chinese preschools based on psychometric evidence
Hu, Bi Ying, July, 2016
Early Education and Development, 27(5), 714-734

This study examined the applicability of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Pre-K (Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008) and its underpinning framework of teaching through interactions in typical Chinese kindergarten classrooms. A sample of 180 kindergarten classrooms in China was selected, and the CLASS was used to rate the classroom teaching interactions. Multiple analytical approaches were applied to examine how the CLASS functioned in the Chinese cultural and social context, including score pattern comparisons with samples from the United States and some international contexts, measurement reliability analysis for different measurement error sources (e.g., interrater reliability and stability across time), and confirmatory factor analysis for several competing models. The findings from these different analyses indicated that the CLASS exhibited the same or very similar structures as in the U.S. sample, and the ratings of the CLASS showed other desirable psychometric characteristics. Practice or Policy: The evidence from the multiple analytical approaches provide strong support for the applicability of the CLASS in the Chinese context. The findings also reveal a critical need for Chinese teachers to improve the quality of instructional support in order to promote children's optimal development. Limitations are noted, and future research directions are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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7.

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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8.

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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9.

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)

Executive Summary

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10.

Assessing the implementation and cost of high quality early care and education: A review of the literature
Caronongan, Pia, April, 2016
(OPRE Report 2016-31). Washington DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This report summarizes the findings of a literature review conducted as part of the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High-Quality ECE (ECE-ICHQ) project funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project's goal is to create a technically sound and feasible instrument that will provide consistent, systematic measures of the implementation and costs of education and care in center-based settings that serve children from birth to age 5. The ultimate measures will inform research, policy, and practice by improving understanding of variations in what centers do to support quality, their associated costs, and how resources for ECE may be better aligned with expectations for quality. We reviewed the literature and research syntheses in three areas--ECE quality, implementation science, and ECE costs--to create a conceptual framework that will guide measurement development. (author abstract)

Literature Review

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11.

Assessing the implementation and cost of high quality early care and education: A review of the literature [Executive summary]
Caronongan, Pia, April, 2016
(OPRE Report 2016-31). Washington DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Measures of implementation and cost of ECE are needed for use and testing together with measures of quality to shed light on what it takes--in terms of activities, capacities, and money--to achieve high quality within a center. Implementation measures need to reflect what ECE centers are doing to educate and care for children and how they are doing it. Cost measures need to capture the way ECE centers allocate the resources they have to work with. The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched a new project--Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High-Quality ECE (ECE-ICHQ)--to develop measures of implementation and cost for an ECE center. The measures will inform research, policy, and practice by improving understanding of variations in what centers do to support quality, their associated costs, and how resources for ECE may be better aligned with expectations for quality. The project's goal is to create a technically sound, feasible, and useful instrument that will provide consistent, systematic measures of the implementation and costs of education and care in center-based settings that serve children from birth to age 5 ("ECE centers"). By "costs" we mean how much it costs to operate a center, including costs incurred by the center, as well as the value of in-kind contributions such as space or labor. (author abstract)

Executive Summary

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12.

Assessing teacher beliefs about early literacy curriculum implementation
McKenney, Susan E., September, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, 186(9), 1415-1428

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

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13.

Best practices in creating and adapting quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) rating scales
Burchinal, Margaret, May, 2016
(OPRE Research Brief 2016-25). Washington DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

The brief summarizes an analysis that uses the data from six large studies of early care and education to simulate state QRIS ratings. The results suggest that QRIS ratings can achieve their desired goal of predicting gains in child outcomes when attention is paid to the psychometric principles of scale development including: dimensionality (ensuring that a scale represents one, not multiple dimensions), selecting items with strong evidence, and scoring items using established criteria for cut points. (author abstract)

Fact Sheets & Briefs

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14.

Between deposit and release: Research Connections and your data
Bleckman, Johanna, 18 August, 2016
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

One way that Research Connections promotes secondary research and policy making is by performing data processing and enhancement on deposited research data in order to add value to data by making them easier to use for secondary analysis. The purpose of this video is to describe the process of archiving data with Research Connections and understand Research Connections' role in archiving your data. Viewers will: (1) Discover the benefits of contributing your research data to the Research Connections data archive. (2) Understand the ICPSR "pipeline" for processing and enhancement and the steps that Research Connections performs on your data before releasing a study on the Research Connections website. (3) Learn data management tips and techniques that can be incorporated into your research project to facilitate a smooth transition to the Research Connections archive at project completion.

Multimedia

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15.

Between deposit and release: Research Connections and your data [PowerPoint]
Bleckman, Johanna, 18 August, 2016
New York: Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

This PowerPoint presentation accompanies a webinar that describes the process of archiving data with Research Connections. Viewers will: (1) Discover the benefits of contributing your research data to the Research Connections data archive. (2) Understand the ICPSR "pipeline" for processing and enhancement and the steps that Research Connections performs on your data before releasing a study on the Research Connections website. (3) Learn data management tips and techniques that can be incorporated into your research project to facilitate a smooth transition to the Research Connections archive at project completion.

Other

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16.

Brigance Early Childhood Screens III
Brigance, Albert H., 2013
North Billerica, MA: Curriculum Associates.

Instruments

17.

Caring for Our Children Basics Health and Safety Standards Alignment Tool for Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes
National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, June, 2016
Fairfax, VA: National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance.

Caring for Our Children Basics (CFOCB) represents the minimum health and safety standards experts believe should be in place where children are cared for outside their own homes, whether in a home-based program or center-based facility. It does not, however, represent all standards that should be present to achieve the highest quality of care and early learning. For example, the caregiver training requirements outlined in these standards are designed only to prevent harm to children, not to ensure children's optimal development and learning. Although use of Caring for Our Children Basics is voluntary, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) hopes Caring for Our Children Basics will be a helpful resource for States and other entities as they work to improve health and safety standards in both licensing and quality rating improvement systems (QRIS). This tool provides a simple format for States and Territories to compare their current early childhood program requirements and standards against the recommended health and safety standards in CFOCB. (author abstract)

Instruments

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18.

Can callous-unemotional traits be reliably measured in preschoolers?
Kimonis, Eva R., May, 2016
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44(4), 625-638

Callous-unemotional (CU) traits designate an important subgroup of antisocial individuals at risk for early-starting, severe, and persistent conduct problems, but this construct has received limited attention among young children. The current study evaluated the factor structure, psychometric properties, and validity of scores on a comprehensive measure of CU traits, the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU), in relation to measures of antisocial/prosocial behavior and emotional processing, administered to preschool children. The sample included 214 boys (52 %) and girls (48 %, [mean] age = 4.7, SD = 0.69) recruited from mainstream and high-risk preschools. Confirmatory factor analyses supported a two-factor structure including callous and uncaring dimensions from 12 of the 24 original ICU items. Scores on the parent- and teacher-reported ICU were internally consistent and combined CU scores showed expected associations with an alternate measure of CU traits and measures of empathy, prosocial behavior, conduct problems, and aggression. Preschool children high on CU traits were less accurate, relative to children scoring low, in recognizing facial expressions. They were also less attentionally engaged by images of others in distress when co-occurring conduct problems presented. Findings extend the literature by supporting the psychometric properties of the ICU among young children, and open several avenues for studying early precursors to this severe personality disturbance. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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19.

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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20.

The Child-care Food and Activity Practices Questionnaire (CFAPQ): Development and first validation steps
Gubbels, Jessica S., August, 2016
Public Health Nutrition, 19(11), 1964-1975

Objective: To develop and validate a questionnaire to measure food-related and activity-related practices of child-care staff, based on existing, validated parenting practices questionnaires. Design: A selection of items from the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire (CFPQ) and the Preschooler Physical Activity Parenting Practices (PPAPP) questionnaire was made to include items most suitable for the child-care setting. The converted questionnaire was pre-tested among child-care staff during cognitive interviews and pilot-tested among a larger sample of child-care staff. Factor analyses with Varimax rotation and internal consistencies were used to examine the scales. Spearman correlations, t tests and ANOVA were used to examine associations between the scales and staff's background characteristics (e.g. years of experience, gender). Setting: Child-care centres in the Netherlands. Subjects: The qualitative pre-test included ten child-care staff members. The quantitative pilot test included 178 child-care staff members. Results: The new questionnaire, the Child-care Food and Activity Practices Questionnaire (CFAPQ), consists of sixty-three items (forty food-related and twenty-three activity-related items), divided over twelve scales (seven food-related and five activity-related scales). The CFAPQ scales are to a large extent similar to the original CFPQ and PPAPP scales. The CFAPQ scales show sufficient internal consistency with Cronbach's [alpha] ranging between 0.53 and 0.96, and average corrected item-total correlations within acceptable ranges (0.30-0.89). Several of the scales were significantly associated with child-care staff's background characteristics. Conclusions: Scale psychometrics of the CFAPQ indicate it is a valid questionnaire that assesses child-care staff's practices related to both food and activities. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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21.

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

Instruments

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22.

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

Instruments

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23.

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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24.

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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25.

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)

Reports & Papers

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26.

COR Advantage
High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, 2014
Ypsalanti, MI: High/Scope Educational Research Foundation.

Instruments

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27.

Data collection and use: An early childhood perspective
Bourassa, Jacqueline, 13 August, 2015
Washington, DC: Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands

This webinar presents findings from a study that explores the collection and use of data in several New England preschool programs. Analysis focuses on three domains: early learning outcomes (math, reading, and social-emotional); classroom quality measures; and dosage. The report addresses the challenges of combining multiple sources of data, as well as advising awareness of multiple explanations that can occur within data analysis. Presenters focus on data collection and use at both state and program levels.

Multimedia

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28.

Data collection and use: An early childhood perspective [PowerPoint]
Bourassa, Jacqueline, 13 August, 2015
Washington, DC: Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands

This PowerPoint presentation accompanies a webinar that presents findings from a study which explores the collection and use of data in several New England preschool programs. Analysis focuses on three domains: early learning outcomes (math, reading, and social-emotional); classroom quality measures; and dosage. The report addresses the challenges of combining multiple sources of data, as well as advising awareness of multiple explanations that can occur within data analysis. Presenters focus on data collection and use at both state and program levels.

Other

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29.

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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30.

Design-corrected variance estimation of NSECE statistics
NORC, 25 February, 2016
Chicago: NORC

This brief describes the sampling techniques used in the collection of statistical data for the National Survey of Early Care & Education (NSECE), and provides information regarding the proper use of weighting to obtain valid inferences for statistics of interest such as percentages, means, totals, ratios, and regression coefficients. Two calculation examples are provided in Stata: a calculation of the total number of children enrolled by single age category, and a calculation of percent of programs by single age category.

Fact Sheets & Briefs

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31.

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)

Reports & Papers

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32.

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)

Reports & Papers

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33.

Development of a tool to evaluate asthma preparedness and management in child-care centers
Young, Chelsea A., June, 2015
Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, 28(2), 121-128

Introduction: Asthma is a common condition affecting many children in child-care centers. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program offers recommendations about creating an asthma-friendly childcare setting. However, no studies have investigated the extent to which child-care centers adhere to these recommendations. This study describes the development of a novel instrument to determine the ability of childcare centers to meet national recommendations for asthma. Methods: The Preparing for Asthma in Child Care (PACC) Instrument was developed using information from existing recommendations and standards, the peer-reviewed literature, site visits, and expert interviews. The survey questions were pilot-tested at 36 child-care centers throughout San Francisco. Results: The instrument is composed of 43 items across seven domains: smoking exposure, presence of a medical consultant and policies, management of ventilation and triggers, access to medication, presence of asthma action plans, staff training, and encouragement of physical activity. Discussion: The PACC Instrument is an evidence-based and comprehensive tool designed to identify areas to target to improve asthma care for children in child-care centers. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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34.

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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35.

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).

Multimedia

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36.

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).

Multimedia

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37.

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).

Multimedia

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38.

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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39.

Early care, early education, and home visiting in American Indian and Alaska Native communities: Design options for assessing early childhood needs
Malone, Lizabeth M., April, 2016
(OPRE Report 2016-49). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

The report documents the process of creating three design topics for an early childhood needs assessment of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and families. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) developed three broad design topics, and Mathematica Policy Research convened a community of learning (CoL) made up of child care practitioners and researchers, Head Start/Early Head Start practitioners and researchers, tribal home visiting practitioners and researchers, ACF federal staff, including representatives from the Office of Child Care, the Office of Head Start, the Office of Early Childhood Development, and the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, and research partners from the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center. The CoL met monthly throughout 2015 and provided a range of perspectives on the key decision points about the designs that came up in those discussions. The three design topics are as follows: Design One will describe the population of AI/AN children and families and their participation in early childhood services based on existing data sources. To the extent possible, this design will provide a broad picture of the programs and providers serving AI/AN children and families at a national level. Design Two will study service organization and delivery systems in AI/AN communities, including the current number of children served and not served, workforce capacity, and cultural resources at the community level and will involve new data collection. Design Three will assess key features needed to support AI/AN communities' capacity for conducting early childhood needs assessments at the community level and will involve new data collection. The report begins with a description of the framework underlying each design topic: the population of interest and the definition of early childhood needs, services, and indicators, followed by details on each of the three design topics. Each chapter addresses the key research questions for the design topic, the population of interest, measurement topics to consider when addressing the research questions, and data sources, including primary data collection or existing data sources available for secondary analysis. The report concludes with a summary of each design topic and future considerations. The goal of this report is to inform the future design of a needs assessment. However, it does not include the details for specific sample designs, data collection protocols or instruments, or analysis plans. (author abstract)

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40.

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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41.

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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42.

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)

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43.

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

44.

Engaging families in the assessment process and use of data: An early childhood example
Keizer, Janice, 12 August, 2014
Washington, DC: Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands

This webinar provides an overview of the Research Program Partnership at the University of Kansas and its work at Educare of Kansas City. Presenters share strategies for using child data as a tool to inform daily practice, to promote family engagement, and to plan within programs and agencies.

Multimedia

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45.

Engaging families in the assessment process and use of data: An early childhood example [PowerPoint]
Keizer, Janice, 12 August, 2014
Washington, DC: Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands

This PowerPoint presentation accompanies a webinar that provides an overview of the Research Program Partnership at the University of Kansas and its work at Educare of Kansas City. Presenters share strategies for using child data as a tool to inform daily practice, to promote family engagement, and to plan within programs and agencies.

Other

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46.

Essential organizational supports for early education: The development of a new survey tool to measure organizational conditions
Ehrlich, Stacy, July, 2016
Chicago: University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.

We present this brief to practitioners and researchers who are interested in measuring the quality of organization-level supports. For all audiences, this brief aims to explain why the early education field would benefit from a measurement system that captures the strength of organizational processes. By providing concrete definitions of the organizational conditions being measured by our new surveys, we encourage practitioners to begin conceptualizing what this may mean for their own work. For other researchers seeking to develop new surveys, this brief provides a roadmap of our rigorous survey development process, whereby we describe our methods for achieving reliable and valid measurement of our intended constructs. (author abstract)

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47.

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)

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48.

Examining the validity of the ECERS-R: Results from the German National Study of Child Care in Early Childhood
Mayer, Daniela, Q3 2016
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36(3), 415-426

The psychometric properties of the revised Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) were examined using data from the German National Study of Child Care in Early Childhood (NUBBEK). Our findings on the validity of the ECERS-R replicate prior research on the scale's response process validity, structural validity, and criterion validity. The Partial Credit Model (PCM) identified disorder of rating categories. Factor analyses did not identify a single global factor of quality of child care, but three factors. Regression analyses revealed small effect sizes for predicting child outcomes and small to moderate effect sizes for predicting alternative measures of quality. Implications for the use and revision of the scale and the development of other measures of child care quality are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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49.

Exploring the use of emoji as a visual research method for eliciting young children's voices in childhood research
Fane, Jennifer, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, (), 1-16

Recognition of the need to move from research on children to research with children has prompted significant theoretical and methodological debate as to how young children can be positioned as active participants in the research process. Visual research methods such as drawing, photography, and videography have received substantive attention in child-centred research paradigms. However, despite their increasing ubiquity in young children's lifeworlds, technology or media-based visual materials have received little interest. This article reports on a study which used emoji as a visual research method for eliciting young children's (aged three to five years) understandings and experiences of well-being. Findings elucidate the capacity of emoji as a visual research method for eliciting children's voices, and considerations for its use in child research. (author abstract)

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50.

Factor analysis of the Preschool Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale for children in Head Start programs
Cress, Cynthia J., August, 2016
Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 34(5), 473-486

Strength-based assessment of behaviors in preschool children provides evidence of emotional and behavioral skills in children, rather than focusing primarily on weaknesses identified by deficit-based assessments. The Preschool Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scales (PreBERS) is a normative assessment of emotional and behavioral strengths in preschool children. The PreBERS has well-established reliability and validity for typically developing children as well as children with identified special education needs, but this has not yet been established for children in Head Start programs, who tend to be at high risk for development of emotional and behavioral concerns. This study explores the factorial validity of the PreBERS scores for a large sample of children participating in Head Start programs around the United States. Results not only confirm the fit of the four-factor model of the PreBERS for this population, but also demonstrate the application of a bifactor model to the structure of the PreBERS which, in turn, allows for the computation of model-based reliability estimates for the four subscales (Emotional Regulation, School Readiness, Social Confidence, Family Involvement) and overall strength index score. The implications suggest that the PreBERS items are reliable scores that can be used to identify behavioral strengths in preschool children in Head Start, and support planning of interventions to selectively address component skills to promote child social and academic success. (author abstract)

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