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