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					             Understanding Quality in
                    Context:
                  Child Care Providers, Markets,
                    Communities, and Policy
                     (2004 Child Care Bureau Field Initiated Grant)


                                                                      1
THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
                                          Background
• Child care providers are faced with a variety of
  operational decisions related to resource acquisition
  and allocation  these operational decisions affect the
  quality of care
• Little is known about how various factors come
  together to shape provider decision-making
• Understanding more about how provider decisions are
  shaped by program and provider characteristics, child
  care market factors, community factors and child
  care/early education policies can help policymakers
  more effectively design and target quality
  enhancement initiatives

                                                        2
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
                  Conceptual Framework
• Providers operate in communities influenced by
  federal, state, and local policies
• These policies interact with an array of community-
  level economic and non-economic factors that can
  affect the behavior of individual providers
• These external factors interact with a set of child care
  provider and program characteristics to influence the
  use and allocation of resources
• Providers’ resource allocation decisions lead to
  structural features and programmatic practices that
  affect quality of care

                                                             3
  THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
Conceptual Framework
                                                                     Subsidies
                                                            (Funding & Administration)




                                                                                     Parent Demand
                   Licensing                 Competition                               For Quality
                    & Other                  From Other                              & Ability to Pay
                   Regulations                Providers




                                                      Provider                          Program
      Quality                Early                Characteristics:                   Characteristics:
     Initiatives           Childhood                Leadership,                       Auspice, Size,    Community
                           Workforce:               Experience,                        Sponsoring          Values
                           Experience              Knowledge of                       Organization        & Norms
                          Qualifications         Quality, Connection                 Goals/Resources      Related
                             Wages                  to Networks                                           To Child
     Early
  Education/                                                                                            Well Being &
Prekindergarten                                                   Level & Stability                      Child Care
   Initiatives            CCR&R, Other                         of Available Resources,                                   Quality:
                           Community                                                                                    Program
                                                               Director Management
                           Org.Provider
                             Support                             & Decision-Making                                      Structure
                            Networks                               about Resource                                      & Practices
                                                                     Allocation
              Food &
              Nutrition
              Programs/
              CACFP




                                                                                                                       4
                   THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
                         Research Questions
• What provider, child care market, community, and
  policy factors are related to child care quality? What
  is the relative importance of these factors? (Phase I)
• Do the factors shaping child care quality and their
  relative importance differ for providers receiving
  voucher-based subsidies? (Phase I)
• How do providers make decisions regarding the
  acquisition and allocation of resources that can affect
  quality, and what are the roles of provider, child care
  market, community, and policy factors in this
  decision-making process? (Phase II)
• Implications of research questions for policy (Phases I
  and II)
                                                        5
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
   Building on Current UI Study:
   Child Care Providers and the
          Subsidy System
• Five sites
     –    Jefferson County, Alabama
     –    Monterey County, California
     –    San Diego County, California
     –    Hudson County, New Jersey
     –    King County, Washington


                                          6
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
     Providers Study Quantitative Data
• Telephone interviews with over 900 center directors and
  family child care providers
   – Representative sample from five sites
   – Interviews also conducted with randomly selected teacher in each
     center
• Topics covered include:
   – Basic operating characteristics (e.g., hours of operation, auspice,
     number of children served)
   – Client demographics
   – Financing (e.g., funding sources, fees charged, profits earned in last
     year, stability of revenue)
   – Director/provider characteristics
   – Indicators of structural and process quality (e.g., ratios/group size;
     caregiver depression and education; teacher wages, benefits and
     turnover; early literacy activities)
                                                                       7
     THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
    Providers Study Qualitative Data
• Data on voucher subsidy policy and
  implementation practices from:
     – Semi-structured interviews with state and local
       administrators and key informants
     – Focus groups with child care subsidy
       caseworkers and regulated child care providers
     – Document reviews




                                                         8
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
                      Phase I Data Sources
• Data from current UI study of Child Care
  Providers and the Subsidy System
• Additional quantitative data:
     – Community-level data on local child care market and
       community demographics
             • Possible sources include 2000 Census, American Community
               Survey, and data from local resource and referral or licensing
               agencies
• Additional qualitative data:
     – Community and policy factors
             • Possible sources include CCDF State Plans and telephone
               interviews with key experts and policymakers


                                                                                9
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
   Four Steps in Phase I Analytic
             Approach
• Group providers according to quality
• Identify factors that discriminate most
  between groupings
• Explore differences for subsidized providers
• Identify configurations of providers and/or
  factors related to quality, and explore
  implications for policy

                                             10
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
1. Group Providers According to Quality
• Categorize providers into groups with similar
  patterns of quality
• Two conceptual approaches for selecting variables
  and thresholds between categories:
     – Standards driven: Group providers based on published
       licensing, accreditation, and/or professional standards
     – Data driven: Examine descriptive associations among
       quality indicators and select appropriate variables for
       inclusion in cluster analysis to group providers
• Most valid groupings to be used as dependent
  variables in later analyses

                                                                 11
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
    2. Identify Factors That Discriminate
          Most Between Groupings
• Examine associations between quality and
  individual factors and produce profiles of higher-
  and lower-quality providers
• Use logistic regression or multinomial logistic
  regression as needed to identify factors that
  discriminate most between groups
     – Dependent variable will be quality as defined in step 1,
       and independent variables will be factors hypothesized
       to influence quality (see conceptual framework)

                                                              12
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
   3. Explore Differences for Subsidized
                 Providers
• Replicate above analyses for subsidized providers
  to determine if factors and their importance are
  different for subsidized providers
• Models and qualitative analyses above will
  include variables describing providers’
  experiences with, and characteristics of, the
  subsidy system



                                                  13
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
 4. Identify Configurations of Providers
  and/or Factors Related to Quality to
              Target Policies
• Explore “typical” configurations of subsidy
  participation/non-participation, quality of care,
  and community and market characteristics (using
  cluster analysis and qualitative methods)
• Use categorization to inform
  development/targeting of quality improvement
  initiatives



                                                      14
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
  Phase II: Assessing Factors Related to
       Provider Decision-Making
• Data Collection
     – In-depth interviews with selected center directors and
       family child care providers
     – Observations of quality of selected center classrooms
       and family child care homes
• Analysis
     – Qualitative analysis of decision patterns
     – Observational assessments scored to identify minimal,
       good, and high quality for programs in sample
     – Using quality thresholds to group providers, further
       explore how decision-making patterns differ for
       providers at various thresholds of observed quality
• Explore implications for policy and practice
                                                                15
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
           Phase II: Activities to Support
                 Further Research
• Public Use Data Set
      – Assess whether survey data can be converted into
        public-use dataset without compromising
        confidentiality of respondents
      – Produce dataset if possible
• Lessons Learned
      – Develop technical paper to inform future provider
        studies
• Measuring Quality
      – Examine relationships between indicators obtained by
        telephone and quality as measured through observations
        in order to assess value of phone measures for
        characterizing quality
                                                            16
 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.
Principal Investigators
         Gina Adams, The Urban Institute
         Ellen Eliason Kisker, Twin Peaks Partners, LLC
Consultants
         Deborah Phillips, Georgetown University
         Doug Wissoker, The Urban Institute
UI Study Team
         Patti Banghart
         Sara Bernstein
         Bonnie Gordic
         Regan Main
         Debra Mekos
         Monica Rohacek, Project Manager
         Kathleen Snyder
Funding
         Understanding Quality in Context is funded by the Child Care Bureau and the
         John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Planned Completion of Phase I is November 2005; Phase II is pending funding.
                                                                                       17
         THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C.

				
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