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Best practices in data governance and management for early care and education: Supporting effective quality rating and improvement systems

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Description:
As a centerpiece of state early care and education (ECE) activities, Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) serve as an example of the how an effective ECE data system can support planning, operations, service delivery, monitoring and evaluation. Intentional and rigorous data management practices are essential for data gathered exclusively for the QRIS (such as program observation scores), as well as for external data accessed by the QRIS (such as workforce registry data). Implementing strong ECE data governance and management practices will ensure the quality of QRIS data and thus the integrity of the QRIS itself. Incomplete, inaccurate, or unreliable data can introduce errors in the ratings that can threaten the credibility of the QRIS and have negative consequences for ECE and school-age care (ECE-SAC) programs through skewed reimbursement rates and inaccurate marketing tied to incorrect ratings. The purpose of this brief is to illustrate the need for and benefits of building strong ECE data governance structures and implementing system-wide data management policies and practices, using the example of QRIS. (author abstract)
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