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Early care and education quality improvement: A typology of intervention approaches

The purpose of this brief is to support continued innovation and inquiry in early care and education (ECE) quality improvement (QI) efforts by presenting an expanded range of QI alternatives in a novel framework. Despite an increased focus on QI at the federal, state, and local levels, there is little agreement on how to implement QI efforts effectively, particularly within state Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). To date, most evaluation designs have largely been unable to disentangle the effects of particular components of QI interventions, which makes evidence-based decision-making difficult for policymakers and practitioners alike. This brief outlines a conceptual framework of QI that captures a broad typology of QI approaches. The brief also includes a scan of the evidence base for QI efforts to identify those supported by a substantial or growing body of evidence, those for which there is little evidence or for which findings are mixed, and those that demonstrate null and negative impacts on global quality, teaching behaviors, or child outcomes. (author abstract)
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