Iowa Child Care Characteristics and Quality by xiuliliaofz

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									Iowa Child Care Characteristics and Quality
     Midwest Child Care Research Consortium




  Department of Human Development and Family Studies
                 Iowa State University


                  Susan Hegland, Ph.D.

                  Carla Peterson, Ph.D.

                   Hyun-Joo Jeon, M.S.

                  Lesia Oesterreich, M.S.




                    February 17, 2003
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                                                                     2


                                                                     Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................................... 5

Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ 7

Research Questions ......................................................................................................................... 7

Background ..................................................................................................................................... 7

Methodology ................................................................................................................................... 8

Definitions....................................................................................................................................... 8

Licensing vs. Registration ............................................................................................................... 8
Types of Care .................................................................................................................................. 9
Child Care Quality Ratings ........................................................................................................... 10

Key Findings ................................................................................................................................. 10

How does Iowa child care compare in quality with care in other Midwestern states? ................ 10
Why is the quality of care important? ............................................................................................11
What factors predict good quality care? ........................................................................................11
How does Iowa compare in factors related to quality? ..................................................................11
Why should Iowans be concerned about poor quality in child care? ........................................... 12
Recommendations ......................................................................................................................... 12

Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 15

Background ................................................................................................................................... 15

Methodology ................................................................................................................................. 17

Survey ........................................................................................................................................... 17

Observations ................................................................................................................................. 19

Detailed Findings .......................................................................................................................... 20

Characteristics and Quality in Iowa Child Care ........................................................................... 20

Characteristics of the Child Care Work Force .............................................................................. 21

What are the characteristics of the child care work force in Iowa and how do Iowa providers
compare to those in the other three Midwestern states? ............................................................... 21
How do child care provider characteristics vary according to type of care? ................................ 24
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                                                                   3


What is the quality of care in Iowa? ............................................................................................. 25
What percent of Iowa’s child care is good quality? ...................................................................... 25
Overall Curriculum and Learning Experiences ............................................................................ 26

What is the quality of the childcare environment in Iowa in regard to providing experiences
designed to nurture early literacy skills? ...................................................................................... 26
Infant/Toddler Center-Based Care ................................................................................................ 26

Preschool Center-Based Care ....................................................................................................... 27

Family Child Care ......................................................................................................................... 28

What is the quality of interactions between providers and children? ........................................... 31
Subsidy Receipt and Quality of Care ............................................................................................ 32

How does the care provided by subsidized and non-subsidized providers differ? ....................... 32
Subsidy Receipt and Observed Quality ........................................................................................ 32

Subsidy and Provider Characteristics ........................................................................................... 33

Child Care in Rural and Urban Settings ....................................................................................... 34

Education, Training and Other Practices ...................................................................................... 35

What is the relationship between education and observed quality? ............................................. 35
What training did Iowa providers receive and what is the relationship between training and
observed quality? .......................................................................................................................... 36
What other practices associate with quality? ................................................................................ 38
Compensation, Working Conditions and Quality ......................................................................... 40

Are better working conditions associated with more optimal observed quality, and with self-
reported quality practices? ............................................................................................................ 40
Compensation ............................................................................................................................... 40

Working Conditions ...................................................................................................................... 41

Recommendations ......................................................................................................................... 42

Next Steps ..................................................................................................................................... 45

References ..................................................................................................................................... 45

Appendix A: Training Initiatives .................................................................................................. 47

Appendix B: Measurement of Quality .......................................................................................... 48
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                                                             4


Appendix C: Iowa Licensing Standards ........................................................................................ 52

   Group Size Limits ..................................................................................................................... 52

   Required Center Caregiver – Child Ratios................................................................................ 53

Appendix D: Midwest Child Care Research Consortium Presentations ...................................... 54
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                                      Acknowledgements
        The Midwest Child Care Research Consortium was funded as a Child Care Partnership
Grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children,
Youth, and Families, Child Care Bureau, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas
City, Missouri. The Midwest Child Care Research Consortium is funded for 3 years of project
activity, from 2000 to 2003. Gratitude is extended to Pia Divine, Ph.D., U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, and Lisa Klein, Ph.D., Kauffman Foundation, for their support.

        Grantee for the Midwest Child Care Research Consortium is the Center on Children,
Families and the Law, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Co-Principal Investigators are Brian
Wilcox, Ph.D., and Helen Raikes, Ph.D. Surveys were conducted by the Gallup Organization,
under the leadership of Dr. Raikes and Ron Aames, Ph.D. State-specific research was conducted
by four state universities. Principal Investigators are Carla Peterson, Ph.D., and Susan Hegland,
Ph.D., Iowa State University; Julia Torquati, Ph.D., and Carolyn Edwards, Ed.D., University of
Nebraska-Lincoln; Jane Atwater, Ph.D., and JeanAnn Summers, Ph.D., University of Kansas;
and Kathy Thornburg, Ph.D., University of Missouri. The Consortium gratefully acknowledges
the work of numerous others currently involved with the project whose efforts have been key to
the research effort. These include Chris Wiklund, Kathy Anderson, Linda Pope, Abbie Raikes,
Lanette Christensen, Julie Jones-Branch, Glenda Gipson, and Lisa Knoche, University of
Nebraska; Lesia Oesterreich, Carolyn Clawson and Hyun-Joo Jeon, Iowa State University; Deb
Montagna, University of Kansas, and Jackie Scott and Wayne Mayfield, University of Missouri.
Gratitude is also extended to Julie Lamski and Rita Holland and numerous interviewers at the
Gallup Organization. Finally, gratitude is extended to the following individuals who served as
―gold standard‖ observers: Carolyn Clawson and Hyun-Joo Jeon from Iowa, Lana Messner and
Deb Montagna from Kansas, Michelle Mathews and Susie Cable from Missouri, Julie Jones-
Branch and Penny Gildea from Nebraska, as well as to field data collectors who collected
observational data within the states.
        The Consortium is a partnership between research institutions and child care and early
childhood divisions in four states. It also includes child care resource and referral agencies and
child care training organizations in the four states. While individuals who have been active in the
project have shifted somewhat because responsibilities within state governments have changed,
the following individuals were involved in the Consortium in June of 2002: Jody Caswell,
Program Manager, Child Care Unit, Iowa Department of Human Services; Chris Ross-Baze,
Kansas Department of Health and Environment; Paula Jasso, Kansas Department of Social and
Rehabilitation Services; Janet Newton, Kansas Department of Health and Environment; Debra
Enochs and Becky Houf, Missouri Department of Social Services; and Christine Peterson, Pat
Urzedowski, Sandy Scott, Virginia Riebel and Duane Singsaas, Nebraska Department of Health
and Human Service System, and Harriet Egertson and Eleanor Kirkland, Nebraska Department
of Education. Gratitude is extended to the numerous persons within state governments who have
prepared data files and who assisted in obtaining other key information on numerous occasions.
The work of the Consortium would not have been possible without the indispensable partnership
of child care resource and referral agencies and child care training organizations in several of the
states. Some of these key individuals and organizations within the four states include: Penny
Gildea and Carol Fichter, Nebraska Early Childhood Training Center, Iowa Resource and
Referral; Lana Messner, Kansas Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.
        The Consortium is grateful also to other principal investigators who have coordinated
their work with ours and to other researchers who have provided collaboration and technical
assistance. The Iowa team also gratefully acknowledges the partnership with the Iowa
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Cooperative Extension Service. Jane Ann Stout, Associate Dean of Extension in ISU’s College of
Family and Consumer Sciences, played an instrumental role in forging the collaborative
partnership between the ISU research team and extension field staff members. The following
field staff members were involved in collection of observational data: Patricia Anderson, Donna
Andrusyk, Michele Beck, Beverly Berna, Mary Crooks, Donna Donald, Diane Foss, Anita
Hampton, Eugenia Hanlon, Cheryl Clark, Susan Hooper, Barbara Hug, Mary Hughes, Jerri
Leighton, Sharon Mays, Fran Passmore, Wendy Peterson, Rhonda Rosenboom, Brenda Schmitt,
Ann Smith, Holle Smith. The Iowa team also acknowledges the assistance of Carolyn Clawson
and Hyun-Joo Jeon who organized the observer training, as well the following individuals who
assisted with observer training: Kathy Reschke, Margaret VanderLeest, Wendy Kovacs. This
project would not have been possible without the assistance of these individuals.
       Finally, and foremost, the Consortium extends gratitude to the several thousand child care
providers who responded willingly and openly to our questions and to the several hundred who
opened up their classrooms and homes to the investigators. We attribute their openness to the
dedication that exists among the child care community and to a desire to contribute for the
betterment of the field and for the sake of children. We applaud child care providers throughout
the Midwest
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                                     Executive Summary
         The Midwest Child Care Research Consortium conducted a study of child care quality
and characteristics of the child care work force in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. The
purposes of this work were to help states establish a baseline for tracking 1) quality over time, 2)
initiatives related to training, 3) policy and/or regulation changes, and 4) other changes in the
child care system that may occur. The measures look beyond Iowa child care licensing standards.
Rather, using research-based measures of quality, they assess the extent to which quality
indicators are present among the child care settings and in the work force. The current study
included a telephone survey of 2022 randomly selected Midwestern child care providers (408
from Iowa), conducted during late spring and summer of 2001 by the Gallup Organization, and
follow-up in-depth observations of 365 providers (74 from Iowa), conducted by four Midwestern
state universities. Several key findings from the study are highlighted in the sections below.

                                       Research Questions

The initial set of questions that specifically addresses child care in Iowa is below. Each of these
questions was proposed to become a baseline measure of some aspect of the child care system.
These baseline measures are intended to enable comparison of quality measured at future points
in time that may follow new and continued initiatives.
      What are the characteristics of the child care work force in Iowa and how do Iowa
       providers compare to those in the other three Midwestern states? How do provider
       characteristics vary according to type of care (i.e., infant/toddler or preschool center-
       based, family child care or approved license exempt care)?
      What is the quality of care in Iowa? How does child care quality vary according to
       different types of care?
      What is the quality of the childcare environment in Iowa in regard to providing
       experiences designed to nurture skills in early literacy, science and math, and early social
       interaction?
      What is the quality of interactions between providers and children in Iowa?
      Are quality and other features different between providers who care for children whose
       tuition is paid by government subsidies and those who do not? By those who receive a
       high proportion of payment by subsidy and a lesser proportion?
      Are there relationships between education, training, workplace characteristics, and
       selected practices of childcare providers and observed quality of care they provide for
       children?

                                           Background

       The child care workforce and child care quality have been studied over the past three
decades. Nationwide, from 10% to 40% of child care is reported to be good quality (Cost,
Quality and Child Outcomes Study Team, 1995). The policies that support child care quality, in
Iowa and nationwide, are complex. In addition, the child care market generally does not support
good quality or adequate wages for providers.
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                                            Methodology

        The University of Nebraska’s Center on Children Families and the Law and the Midwest
Child Care Research Consortium contracted with The Gallup Organization of Princeton, New
Jersey, and four state universities to conduct a study of child care workforce characteristics and
quality in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. A survey was developed based on indicators of
child care quality and the child care workforce. These indicators were based on literature
regarding child care services and information needs of state child care administrators. Names of
approximately 10,000 providers were drawn from lists of nearly 40,000 regulated providers and
subsidy-receiving clients in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The providers drawn were
notified by letter that they could be called by Gallup to complete a 12-15 minute survey.
Respondents were contacted between April and August of 2001; final survey sample size was
2022 (408 in Iowa). A subset of approximately 385 (74 from Iowa) providers was contacted for
follow-up observations using well-known assessments of child care quality: the Infant-Toddler
Environment Rating Scale (ITERS); the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised
(ECERS-R); the Family Day Care Rating Scale (FDCRS); and the Arnett Caregiver Interaction
Scale which measures provider-child interactions. Reliability in observations was obtained across
states and within states by ―gold standard‖ observers who were ―anchors‖ for their own states.
The ITERS, ECERS-R, and FDCRS provide industry standard measures of child care quality and
a score of ―5‖ or above is defined as good quality and less than ―3‖ is poor quality while the zone
between ―3‖and ―5‖ is defined as mediocre or minimal quality. In addition, two quality factors
were created from self-reported quality practices; we refer to these as the Reading/Learning
Centers factor and the Parent Communication Factor.

                                             Definitions

        The study was completed with several groups of child care providers, including:
infant/toddler center-based providers, preschool center-based providers and family child care
home providers. Within the scope of this study the category of family child care home providers
may also have included group child care homes and group child care homes joint – registration
(see definitions below). These definitions and descriptions of services in Iowa were current
during the time of the study. Impending changes in child care registration guidelines are expected
for Spring of 2003.

Licensing vs. Registration

        In Iowa, ―licensing‖ and ―registration‖ are different. Center-based programs are licensed
and home-based child care is registered. In both processes, the Department of Human Services
establishes minimum requirements. Licensing requirements are more stringent. Licensing also
requires a visit to the facility and an evaluation by a professional staff person before the license is
issued. Licensed centers receive at least one annual visit by an Iowa Department of Human
Services child care licensing consultant.
        The registration process is less stringent. Family home providers self-certify in writing
that they meet the minimum requirements in all areas of child care home operation.
Responsibility for making sure the requirements are met rests primarily with the provider, the
parents of children in care, and the community. Iowa Department of Human Services reports that
twenty percent of all registered child care homes are visited annually by a child care licensing
consultant.
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        Family child care home registration is voluntary. A family child care home may register
with the Iowa Department of Human Services, but is not required to do so. However, Iowa law
limits the number of children a home may care for, whether the home is registered or not. A non-
registered family child care home may not care for more children than a registered family child
care home. Registration is mandatory for ―group child care homes‖ and ―group child care
homes-joint registration.‖ Registration must be renewed annually.

Types of Care

       Infant /toddler center-based providers: Licensed center-based providers who care for
children from 2 weeks to age 2. Child care licensing consultants make a minimum of one
unannounced visit to center-based facilities each year.

        Preschool center-based providers: Licensed center-based providers who care for children
from age 2 to kindergarten age. Child care licensing consultants make a minimum of one
unannounced visit to center-based facilities each year. Iowa state code defines a preschool center
as a program which provides care to children ages three through five, for periods of time not
exceeding three hours per day. However, for purposes of this study, ―preschool center-based
care‖ is defined as full-day care for ―preschool-age‖ children ages three through five.

        Family Child Care Homes: a program which provides child care to no more than 6
children at any one time, including the providers, own preschool age children. However, a
registered or unregistered family child care home may provide care for more than 6 but less than
12 children at any one time for a period of less than two hours, provided that each child in excess
of 6 children is attending school in kindergarten or a higher grade level. The provider’s own
children attending kindergarten or a higher level are not included in the total count. There can be
no more than 4 children under the age of two years at any one time.

        Group Child Care Homes: a program which provides child care to no more than 6
preschool age children at anyone time, including the provider’s own children not attending
kindergarten. A group child care home provider may also provide care for more than 6, but fewer
than 12 children at any one time, provided that each child in excess of 6 children is attending
school in kindergarten or a higher grade level, and there is an assistant (14 years or older) in the
home to assist in the care of children when any child in excess of 6 is provided care for longer
than two hours.
In addition to the above numbers, a registered group child care home may provide child care for
more than 11 but fewer than 16 children for a period of less than two hours at any time. The
provider’s own children attending kindergarten or a higher grade level are not included in the
total count. There can be no more than 4 children under the age of 24 months at any one time.

        Group Child Care Homes -- Joint-Registration: a program that provides child care for
more than 6, but less than 12 children. Of these no more than 4 children present may be less than
24 months of age. No more than 10 children present shall be 24 months of age or older, but not
attending school in kindergarten or a higher grade level. The combined total number of these two
categories of children shall not exceed 11. In a joint registration group child care home, the joint
holder for the certificate of registration must be an adult, and must meet the same requirements
as those listed for the provider. In addition to the above numbers, a joint registration group child
care home may provide care for more than 11 but less than 16 children for a period of less than
two hours at any time.
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                                              Child Care Quality Ratings

       The following terms are used to describe observed child care quality; these quality
measures are derived from scales which are widely used in early childhood (see appendix C for
more information):
        Good quality care: Scores of ―5‖ or higher on the Infant Toddler Environment Rating
Scale (ITERS) (Harms, Cryer, & Clifford, 1990), the Early Childhood Environment Rating
Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) (Harms, Clifford, & Cryer, 1998), or the Family Day Care Rating
Scale (FDCRS) (Harms & Clifford, 1989)..
     Mediocre or minimal quality care: Scores of ―3‖ to ―5‖ on the ITERS, ECERS-R or
FDCRS are referred to as ―mediocre or minimal‖ quality.
       Poor quality care: Scores below ―3‖ on the ITERS, ECERS-R or FDCRS are referred to
as poor quality.

                                                    Key Findings

How does Iowa child care compare in quality with care in other Midwestern states?

        The quality of full-day, full-year child care in infant care centers and in family child care
homes in Iowa was significantly lower than the quality of child care in Kansas, Missouri, and
Nebraska. Child care center programs for preschool-age children were comparable in quality to
care in the other three states; however, the average quality of care for all types (infant, family
home care and center care) in all four states fell in the mediocre range, as shown in Figure 1.
        In a study by researchers at the University of Northern Iowa (Zan & Edmiaston, 2022),
the quality of the Iowa Shared Visions classrooms, which are state funded, accredited preschools
serving children at risk for academic failure, was much greater. This greater level of quality is
attributed to several factors. Iowa Shared Vision Programs receive relatively stable funding
support, have better educated staff, and must meet higher quality standards (i.e., NAECP
accreditation).


                             Infant Centers      Family Care               Preschool Center
                         7
    Poor Mediocre Good




                         6
                         5
                         4
                         3
                         2
                         1
                                   Iowa       Kansas           Missouri          Nebraska

Figure 1. The quality of care in family child care home, infant centers, and preschool centers
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Why is the quality of care important?

        National studies (e.g., Peisner-Feinberg et al., 2001) have found that good quality child
care predicted more advanced academic and social skills through the second grade, particularly
for children of parents with lower levels of formal education. However, nearly 40% of the
observed family child care homes in Iowa offered poor quality care, which puts children at risk
not only for health and safety, but also for the learning, language, literacy, and social skills
needed for success in school. Nearly 20% of the observed infant child care centers offered poor
quality care; furthermore, none of the observed infant care centers were offering good quality
care.

                        Good            Mediocre               Poor
           100%

           80%

           60%

           40%

           20%

            0%
                      Iowa           Kansas         Missouri          Nebraska


Figure 2: Percentage of Poor, Mediocre, and Good Quality Child Care in Iowa

What factors predict good quality care?

       Among the four states in the Midwest study, predictors of good quality care included:
           Formal education of the caregiver
           Level of training completed in the past year
           Participation in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program
           Completion of a professional credential in early care and education
           Accreditation by a national professional organization
           Higher caregiver salary and benefits
        Across the nation, state and community initiatives that have provided support for
increased salaries and benefits, increased access to high quality training and education, improved
licensing standards, and higher expectations for accreditation have consistently shown increases
in quality of care.

How does Iowa compare in factors related to quality?

        In contrast to caregivers in other states, Iowa caregivers earned, on average, lower
salaries for full-day, full year work ($12,200 per year); furthermore, Iowa caregivers had
completed, on average, fewer training hours in the past year.
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        Compared with the other Midwestern states, Iowa has fewer full-time child care licensing
specialists to monitor minimal standards relative to the number of licensed centers. Iowa has
fewer regulations, less stringent regulations, and provides less on-site monitoring for family child
care providers. Iowa is the only one of the four states in this study, and one of the few states in
the nation, to provide no mandatory licensing for home providers caring for fewer than 13
children.
       Iowa also has provided fewer state-wide training initiatives to increase quality; Iowa also
has fewer collaborative efforts between child care programs and publicly operated, part-day
programs such as Head Start or Shared Visions.

Why should Iowans be concerned about poor quality in child care?

        Currently Iowa has the highest percentage of employed parents of young children in the
nation (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002). A recent national report indicated that Iowa also has the
second highest national rate of founded child abuse reports in child care settings (Scott, 2001,
based on data from National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, 1999). The
effects of poor quality care can be expected to show up in lower language, literacy, academic,
and social skills in Iowa’s kindergartens. These results may also influence the decisions of
families and businesses to relocate to Iowa.

                                        Recommendations

    Iowa’s early care and education system needs improvements in regulations, enforcement, and
professional development. No parent should have to leave their child with a caregiver and
wonder whether the provider will wash hands after changing a diaper and before fixing a meal.
The high rate of founded child abuse in Iowa child care centers supports the need for such
regulation. Although some would argue that this rate is high because Iowa does not distinguish
between child care and babysitting, we would argue that the lack of distinction reflects Iowa’s
lack of child care regulation and enforcement. The absence of child care regulations does not
provide parent choice, it limits parent choice because of the failure to provide consumer
protection. The relatively high scores in caregiver interaction suggest that parents may be
choosing care based on the interactions they observe and experience with the caregiver.
However, consumer protection is needed to ensure that the caregiver implements basic health
and safety regulations when the parent cannot be present.
   Iowa’s lack of regulations and enforcement may also result in the lack of impact on quality
from specific training initiatives, such as Child Net. Using training to substitute for regulation
and enforcement is costly and inefficient. Without regulations, a significant portion of training
monies are devoted to motivating providers to participate in training, to improve practice from
poor to at least mediocre levels, and to become registered.
    Mandatory licensing, such as implemented in other states for group sizes over four children,
may permit training efforts to focus on helping providers improve from mediocre to good quality
practices. Mandatory licensing may also encourage more collaborative partnerships between
Head Start and family child care providers. Furthermore, mandatory licensing will help persuade
the poorest quality providers—those who provide child care only for the paycheck, or only to
help someone, or until they get another job--to seek another profession. For both educational and
economic reasons, more of Iowa’s child care needs to be in the good quality category.
    Although Iowa does have some preschool center-based child care programs that provide
early care and education of good quality, it is especially troubling that no instances of good care
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were observed among infant-toddler center-based programs. Critical developments in social,
cognitive, and communication skills occur through the very young child’s interactions with the
primary caregiver. Although some family child care was good quality, nearly half of the family
child care was of poor quality. Good quality care leads to good outcomes for children and helps
to provide the foundation needed for success both in school and in life. It is less costly to build
social, cognitive, and communication competencies in qood quality early care and education than
it is to remedy the social, cognitive, communication deficits when children are in elementary
school.
   Specific recommendations based on the findings of this report follow:
   1. There is an immediate and urgent need to improve quality among infant-toddler center-
      based providers. A major training initiative, the Program for Infant-Toddler Caregivers,
      was begun after this data was collected. This program may help increase program quality.
      However, the high turnover, low wages, and poor scores in adult needs suggest that the
      administrative and supervisory infrastructure for infant child care also needs attention.
   2. There is an immediate and urgent need to improve quality among both registered and
      non-registered family child care home providers who are approved to receive public
      subsidy dollars. Few non-registered providers were observed; however, the care
      observed in those settings was among the lowest quality care observed overall. On
      average, non-registered providers had lower levels of education; furthermore, they
      reported engaging in fewer quality related practices than other providers. If providers are
      to receive public subsidies, they should be required to meet basic health and safety
      standards.
   3. Whenever possible, target family child care home providers when establishing
      relationships with Early Head Start/Head Start programs, increase access to opportunities
      for CDA training, and increase access to participation in the USDA Child and Adult Care
      Food Program. A combination of regulation, enforcement, and training initiatives will
      provide an investment in providers who choose child care as a profession and who intend
      to stay in the field. Prioritize CPR/First aid training for all providers to ensure the basic
      safety of Iowa children for whom the state provides child care funding.
   4. Emphasize improvements in the learning opportunities available to children throughout
      Iowa child care. It is especially urgent to help infant-toddler center-based and family
      home providers see the potential for intentional planning, creative use of space, and other
      high quality early childhood practices.
   5. Continue to work to raise the very low annual earnings and enhance work-related benefits
      among providers in every form of child care in the state.
   6. Continue to augment partnerships between all early care and education providers in Iowa
      (e.g. Early Head Start/Head Start, Shared Visions, early childhood special education, and
      child care providers). Iowa has chosen to invest many of its early care and education
      funds through Empowerment Areas giving a great deal of control to local communities.
      However, Iowa has fewer examples of partnerships between Early Head Start/Head Start
      programs than is true for the other Midwestern states where these formal partnerships
      were strongly associated with higher levels of quality. In addition, quality in some
      programs within Iowa (e.g., Shared Visions programs) is higher than is the quality of
      Iowa child care settings overall.
   7. Support local Empowerment Areas to implement initiatives directed toward quality
      improvements throughout Iowa’s early care and education system. Further training
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                  14


      regarding the components of quality; program design, administration, and evaluation; and
      collaboration could enhance these efforts effectively.
   8. Continue and expand efforts to strengthen the rigor and enforcement of Iowa’s child care
      regulations. Recent steps to strengthen Iowa’s registration system for family child care
      home providers represent an important move in this direction. However, Iowa continues
      to have the least rigorous child care regulations among its Midwestern neighbors, and
      Iowa has the lowest ratio of personnel assigned to inspection relative to numbers of
      providers. Provide expanded training and educational opportunities, especially training
      opportunities that are rigorous and outcomes oriented.
         Provide incentives for achieving performance outcomes from increased education and
          training.
         Replace requirements for training from hours-based to outcomes-based, based on
          specific competencies in the Iowa Early Care and Education Professional
          Development Competencies.
         Implement pre-service requirements for training to ensure that all caregivers have
          completed basic health and safety training before caring for children. Enforce
          requirements for CPR/First Aid training, especially among family home providers.
         Explore avenues to embed the CDA within the two-year programs offered by
          community colleges to bring the added rigor of the CDA to two-year preparation and
          to bring Iowa up to CDA completion rates in neighboring states.
         Build articulation systems from outcomes-based training provided by groups such as
          Child Care and Referral Agencies and Cooperative Extension to competency-based
          credentials, such as the CDA, and credit-based degrees at community and four-year
          colleges.
         Build on the contributions of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program that has
          been an important way to augment the quality of programs serving low-income
          children in neighboring Midwestern states.
         Combine Internet and video training programs with ―in-person‖ training components.
          Iowa providers use ―not in-person‖ training heavily, especially family home providers
          and providers living in rural areas. Unfortunately, the benefits of this type of training
          are not as great as those associated with ―in-person‖ training. Consider more
          opportunities for ―in-person‖ training for family child care (e.g., Missouri’s
          EDUCARE program).
         Build on successful and promising approaches. For example, continue efforts with
          and expand upon ongoing training initiatives (e.g., PITC) that associate with quality
          across the country. Continue to emphasize training that has a monitored outcome,
          certificate, or credit.
         Provide training for providers to enhance their abilities and willingness to implement
          a curriculum or a planful approach to their caregiving. Such intentionality appears to
          be a strong correlate of quality across the Midwest and the nation.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                   15


                                          Introduction
        The University of Nebraska Center on Children Families and the Law and the Midwest
Child Care Research Consortium contracted with The Gallup Organization of Princeton, New
Jersey, and four state universities to conduct a study of child care workforce characteristics and
quality in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The purposes of this survey were 1) to
determine the prevalence of quality indicators in child care programs in the Midwest and 2) to
determine if there were systematic differences in quality indicators according to whether
providers were subsidy receiving or not; according to type of care provided; according to state;
and according to whether the provider was an Early Head Start/Head Start child care partner.
States were in hope that the quality indicators for those providing care for children receiving
subsidies would be comparable to other care in the state and that high quality care would be
found across all types of care. Additionally, in three of the states investments in Early Head
Start/Head Start partnerships were viewed as a way to improve quality, and administrators
wanted to learn whether there were differences between these partnerships and other programs in
states. Results of the study are to be used as baseline for tracking quality over time in the four
states.

                                          Background
         Studies on child care quality and the child care workforce have been conducted over the
last three decades. Public policy efforts to support and improve child care quality are diverse and
complex. Economic supports for child care are limited and compounded by the reality that the
consumer market does not support high quality or good wages. High quality child care is costly
to provide and expensive to purchase. As a result, child care rated as ―good‖ is found in only
10% to 40% of programs nationwide (Cost, Quality and Child Outcomes Study, 1995).

        Iowans have good reason to be concerned about the quality of child care. Currently, Iowa
has the second largest percentage of employed parents of young children in the nation. A recent
national report indicated that Iowa also has the second highest national rate of founded child
abuse reports in child care settings (Scott, 2001). The effects of poor quality care can be expected
to show up in lower language, literacy, academic, and social skills in Iowa’s kindergartens. These
results may also influence the decisions of families and businesses to remain in Iowa or relocate
to communities that are more supportive of child care and early childhood education.

        In Iowa, the Department of Human Services (DHS) administers child care licensing and
registration. Center-based programs are licensed and receive an annual inspection. Family child
care homes are not licensed, but may voluntarily ―self-certify ―by registering with the State of
Iowa. It is impossible to know what percentage of family child care providers in Iowa choose to
be registered. Twenty percent of registered homes are visited annually by a DHS child care
consultant. Non-registered homes do not receive an annual inspection and are not required to
meet minimum training requirements. However, legally they may not care for more children than
registered homes. Compliance with this ruling is difficult to enforce because there are very few
systematic and effective ways to identify non-registered providers.

      The Iowa Department of Human Services administers the Child Care and Development
Fund quality set-aside dollars and TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                   16


      Healthy Child Care Iowa (HCCI) is a state-wide initiative administered by the Iowa
Department of Public Health. HCCI seeks to improve child care health and safety and ensure a
medical home for every child. HCCI Health Consultants are affiliated with the Iowa Child Care
Resource and Referral lead agency offices and provide consultation to child care programs and
CCR&R staff.

        The Iowa Department of Education serves as the lead agency for Early ACCESS, a
multiagency partnership supporting infants and toddlers with special needs, and their families.
The Department also supports the Early Childhood Network and Early Childhood Special
Education Leadership Network specialists that are located in regional Area Education Agencies.
Additionally, the department administers Shared Visions programs, accredited preschool
programs for children at risk for academic failure. Currently there are 109 Shared Visions
programs serving 2360 children who are three to five years old, and 12 family support programs
serving 1000 children and their families. The Iowa Department of Education also supports the
Iowa Head Start Collaboration office and employs a state infant and toddler coordinator who
provides support for the Program for Infant and Toddler Caregivers (PITC). PITC training for
child care providers did not begin until late Spring, 2002; thus, it could not impact current
findings from this Midwest research study for which data was collected in 2001.

         The Iowa Empowerment Board supports state and community partnerships and promotes
collaboration among education, health, and human services. The goal of Community
Empowerment is to empower communities to achieve desired results to improve the quality of
life for children birth to 5 and their families. State empowerment dollars used for child care have
been used by communities to fund tuition scholarships; grants for equipment, toys and
curriculum materials; and consultation support, as well as funding for resource and referral
services.

        Iowa Community empowerment was established by legislation in 1998 in an effort to
―create a partnership between communities and state government with an emphasis to improve
the well being of families with young children‖. Legislation set up empowerment as a state-wide
and locally driven initiative. Iowa’s 99 counties are organized into 58 Local Empowerment areas.
Funding for state Empowerment comes from two sources:

1. School-ready Funds – state dollars —FY2002 – 15.6 million

      Used to provide comprehensive services for children birth to five years.
      Plan is devised by local Empowerment Boards.
      Boards are encouraged to commit 60% of funds to home visitation and parent support
       programs.
      $200,000 of these funds support the state Community Empowerment office operations.
      Examples of services: child care, health services, pre-school programs, safety.

2. Early Childhood Funds -- Federal Dollars TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families)—
    FY2002- 6.3 million

      Used to enhance quality child care capacity in support of parent capability to obtain or
       retain employment.
      Examples of services: developing capacity for child care, training for child care workers,
       assisting providers in meeting licensing standards.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    17



        Empowerment areas are encouraged to secure other funds to complement grants from
community empowerment. With the exception of one key grant, little fundraising from private
sources has occurred. Community Empowerment has enjoyed bi-partisan support and protection
in the Iowa legislature.

      Currently the Iowa Empowerment Board is a recipient of a technical assistance grant
from North Carolina’s Smart Start program. Goals of the technical assistance plan include:

      Develop and utilize a comprehensive, compelling and unifying vision for all Iowa’s
       young children.
      Strengthen and build on accountability for results at state and local levels.
      Deepen and broaden the public will to support early childhood issues. Strengthen
       leadership to increase support for Community Empowerment and the greater vision for
       early childhood in Iowa.
      Expand organizational capacity to meet the greater vision for young children.

        In summary, Iowa has made a number of efforts to build the capacity and improve the
quality of child care. A central theme for many of these efforts has been focused on community
responsibility and local control. The overall success of each of these efforts has not been
examined carefully and thoroughly.

                                          Methodology
                                              Survey

        To accomplish the objectives of this study, researchers from Gallup and the Midwest
Child Care Research Consortium prepared a survey consisting of items that predicted quality of
care in past studies, as well as workforce characteristics and conditions. The research teams
obtained files of providers from state child care divisions in the four states as a population from
which to select the random sample.
        The survey was comprised of 28 general questions, 8 demographic questions and 1 open-
ended question. Items were selected according to several criteria: 1) if they had been found to
predict observed quality in previous studies; 2) if they had been found to predict positive child
outcomes in previous studies; 3) if similar or related items had been found to predict observed
quality or to predict child outcomes in previous studies; 4) if items tapped into a feature of the
labor force found to be predictive of trends or changes in other areas of the country; 5) if state
administrators in the Midwestern states had invested in a procedure (e.g., a type of training) or
had initiated a policy in order to improve quality and the prevalence of the procedure or response
to the policy could be addressed by the survey. As much as possible, questions were written to be
consistent with those asked in previous studies so that Midwestern results could be compared
with earlier findings.
        Prior to selecting the sample it was necessary to define the population. State-level child
care division files were used to identify providers and programs that provided full day child care.
These files included all providers who were licensed or registered and all providers who received
public child care subsidies from each of the four states in the most recent month for which
transactions were complete. In three of the states the files included names of all providers for
October, 2000, and in one of the states the file contained names current as of November, 2000.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    18


Altogether these files yielded names of 39,473 providers who were then subdivided according to
the study stratification categories.
       The list of providers was sent to a telephone look-up service to maximize the number of
providers who could be contacted by telephone. State university and resource and referral
agencies also contributed missing telephone numbers.
        Additionally, Head Start and Early Head Start programs were contacted to obtain the
names of their child care partners, and partnerships were verified with the child care programs by
telephone. The following are the categories of care studied across the states: Licensed
Infant/Toddler Center-Based Care (Subsidy and Nonsubsidy) -- 4 States; Licensed Preschool
Center-Based Care (Subsidy and Nonsubsidy) -- 4 States; Licensed Family Child Care Homes
(Subsidy and Nonsubsidy) -- 3 States—Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska; Registered Family Child
Care Homes (Subsidy and Nonsubsidy) -- 2 States—Iowa and Kansas; License Exempt Family
Child Care (Subsidy Only) 4 States; Early Head Start/Head Start child care partners -- 4 States.
        Providers received advance information about the study from newsletters published by
state child care and education divisions, professional organizations, and resource and referral
agencies. Two state child care divisions sent providers notices that they could be called by
Gallup, and this letter encouraged providers to participate in the survey. Field staff in child care
divisions and resource and referral agencies were informed about the study so they could also
encourage providers to participate if contacted. From the large state provider files, Gallup drew a
sampling list of five times the number of providers required to fill each stratification cell, and
these providers received a letter from Gallup explaining the study and telling them they could be
called in the near future. Gallup selected providers at random from the sample files and calls
were completed from April through August of 2001. Ninety-nine percent of providers who
completed the survey were female.

Table 1
Sample by Strata (Observations are in parentheses)
      State           Infant      Preschool Licensed        Registered     License    Early Head
                      Center      Centers   Family          Family         Exempt     Start/Head
                                            Homes           Homes          Homes      Start Child
      Total                                                                           Care
                      n = 480     n = 484      n = 502      n = 292        n = 264
                                                                                      Partner
                                                                                      n = 130
      TOTAL:          318 (70)    250 (66)     275 (34)     148 (13)       264 (14)   49 (21)
      Subsidy         162 (44)    170 (47)     227 (44)     144 (19)       NA         81 (21)
      Non-
      subsidy
      IA: Subsidy     63 (18)     66 (18)      NA           96 (11)        71 (2)     10(6)
      Non-            19 (6)      17 (2)       NA           60(10)         4(0)       2(1)
      subsidy


        When contacted by Gallup, the person who answered the telephone was informed about
the study and was asked to identify a teacher at random or to respond to the survey if she was the
only provider at the number. The respondent was given the option of responding to the survey at
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                        19


the time contacted or the interview was scheduled for a later time. A number of questions were
asked in order to verify the eligibility of the program (offering full-day child care) and of the
respondent (e.g., full-time teacher or provider) and to verify the classification of the respondent
(e.g., infant/toddler or preschool teacher).
         Once a provider had been drawn to participate in the study, a seven-call call back design
was followed to ensure the integrity of the random design. Providers who indicated their
willingness to be re-contacted (about 90%) were put on a list to be drawn for follow-up
observations. The final sample consisted of 408 Iowa providers (2022 in the Midwest sample)
stratified according to state, subsidy use, and type of care. There were 74 Iowa providers
observed and 385 observed in the Midwest sample.

                                            Observations

         Observer training. All observations conducted under the auspices of the Midwest
Childcare Research Consortium were done on-site by trained observers. Careful attention was
paid to inter-rater reliability to ensure congruence of data between sites and across time. A trainer
of trainer model was implemented with two individuals from each participating state serving as
―gold standard‖ observers. These individuals were trained to use all observation instruments
(ECERS, ITERS, FDCRS, Arnett, and ICCQI) reliably, took responsibility for achieving cross-
state inter-rater reliability, and coordinated observer training and monitoring of inter-rater
reliability within their respective states.
        These ―gold standard‖ observers were trained on all observation instruments and
achieved inter-rater reliability with each other in their home states. The eight individuals then
met at a specified site (Kansas City) to establish inter-rater reliability across states. Observers
were certified as meeting the established standard for inter-rater reliability when they reached
agreement within 1 point per item for at least 85% of the items on each scale.
        Following this interstate training effort, the gold standard observers trained observers and
provided ongoing technical assistance to ensure that observers achieved the established standard
of inter-rater reliability before collecting data and maintained inter-rater reliability throughout the
data collection period. Observer training at each site included classroom sessions designed to
familiarize observers with the ECERS, ITERS, FDCRS, Arnett, and ICCQI. Next on-site
observation sessions in childcare homes and/or centers were completed with trainers and trainees
observing in the same setting and rating the instrument independently. Each individual observer’s
scores were checked against those of a ―gold standard‖ observer or another individual whose
level of inter-rater reliability had been certified by a ―gold standard‖ observer. Each observer was
required to reach agreement within one point per item for at least 85% of the items on each scale
for which he/she was certified to use for data collection. Thus, an individual observer was
required to meet the inter-rater reliability standard separately for the ECERS, ITERS, etc.
         Inter-rater reliability checks were made to maintain high standards of inter-reliability
within each state throughout the data collection period. For this purpose observers were paired to
facilitate inter-rater reliability checks within every six observations made with a particular
instrument (e.g., ECERS, ITERS, FDCRS) or at least every six months. Inter-rater agreement
rates were monitored by the ―gold standard‖ observers within each state who were prepared to
give further training or technical assistance whenever needed if an individual observer’s
performance dropped below the established standard.
       Observational data collection procedures. Observations of childcare providers were made
within each participating state. Providers to be observed were selected randomly from the list of
subjects who had participated in the Provider Survey conducted by the Gallup Organization.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                       20


Childcare providers were contacted and asked about their willingness to be observed. When a
provider agreed, an observer was assigned to collect data. The observer spent two to three hours
in the childcare center or home, completing the appropriate instrument (e.g., ECERS, ITERS, or
FDCRS and ICCQI) and the Arnett, as well as a short interview with the center director or the
home childcare provider.
        Observational data were sent to the participating university in each state to be reviewed
for quality and completeness. When additional data needed to be collected and/or information
needed to be clarified, the university researchers and field observers worked collaboratively to
make any needed corrections. All data were sent to the Center on Children, Families and the Law
at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, for data entry and preliminary analyses.

                                       Detailed Findings
                         Characteristics and Quality in Iowa Child Care

        Findings show great variability in the quality of Iowa child care available in different
types of care arrangements. Almost 40% of the care provided to preschool-age children in Iowa
centers is good quality. Approximately 25% of the care provided by family home child care
providers is of good quality; however, slightly more than 40% of this same type of care is poor
quality. Unfortunately, we observed no instances of good quality among infant-toddler center-
based providers; yet, less than 20% of these classrooms actually provided poor quality care.
There are important variations in provider characteristics and experiences within Iowa, as well as
across the four Midwestern states. In addition, the relationships between provider characteristics
and indicators of quality are somewhat variable within different types of care in Iowa, as well as
across the four Midwestern states.
        This report presents findings about the characteristics of child care providers across the
Midwest with special attention to the characteristics of Iowa’s providers. The quality of care
provided across different types of care arrangements in Iowa is presented. Next, the quality of
literacy related experiences provided within Iowa child care settings is presented. Finally, the
relationships between provider characteristics, subsidy receipt, and child care quality are
presented. The report concludes with a discussion of implications for enhancing quality within
Iowa’s child care system.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                 21


                           Characteristics of the Child Care Work Force

What are the characteristics of the child care work force in Iowa and how do Iowa providers
compare to those in the other three Midwestern states?

Table 2
Characteristics of the Child Care Workforce as Reported in the Gallup Survey (n = 2002)
                  Characteristic Midwest      Iowa        Nebraska        Kansas    Missouri
                    Average age      38.7      37.9          38.4         39.8        38.3
                        Married      72%       74%           74%          70%         70%
                          Parent     84%       87%           82%          86%         83%
    Bachelors Degree or more         15%       17%           14%          14%         16%
            At least 2 yr Degree     15%       14%           18%          16%         14%
   One yr Child Development           7%         6%           6%            8%         8%
 Some education beyond high          31%       28%           32%          32%         30%
                     school
           High school diploma       28%       31%           28%          26%         26%
          Less than high school       4%         4%           2%            5%         5%
                       diploma
           Average annual wage $13,900        $12,410      $14,700        $13,250   $15,390
    % with more than 5 years         72%       71%           75%          72%         70%
       child care experience
          % in program < 1 year      16%       14%           14%          16%         18%
      Child care is profession       60%       58%           63%          56%         65%
            Child care is calling    59%       55%           57%          58%         66%
   Work while children young         36%       38%           35%          37%         35%
                 Help someone        42%       43%           41%          44%         43%
                            CPR      82%       83%           90%          80%         76%
                        NAEYC        16%       13%           13%          17%         21%
                        NAFCC         7%         6%           7%            8%         6%
     Plan: stay in child care 5      60%       57%           60%          56%         67%
                 years or more
    Would choose other work          17%       19%           17%          16%         15%
     Have internet connection        57%       57%           58%          53%         60%
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                                        22


       The average child care provider in Iowa is experienced with children and with child care.
Most providers are married women whose average age is 38 years old, and who are also

                                 16
     Years of Formal Education



                                 15




                                 14




                                 13




                                 12



                                      Infant Center                    Family Care                 Preschool Center
                                                                       Type of Care

Figure 1.Average year of experience of Iowa provider by type of care.
parents. Iowa has a slightly larger percentage of providers who have the baccalaureat degree than
do the other Midwestern states; however, Iowa has a slightly lower percentage of providers who
have either a two-year degree or a Child Development Associate (CDA) certification.
Approximately one-fourth of Iowa providers have a high school diploma with some additional
training; again, this rate is slightly lower than that in the other Midwestern states. The average
salary for Iowa providers is $12,410 per year, which is lower than salaries for child care
providers in the other three states. Although Iowa providers are slightly more likely to be college
educated than their counterparts in the other three states, they reported fewer hours of training on
average. In addition, Iowa providers are somewhat less likely than providers in


                                                     Graduate degree
                                                          2%
                                                                           Less than high
                                                                              school
                                       Bachelors degree                          4%
                                            15%
                                                                                            High school
                                        2-year college                                         31%
                                           degree
                                            14%


                                              1-year child             Beyond high
                                              development                school
                                                program                   28%
                                                  6%




Figure 2: Education level of iowa providers (n = 408).
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                                   23


the other Midwestern states to look at child care work as a profession or ―calling‖ or to engage in
practices generally associated with high quality care (e.g., daily reading to children and daily
greeting parents) and more likely to look at their job as ―something to do while their children are
young‖. Both of these factors are associated with lower levels of quality of care among midwest
family childcare providers. Interestingly, providers are fairly well connected to the Internet; 57%
reported that they have an Internet connection.

                                 12

                                 10
           Years of Experience




                                  8

                                  6

                                  4

                                  2

                                  0

                                           Infant Center        Family Care          Preschool Center
                                                                Type of Care

Figure 3. Average year of education of Iowa providers by type of care.
       There is, however, a substantial cadre of committed long-term providers in the state. The
average provider has been providing child care for over five years and almost half have been
providing child care for over 10 years (46%). The majority of providers are committed to child
care and see it as important work; 58% of Iowa providers report they agree that child care is their
profession and 55% say that it is a personal calling for them. The majority of providers (57%)
say they intend to be a child care provider for five years or longer, and 81% say they would not
choose work other than child care. However, less than half the providers (41%) say they have
had opportunities to learn and grow in the field in the past year.

                                 $18,000
 Annual Income($)




                                 $16,000
                                 $14,000
                                 $12,000
                                 $10,000
                                  $8,000
                                  $6,000
                                  $4,000
                                  $2,000
                                      $-

                                                Infant Center          Family Care            Preschool Center
                                                                      Type of Care

Figure 4. Average annual income of Iowa providers by type of care (n = 381)
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    24

How do child care provider characteristics vary according to type of care?

        As is evident from the charts above, as well as from Table 3 below, there are substantial
differences in the characteristics of providers who work in different types of settings. In addition,
there are substantial differences in the quality of care provided across these different types of
settings. These factors are important considerations as Iowans pursue strategies to strengthen the
early care and education system available within the state. In Table 3; characteristics represent
both those interviewed and those observed. Observed characteristics (e.g., quality) are based on
23 preschool center classrooms, 25 infant/toddler classrooms, and 26 home providers.

Table 3
Quality and Characteristics by Type of Care, (n = 23 - 234 per cell)
   Features of Providers:                           Infant      Preschool      Home
                                                   Toddler       Center       Provider
                                                   Center
   Average Observed Quality                         3.6            4.6          3.6
   CDA                                              8%             2%           5%
   Average Training Hours                          21.2           32.8        17.9
   Two year degree or higher                       29%            57%         23%
   Child care is profession                        58%            70%         53%
   Child care is stepping stone                    37%            31%         17%
   Child care is my personal calling               64%            57%         52%
   Job with a paycheck                             40%            17%         35%
   Do while children are young                     36%            16%         47%
   Child care is to help someone                   40%            26%         45%
   In current position < 1 year                    29%            13%           9%
   Would do other work if could                    14%            19%         21%
   Will be in child care >5 years                  49%            60%         53%
   Age (% < 24)                                    45%            17%           3%
   Average annual wages                          $12,424       $15,411       $10,757
   First Aid (% current certification)             95%            98%         73%
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    25


What is the quality of care in Iowa?


           7                                                               Iowa
                                                                           Kansas
                                                                           Missouri
           6                                                               Nebraska
  Observation




                                                                           Total
    Score




           5

           4

           3

           2

           1
                ECERS                  ITERS              FDCRS                       All
                                               Scale

Figure 5. Quality of observed child care in the Midwest by type of care and state (n = 365)
        The average quality of observed care in preschool centers in Iowa is comparable to that
observed in preschool centers in the other states in the Midwest region. However, observed
quality in both infant-toddler centers and family child care homes in Iowa was of significantly
poorer quality than that observed in preschool centers in Iowa or in similar types of care
arrangements in the other states.
        Quality of observed care was measured using the following assessments: the Infant
Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) (Harms, Cryer, & Clifford, 1990) for infant-toddler
center-based care, Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) (Harms,
Clifford, & Cryer, 1998) for preschool center-based care, and the Family Day Care Rating Scale
(FDCRS) (Harms & Clifford, 1989) for regulated and unregulated family child care homes. By
standards used in the Cost, Quality, and Outcomes Study (e.g., Peisner-Feinberg et al., 2001), a
score of ―5‖ or higher is rated good quality; a score below ―3‖ is rated as poor quality; and scores
between are categorized as mediocre or minimal quality. Preschool center-based care in Iowa
averaged 4.52, at the level of mediocre care; this level of quality is comparable to preschool
center-based care observed in the other three states. On average, observed quality of infant-
toddler center-based care in Iowa was rated 3.69, and observed quality of family home child care
was rated 3.61. These scores, although still in the range of mediocre care, are significantly lower
than those obtained in similar types of care settings in Nebraska, Kansas, or Missouri.

What percent of Iowa’s child care is good quality?

Only a small proportion of Iowa’s child care is good quality or better, a rating above a ―5‖ on the
observation scales used. Particularly notable is the fact that a much higher proportion of
preschool center based childcare is of good quality (i.e., app. 40%) than is true within the other
types of care. It is also important to note the high proportion of family home child care within the
poor quality range (i.e., app. 40%), as well as the fact that no examples of high quality care were
observed among infant-toddler centers. Figure 6 below presents detailed information regarding
observed quality across different aspects of care within each type of care arrangement in Iowa. In
past studies, positive child outcomes have been associated with better quality care and negative
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                   26


child outcomes with poorer quality care (e.g., Helburn, 1995; Peisner-Feinberg & Burchinal,
1997; Peisner-Feinberg et al., 2001).

                          Overall Curriculum and Learning Experiences

What is the quality of the childcare environment in Iowa in regard to providing experiences
designed to nurture early literacy skills?

         Given the importance of early environments for laying the groundwork for later
outcomes, such as school readiness, a more specific examination was made of the quality of the
environment across subscale areas measured by the ECERS, ITERS, and FDCRS. As presented
in the figures below, most of the subcategories of observed quality within all types of child care
settings fall below the good level.




      100%
      90%
      80%
      70%
      60%
      50%
      40%
      30%
      20%
      10%
       0%
               Infant Centers      Family Homes        Preschool Centers

                                Good     Mediocre       Poor

Figure 6. Percentage of quality levels in each type of care (n = 74).

Infant/Toddler Center-Based Care
        Infant/toddler center-based observed quality (ITERS) in Iowa was significantly poorer
than that observed in any of the other three states. No instances of good quality care were
observed in infant-toddler center-based care settings in Iowa; however, only about 16 % of the
infant/toddler classrooms provided poor care. Also, it is noteworthy that in observed programs all
subcategories of the ITERS fell below the good quality level. The two lowest quality areas were
adult needs, which assesses the extent to which the needs of the caregivers (e.g., for adult-sized
chairs, breaks, and professional development) and learning activities, which captures the limited
opportunities for very young children to participate in a variety of activities that promote
exploration, play, and developmental growth. As a group, infant/toddler center-based providers
are younger and newer to their jobs than are providers in other types of care arrangements. As
shown in Table 3; nearly thirty percent of the infant/toddler center-based providers had been in
their jobs less than a year, and 50% had less than 2 years experience caring for children.
Infant/toddler center-based providers also have lower incomes than do preschool center-based
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                       27


providers. The very low ITERS scores in the area of provision for adult needs among this group
of providers may be another factor contributing to the apparently high rates of turnover among
this group of providers.


                                          ITERS

  Space & Furnishings

         Care Routines

      Listening/Talking

    Learning Activities

      Social Interaction

    Program Structure

           Adult Needs

                  Total

                           1        2         3         4          5         6         7
                                               Quality of Care
Figure 7. Average observed quality of ITERS subscales in Iowa infant/toddler center classrooms
(n = 25).
        The training and education and education findings for infant/toddler center-based
providers are mixed. Compared to other Iowa providers, a higher percentage of infant/toddler
providers have a CDA, but a smaller percentage of them have completed two years or more of
post-secondary education. Additionally, these providers report having received less training
during the past year than do preschool center-based providers but more than home providers.
This is also true for the percentage that report having current certification in First Aid. Although,
compared to other Iowa providers, infant/toddler center-based providers were more likely to say
that child care is a personal calling, they were also less likely to say that child care is a profession
and more likely to say that child care is a stepping stone to a related career.
Preschool Center-Based Care
        Observed quality in preschool center-based care (ECERS) was comparable to similar care
in other states. However, quality in center-based classrooms was poorer in all observed areas
than that in Iowa’s Shared Visions programs (Zan & Edmiaston, 2002). Although all but one of
the Shared Visions subscale scores fell in the good quality range, for center-based preschool
child care, only scores on the interaction subscale fell in the good quality range. The interaction
subscale assesses to what extent interactions between and among adults and children are positive.
The area of lowest observed quality in both the Shared Visions and Midwest study is activities;
this area encompasses opportunities to participate in activities in several areas generally
associated with development of school readiness skills such as math and science, blocks, fine
motor, and art. Observed quality in the area of language and reasoning is slightly higher than that
in activities, but it still fails to reach the level of good quality.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                   28




     Space & Furnishings

             Personal Care

  Language & Reasoning

                  Activities

                Interaction

       Program Structure

           Parents & Staff

                      Total

                               1       2            3    4         5       6        7

                                       Child Care       Shared Visions

Figure 8. Average observed quality of ECERS’s subscales in Iowa center-based preschool
classrooms ( n= 23) compared with that of Shared Visions classrooms.
        Across the Midwest, center-based providers serving preschoolers are the most well
educated providers; furthermore, they report receiving the most training of any subgroup of
providers. In Iowa, approximately 70% of this group (significantly more than in the group of
either infant-toddler care providers or family child care providers) had received formal education
in child development. Also, providers serving preschoolers included the largest proportion of
providers with at least two years of post-secondary education. This group also received many
more hours of training than any other group of providers in Iowa, although the number of hours
was less than that of preschool teachers in the other three states. Center-based providers serving
preschoolers reported the highest incomes on average of any group. In addition, providers
serving preschoolers included the highest proportion who regarded child care as their profession;
furthermore, they were the most likely to say that they intended to stay in child care for at least
another five years.

Family Child Care
       On average, observed quality of family care was of significantly lower quality in
comparison with other Midwestern states; family child care also provided the poorest quality of
observed quality within Iowa. However, good quality care was provided by over 20% of the
providers in this group. Again, the lowest quality scores were in the area of learning activities.
        Although 5% of family child care providers reported that they have a CDA, compared to
Iowa infant and preschool center providers, they also have the lowest proportion of individuals
who have completed two years of post-secondary education. Furthermore, compared with the
other two groups of providers, they also reported completing fewer hours of training and they
have the highest proportion of individuals who do not have current certification in First Aid.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                   29


                                                 FDCRS


            Space & Furnishing

                     Base Care

        Language & Reasoning

             Learning Activities

            Social Development

                   Adult Needs

                          Total

                                   1    2       3       4       5          6    7

                                            non-registered    registered

Figure 9. Average observed quality of FDCRS’s subscales in Iowa registered family home
providers (n = 24) and non-registered family home providers (n = 2)
        Iowa does not require a license for providers caring for six or fewer children; rather these
providers are asked to participate in a voluntary registration program. Although the other three
Midwestern states do have provisions to exempt a limited number of providers from licensing
regulations, overall Iowa’s policy is less stringent than those in place in the other three
Midwestern states. In addition, although many family child care providers care for children
whose care is subsidized by the state; there is no requirement that these providers be registered to
receive this subsidy. On average these providers reported caring for 5.7 children (including their
own) during peak period.
        Family home providers, as a group, represent a fairly stable group of providers, who are
older on average than providers in the other groups; these providers were most likely to say that
they intent to stay in child care for at least another five years despite the fact that this group
reported the lowest level of salary overall. However, these providers were also least likely see
child care as their profession, or as personal calling and were most likely to say they would
choose other work, see the work as something to do while children are young, or who provide
child care to help someone. These statements were related to observed quality across the four
states.
        Closer examination was made of the pre-literacy environments experienced by Iowa’s
children. Pre-literacy environments were assessed through two means: first, by asking providers
how often they read to children, and, second, by observing the quality of the pre-literacy
environment. The 408 Iowa providers who were interviewed by phone were asked how much
they agree with the statement, ―Every day, every child in my care is read to,‖ and 310 (76%) said
they strongly agreed.
       Further information comes from the observational findings. Four primary areas of literacy
were examined from the items and subscales of the ITERS, ECERS, and FDCRS measures of
observed child care quality (Books and Pictures, Language and Reasoning, Display for Children,
and Cultural Awareness) using the Environment Rating Scales. The means across these items for
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                  30


each type of care are provided in the chart below. The table presents detailed information
regarding the percentages of providers observed within each category across these four items.

          7

          6

          5

          4

          3

          2

          1
              Books & pictures     Language        Display for          Cultural
                                   reasoning        children           awareness

                   Infant/toddler center   Preschool center      Family child care

Figure 10. Average observed quality of literacy and cultural experiences in Iowa child care (n =
74).
        As is evident from Figure 10, all these areas represent areas of concern for Iowa’s
children. Only within preschool center-based child care settings do any of these scores move out
of the poor range. The low scores in Language and Reasoning suggest that children are not
allowed to talk much during the day, may not be encouraged to talk with teachers, and/or
teachers do not engage children in educational conversations frequently. Cultural Awareness is
the weakest area. In most programs, there are few culturally diverse items, such as books, dolls
or pictures depicting individuals of diverse ethnic background and ages. The subscale, Books and
Pictures, was also fairly weak; most programs serving preschoolers provided some books and a
teacher reading to interested children at least once a day. However, infants and toddlers in center
classrooms and in home settings were less likely to experience book-related activities at least 3
times a week; furthermore, few books were available for infants and toddlers either in homes or
in centers. Displays for children is also a weak area. The average score of less than 3.0 on this
item means that some colorful pictures may be displayed, for example, some store-bought or
teacher-created pictures; however, children’s own work was typically not displayed at their eye
level. The optimal pre-literacy environment for children includes access to numerous books
throughout the day, organized reading times as well as voluntary reading times, colorful and
educational displays on the walls of the classroom, and consistent use of new language skills to
encourage language development.
        Mean scores, however, do not tell the whole story on literacy. The literacy scores can also
be evaluated against the quality standards of good (5.0 to 7.0), mediocre (3.00 to 4.99) and poor
(below minimal, 1.0 to 2.99). The chart below shows the percentage of programs falling into
these categories for each area of literacy.

Table 4
Quality Levels of Child Care Literacy Experiences for Children
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    31


                   Books and          Language and      Display for        Cultural
                   Pictures           Reasoning         Children           Awareness
Infant/ Toddler    Poor-56%           Poor- 32%         Poor- 92%          Poor- 92%
Centers            Mediocre-20%       Mediocre-44%      Mediocre- 8%       Mediocre- 8%
                   Good-24%           Good- 24%         Good-0%            Good- 0%
Preschool          Poor- 4%           Poor- 13%         Poor- 35%          Poor-65%
Centers            Mediocre- 65%      Mediocre-52%      Mediocre-44%       Mediocre-30%
                   Good- 34%          Good- 35%         Good-22%           Good- 4%
Family Child       Poor-58%           Poor- 50%         Poor- 62%          Poor-96%
Care               Mediocre- 27%      Mediocre-31%      Mediocre- 27%      Mediocre- 4%
                   Good- 15%          Good- 19%         Good- 12%          Good- 0%


        Child care providers can take a number of actions that lay the groundwork for literacy
and optimal school achievement. Additionally, environments that support literacy have a wide
variety of purposes. A love of reading begins early; although some infant/toddler providers are
doing a very good job, another sizable group are doing very little to enrich pre-literacy
environments. More than half (56%) of infant/toddler center-based providers were rated as
deficient in making books and reading available to children but approximately one-fourth were
doing a good job, and the same percentage were rated as doing a good job in offering language
rich environments.
        Even among preschool center-based providers, only 34% were rated good in making
books and reading material available to children; a similar percentage (35%) offered
environments rich in language and reasoning. However, even lower percentages of preschool
center-based providers featured displays that promote symbolic learning and stimulate deeper
conversation and social knowledge; these are important for language development. Given the
concerns about early literacy at both the state and federal levels, the performance of Iowa
preschool center-based care is less than optimal.
        Family child care providers in Iowa were most likely to be rated deficient across these
areas that support optimal literacy development. More than half of family providers were rated as
deficient across these areas; support for cultural awareness was particularly low. In family child
care, some providers were providing adequate language and book experiences for preschoolers,
but not for infants and toddlers. For example, daily language experiences (e.g., book reading,
song, fingerplays) were not commonly implemented for infants and toddlers. Furthermore,
family child care homes typically did not have at least six books appropriate for infants and
toddlers, and providers did not read to children at least three times each week.

What is the quality of interactions between providers and children?

        The Arnett Caregiver Interaction Scale measures positive interaction, detachment,
permissiveness and punitiveness in provider-child interactions. It is an assessment often used in
connection with the ITERS, ECERS-Rand FDCRS to expand the assessment of child-provider
interactions.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    32


        Correlations indicate that the more total ―in-person‖ training that providers report
receiving, the more positive interaction with children is observed (r = .25, p = .03). Providers
rated higher on positive interactions with children are also more likely to report frequent
communication with parents (r = .24, p = .04) as well as using reading and learning centers in
their program (r = .70, p < .001). When providers are rated higher on positive interactions, the
quality of observed interactions among children is also rated more positively (r = .74, p < .004).
        Across the Midwest, infant-toddler teachers tend to be rated higher on positive interaction
than preschool teachers, but it is quite possible that this is due to the developmental needs of
children, since infants and toddlers require more contact and comfort, whereas preschoolers
require more autonomy. Provider positivity was not significantly related to: the type of care
(center or home), membership in NAEYC or NAFCC, parental status, having a teaching
certificate or CDA, having a major area of study as child development or early childhood
education, having an Early Head Start or Head Start partnership, receipt of subsidy, or working in
a center that practices continuity of care.

                               Subsidy Receipt and Quality of Care

How does the care provided by subsidized and non-subsidized providers differ?

        A central question of the Midwest Child Care Research Consortium was to determine the
quality of child care received by children whose tuition is paid by child care subsidies. There are
several ways in which the Consortium attempted to answer this question: first, by examining the
observed quality of subsidy-receiving and nonsubsidy-receiving child care providers; second, to
examine the frequency with which child care providers reported engaging high-quality practices;
and third, by examining teacher qualifications and training hours. Each relationship was
examined within different types of providers (licensed center and home providers, and non-
licensed providers) and according to the age of the child (infant and preschool, for centers only)
because the relationship between quality and subsidy receipt may vary according to type of care.
Subsidy Receipt and Observed Quality
         As shown in Figure 11, the mean level of observed quality was lower for subsidized
preschool center-based child care providers (4.4) than for preschool center-based providers who
were not receiving subsidies (5.5). A similar pattern of observed quality was evident among
registered family child care providers; those receiving subsidies were observed to provide lower
quality care (3.3) than their nonsubsidized counterparts (4.1). Although we were able to observe
only two non-registered family home providers, it should be noted that the quality of care
observed with these providers was among the lowest observed overall. Also, there were no
statistically significant differences between the quality of care provided by those who did and did
not receive subsidies in infant center-based settings; however, the quality of care in these settings
was quite low overall.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                               33


                             6

                             5

           Quality of care   4
                                                                                               Non subsidy
                             3                                                                 Subsidy
                             2

                             1

                             0
                                 Center-based     Center-based preschool   Family child care
                                 infant/toddler
                                                     Type of care

       In order to determine whether providers who were not observed were engaging in
Figure 11. Observed quality in three types of Iowa child care by subsidy receipt.
Frequency of other high quality practices among subsidized providers
        In order to determine whether providers who were not observed were engaging in
practices associated with high quality, providers who answered the telephone survey were asked
to report how frequently they read to children, whether they have adequate space and toys for
children, whether they greet parents daily and have formal conferences once a year, and whether
they use learning centers for children to organize the play space. Across the Midwest, subsidy
providers were less likely to report reading to children daily; however, in the Iowa sample, the
opposite was true. Within the Iowa sample, providers who do not receive subsidies were more
likely to report that they greeted parents every day and have annual conferences with parents.
Iowa providers who do not receive subsidies were also more likely to report having adequate
play space available both inside and outside. However, Iowa providers who do receive subsidies
were also more likely to report that too many children are left within their care at least once per
week.
         Across the entire Midwest sample, subsidy receipt may also be associated with less
optimal interactions between caregivers and children in licensed, registered, and approved homes
(i.e., non-registered, non-licensed homes that were approved for subsidy). Providers who
received higher subsidies were observed to provide lower levels of sensitivity, as measured by
the Arnett.

Subsidy and Provider Characteristics
        Education. Overall, subsidy receiving providers in Iowa have lower levels of education
than nonsubsidy receiving providers; however, these differences are greater within some
categories than within others. Among providers working in preschool center-based programs and
those in registered family care, the differences were quite small. Among providers working in
infant-toddler center-based settings, the difference was statistically significant; furthermore,
among non-registered family home providers, the difference is quite dramatic. This difference
means that children who are more vulnerable because of poverty are cared for by the least
educated providers.
        Earnings. Overall, across all forms of regulated care, there were no significant differences
in child care earnings between subsidy-receiving and nonsubsidy-receiving providers. Wages
were not significantly different according to the proportion of children receiving subsidies
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    34


enrolled in the facility. However, home providers reported significantly lower income levels than
center-based providers. Furthermore, the incomes of approved home providers were significantly
lower than were those of registered home providers whether or not those registered providers
were receiving subsidies.
       Experience. Overall, we did not find that caregivers who received subsidies differed from
non-subsidized caregivers in the amount of time they had spent in child care.
        Desire to be providing child care. Overall, subsidy receipt was not associated with desire
to be providing child care versus desire to choose other work if it were available. However,
family child care providers receiving subsidies were less likely to say that they viewed child care
as a career or profession; they were more likely to report that they are doing this work to help a
family member or friend. These things were especially true for approved (i.e., non-registered,
non-licensed) family child care home providers.
         Training. Overall, the subsidy receiving providers reported completing fewer training
hours than did those providers who did not receive subsidies. Among family child care providers,
there were not significant differences in amount of training received based solely on subsidy
receipt; however, approved family home providers received significantly less training than did
home providers overall. In addition, providers receiving subsidies were significantly more likely
than non-subsidy receiving providers to participate training that did not involve personal contact
(e.g., books, videotapes, or teleconferences). Family home providers were also more likely than
were center-based providers to participate in this type of training; registered and licensed
providers participated in less ―in-person‖ training than did non-registered, non-licensed providers
who were approved for subsidy. Across the Midwest, family providers who reported participating
in training that involved personal contact (e.g., by attending conferences or workshops) were also
observed to provide higher quality care than those who did not participate in such personal
training. In contrast, we found no statistically significant differences in the quality of care
provided providers who reported completing impersonal training and those who did not.
Therefore, subsidy providers may benefit from more opportunities to engage in ―in-person‖
training.

                             Child Care in Rural and Urban Settings

        The Midwest Child Care Research Consortium selected to use the metropolitan statistical
area (MSA) definitions to make distinctions between care settings in rural, suburban, and urban
settings across the Midwest. Although these definitions are widely used in social science and
political reports, the categorical distinctions do not necessarily match common thinking about
rural versus urban distinctions within Iowa and do not necessarily reflect resource distribution
and dispersion for services such as child care training opportunities. For example, these
categories are used to compare child care rates charged in rural and in urban areas. According to
the MSA definitions established in 1990, each MSA must include at least one city with 50,000 or
more inhabitants or a Census Bureau-defined urbanized area (of at least 50,000 inhabitants) and
a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000. Thus, using these categories, at the time data
was collected, all of Story County and Mason City are considered rural areas. Nonetheless, these
distinctions were then used to examine whether there were differences in the types of care or the
quality of care provided, the characteristics of the child care work force, or in subsidy receipt in
those various settings.

       Using the MSA categories, few differences among child care providers and settings were
found within the Iowa sample. Not surprisingly, there were more family child care home
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                     35


providers in rural areas and more infant-toddler center-based providers in urban areas. However,
there were not rural versus urban differences in subsidy receipt or in observed quality of care.
There were also few differences in characteristics of the child care work force between urban and
rural settings. There were no statistically significant differences in levels of education among
rural and urban providers; however, urban providers reported that they earned higher salaries and
were more likely to receive benefits, such as health insurance. In addition, there were not urban
and rural differences in total numbers of hours of training received during the past year. There
were no statistically significant differences between urban and rural providers in the amount of
experience in child care; furthermore, providers in both settings gave relatively similar reports
about their working conditions, their intentions to continue in the child care field, and their
perceptions of child care as a ―profession‖ or a ―personal calling‖.

                            Education, Training and Other Practices

What is the relationship between education and observed quality?

        In general across the Midwest, as education increases, so does quality of care provided,
and this was true in Iowa as well. Education level was the strongest predictor of quality for
family child care of all factors measured in the study. Across the Midwest, quality of care
associated with having a two-year degree was slightly lower than expected, given the higher
level of quality found among persons with a one year certificate (generally CDA).
        Providers who had one year child development training (CDA) showed notably higher
observed quality over all types of care in the Midwest. In fact, the quality of care provided by
one-year child development holders in center-based settings was comparable to quality of those
with bachelors and graduate degrees, a relationship that held up across ITERS and ECERS-
Robserved quality across the Midwest sample. There were no examples of poor quality observed
among one-year child development or CDA certificate holders working in center-based settings.
In the Midwest, completing some training (but not including a degree) beyond a high school
degree does not seem to increase quality over high school alone. It may be that training builds on
a base provided by formal education. It is also important to note that the largest proportion of the
sample were in the educational category of high school with some additional training. In the
Midwest sample, there was a positive relationship between quality and having a child
development or early education degree; furthermore, there were positive relationships between
having a state-recognized teaching certificate and quality.
       Education and training patterns within Iowa mirrored the patterns across the Midwest
sample. Although Iowa has the highest percentage of child care providers with baccalaureate
degrees (17%), the average provider in Iowa has a high school degree (31%); nearly the same
percentage has some training beyond high school without another degree (28%). These
categories are reversed for the Midwest sample overall, but the differences are quite small. Four
percent of Iowa providers do not have a high school diploma; this percentage is the same as the
average percentage across the Midwest.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                 36


What training did Iowa providers receive and what is the relationship between training and
observed quality?

         As shown in Table 5, Iowa providers have participated in a wide variety of training
initiatives; however overall, Iowa providers reported completing fewer hours of training than did
providers in the other Midwestern states. Slightly fewer Iowa providers have completed CPR and
First Aid training than have those in the other states. Also, it is notable that no Iowa providers
report having received training that involves support persons coming to the provider’s program;
furthermore, compared with providers in other states, a smaller percentage of Iowa providers
report having participated in most forms of training. One notable exception is the higher
percentage of Iowa providers that report having participated in training supported by technology,
such as training using video tapes or via the Iowa Communications Network.
Table 5
Training Received by Iowa and Midwest Providers (N = 2022)
                     Training                        Iowa         Midwest
   Initiatives/Programs
   CDA                                                 8%          13%
   Parents as Teachers                                 2%           7%
   Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers (PITC)        2%           2%
   High Scope                                          8%           8%
   Montessori                                          2%           3%
   Creative Curriculum                                27%          31%
   Child Net                                          15%           --
   First Aid                                          83%          84%
   Training Format
   ―In-person‖ training                               79%          85%
   ―Not in-person‖ training                           76%          64%
   Video tapes or study materials                     68%          68%
   Training provided in your center                   32%          72%
   Support person who comes to you                     0%          34%
   Community support and training                     64%          79%
   Regional, state, national meetings                 37%          48%
   Training for credit (CEU or college)               46%          48%
   Internet                                           13%          18%
   Teleconferencing/ICN Distance                      25%          12%
   Average total annual training hours                22           35
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                     37


        Iowa child care center licensing regulations require a minimum of 10 hours of training
each year for every teacher and assistant teacher. Registered providers are required to complete
only two hours of training each year. As can be seen in Figure 12, a significant proportion of
infant center providers and family care providers reported that they have not completed at least
10 hours of training in the past 12 months. In tract, over 60% of preschool center providers
reported that they had completed more than 20 hours of training in the past year.

                  70%



                  60%



                  50%
     Percentage




                  40%

                                                                                Infant Center
                  30%
                                                                                Family Care
                                                                                Preschool Center

                  20%



                  10%



                  0%

                        < 10 hrs        10-20 hrs            >20 hours

                                   Training Levels

Figure 12. Percentage of Iowa child care provider’s training levels by type of care
        Iowa requires CPR/First Aid training for its licensed and registered providers. As was true
across the Midwest, the majority of Iowa providers are current with certification in this training.
However, certification status varied across types of providers; nearly all preschool center-based
providers (98%) and a similar level of infant-toddler center-based providers (95%) reported that
they were current with first aid and CPR training. However, more than a quarter of home child
care providers did not have current training in this area. In general, in the Midwest, being current
on CPR and first aid certification tended to associate in a small but positive direction with
observed quality (e.g., r = .10 for first aid and ITERS quality; for ECERS-Rquality r = .17; for
FDCRS quality r = .26). Relationships in the smaller Iowa sample did not reach statistical
significance.
        On average, preschool center-based providers in Iowa reported receiving considerably
more training hours than currently required for licensing (33 hours). However, this data was
highly skewed; some providers reported completing over 100 hours in the past year. Center-
based infant-toddler providers received slightly more training hours than currently required, but
home child care providers averaged fewer hours than currently required. Average number of
training hours in Iowa lagged behind the number reported in any of the other Midwestern states.
Even after recoding outlying values (i.e., to three standard deviations from the mean), there was
no correlation between number of training hours completed and and observed quality. However,
when the providers were divided into three groups of equal size, providers who had completed
more than 20 hours of training were observed to provide the highest quality of training, while
providers who had completed at least 10 hours of training were providing higher quality care.
Caregivers who reported completing 30 or 40 or more hours were not observed to provide higher
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                     38


quality care than those who had completed 20 hours of training. The lack of effect of increased
numbers of hours may be related to the fact that training hours simply refers to ―seat time‖, or
time spent in training, rather than a change in performance as a result of training. Across the
Midwest, more educated providers report more training hours.
        Across the larger Midwest sample and regardless of education level of the provider, there
were significant associations between a number of training programs and observed quality.
Programs that were effectively associated with quality across all education levels and all types of
care were Project Construct (MO only); High Scope; West Ed training, CPR and First Aid. In the
Nebraska sample, Heads Up! Reading associated with ECERS-Rquality (r = .41, a preschool
center-based trend in the sample) regardless of education level. The analyses controlled for
education in exploring associations between training and quality because in the Midwest,
participation in these training initiatives tended to be stronger for persons with more years of
formal education.

        In general, caregivers who completed ―in-person‖ training (e.g., attending regional
conferences, community support and training, and having mentors) provided higher quality in the
Midwest than did caregivers who completed more impersonal training (e.g., videotapes,
teleconferences). Furthermore, specific forms of ―in-person‖ training also were also observed to
be associated with observed quality. Videotape and self-study, Internet training and the summed
―not in-person‖ training factor did not associate significantly with any forms of observed quality
measured; these relationships remained even after when controlling for education. ―In-person‖
training, relative to ―not in-person‖ training seems to be particularly important for family child
care providers. For family child care providers across the Midwest, there were strong
associations between observed quality and ―in-person‖ training but not for ―not in-person‖
training and observed quality.

What other practices associate with quality?

         In the Iowa sample, there were few systematic relationships between observed reported
quality and several factors that tend to be associated with quality in other studies. Although 15%
of Iowa caregivers reported that they had earned Child Net certification; there was no
relationship between Child Net Certification and program quality among providers in family
child care homes, infant centers, or preschool centers. Additional study is needed to demonstrate
the impact of Child Net training on program quality. However, it is also important to note that
Iowa lacks any required licensing for those providing care to fewer than 12 children; only 20%
of registered providers are visited each year. Therefore, it may be that the chief function of Child
Net training is to persuade providers to become registered, and move from poor care to care that
is at least minimal in quality. In other states, licensing may serve the function of moving
providers from poor to minimal care, while the training initiatives can focus on moving licensed
providers to good quality care. Furthermore, too few Iowa providers had completed the CDA,
High Scope, West-Ed training to analyze. Thus, it is important to consider factors that were
related to quality across the entire Midwest and draw lessons from that larger sample as efforts to
enhance quality among Iowa’s child care providers move forward.
        The frequency of participation in the National Association for the Education of Young
Children (NAEYC) was low in the Midwest (16%) and lower still for Iowa (13%). In the
Midwest, NAEYC membership associated positively with quality in family child care (r = .26
for the Midwest) and in infant/toddler center-based care (r = .28), controlling for education.
ECERS-Rquality did not associate with NAEYC membership in the Midwest (r = .09) sample.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                       39


Table 6
Professional Practices of Iowa and Midwest Child Care Providers
   Professional Practice                                      Iowa            Midwest
   Membership in National Association for the                    13%               16%
   Education of Young Children
   Membership in National Association for Family                   6%                7%
   Child Care
   Accreditation (NAECP or NAFCC or other                          2.5%              2.9%
   nationally recognized credential)
   Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP)                          42%               63%
   Use a Curriculum                                                8%              52%
   Strongly Agree: I Follow Developmentally                      16%               85%
   Appropriate Practices,



         Similarly, membership in the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) was
relatively low across the Midwest (7%) and Iowa (7%). For the Midwest sample, the relationship
between membership in this organization and quality in family child care was positive and
statistically significant (r = .19), after controlling for the education level of staff. In the Midwest,
the correlation between Arnett positive interaction scores and NAFCC members was also
statistically significant (r =.13).
        National accreditation was significantly associated with quality (r = .19) in the Midwest
sample, However, across the Midwest, only 2.9% of providers worked in a facility that was
accredited, whether by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the
National Family Child Care Association or other recognized accrediting bodies. Some of the
states provide higher reimbursement rates for providers who are accredited. Such bonuses seem
justified; quality across accredited programs of all types averaged 5.38 compared to 4.39 for
programs overall. Due to sample size, it was necessary to average across all types of care in the
Midwest to attain a quality score for accredited programs,.
        In the Midwest, participation in the USDA Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP) was
associated with quality. This association held true for family child care providers and for
infant/toddler center-based providers, regardless of the provider’s education level. Across the
Midwest and all types of care, the correlations between quality and food program participation
were strong (r = .31 for FDCRS, r = .18 for ITERS, and r = .24 for ECERS). In light of this
finding, it is troublesome that Iowa has the lowest rates of participation in the CACFP overall.
Comments from Iowa providers focused on the paperwork required for participation in the food
program, and whether less paperwork was required in other states; because the food program is
federal, paperwork requirements do not differ across the states.
        Across the Midwest, the director’s or family child care provider’s report of using a
curriculum was highly associated with all forms of quality, highest particularly for family child
care and for infant-toddler center-based care. In the Midwest, following a curriculum and
observed quality were significantly related (r = .36 for family child care, r = .33 for infant-
toddler center-based care, r = .16 for preschool center-based care).
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    40


        Most providers (directors for centers and family child care providers) reported they used
developmentally appropriate practices (88 % in Iowa and 85% in the Midwest). Use of these
practices associated positively with quality only for family child care in the Midwest (r =.27).
Use of such practices did not associate positively with quality in preschool or infant-toddler
center-based care in the Midwest sample.

                        Compensation, Working Conditions and Quality

Are better working conditions associated with more optimal observed quality, and with self-
reported quality practices?

Compensation
        The associations between compensation and child care quality were examined in two
ways: indicators of quality were compared as a function of child care income and quality
indicators were examined as a function of receipt of specific benefits (for example, child care,
health insurance, paid sick days) and total benefits (of all types). Providers’ wages in Iowa and
across the Midwest tend to be below poverty guidelines for a family of three persons ($14, 630 in
2001), although it was not possible to calculate precise levels because no information about
family size and overall household income was calculated.
        Iowa providers reporting child care income above $10,000 per year were more likely to
report greeting parents each day and having access to good outdoor play spaces than were
providers reporting income less than $10,000 per year.
        In Iowa and the Midwest there was a positive relationship between receiving key benefits
and observed center-based quality. This is the second strategy for examining the relationship
between compensation and quality. A composite benefits score was computed by summing each
type of benefit providers reported receiving. Providers were asked whether they receive the
following benefits for their child care employment: health insurance for themselves, health
insurance for their families, reduced or no tuition for their own children, paid vacation, paid sick
days, and paid time off to attend professional meetings. Home child care providers were not
asked these questions, because they are self-employed.
        Providers who reported receiving more training, both ―in-person‖ and ―not in-person‖,
and providers reporting higher levels of education reported receiving more benefits. The number
of years a provider reported working as an early childhood professional was not related to benefit
receipt, nor was the ratio of subsidy receiving children in her care.
        Across the entire Midwest, the more benefits a provider reported receiving, the less likely
she was to indicate that given the opportunity, she would choose work other than child care.
Likewise, providers who reported receiving more benefits also rated their working environments,
as assessed by the Gallup Q12 ™, more positively. These same relationships did not hold up in
the smaller Iowa sample.
        Across the entire Midwest sample, benefits also associated with observed quality. The
more benefits a provider reported receiving, the higher was the observed quality of the care she
provided. Providers reporting the highest level of benefits were the most likely to be providing
―good‖ quality care (scoring 5 or above on the observational measure). Again, as shown in
Figure 13, although the same pattern was found in Iowa, the results were not statistically
signiticant .
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                                         41



   3-level quality of care
                             3




                             2




                             1


                                 0             1           2            3          4

                                                   Number of benefits

Figure 13. Average number of benefits by three-level (Good, Mediocre, Poor) observed quality
of center-based providers in Iowa.
Working Conditions
        The Gallup Q12 ™ is a measure of workplace climate used with a wide variety of
organizations. We examined the associations between providers’ perceptions of their work
environment and several indices of quality, in order to determine whether more positive
workplace characteristics were associated with higher quality practices. Across the Midwest
sample, several relationships between these reports of the providers’ working environments and
indicators of quality warrant consideration.
        Eleven of the twelve workplace indicators were significantly and positively associated
with providers’ reports of having a good environment for children. Providers were more likely to
report having adequate spaces and toys for children when:
                                        they have had opportunities at work to learn and grow during the past year
                                        someone has talked to them about their progress at work during the last 6 months
                                        they have a best friend at work
                                        they believe their colleagues are committed to doing quality work
                                        the mission of their company makes them feel their job is important
                                        their opinions seem to count
                                        there is someone at work who encourages their development
                                        their supervisor seems to care about them as a person
                                        in the past 7 days, they have received recognition or praise
                                        they have the materials and equipment they need.
       Five of the twelve workplace indicators were significantly and positively correlated with
providers’ reports of communication with parents. Providers reported higher levels of
communication with parents when:
                                        they have a best friend at work
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                       42


              the mission or purpose of the company makes them feel their job is important
              there is someone at work who encourages their development
              they have received recognition or praise within the past 7 days
              they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day.
        Four of the twelve workplace indicators were significantly and positively correlated with
providers’ reports of using reading and learning centers for children. Providers were more likely
to report using reading and learning centers when:
              they have had opportunities to learn and grow at work during the past year
              someone at work has talked to them about their progress during the past 6 months
              someone at work encourages their development
              they have the materials and equipment they need.
         Observed quality of preschool environments (ECERS-Rtotal score) was significantly and
positively correlated with two workplace indicators: observed quality was higher when providers
reported that they have had opportunities to learn and grow at work within the past year, and
when someone has talked to them about their progress at work within the past 6 months. Thus, it
appears that periodic professional performance conferences and professional development
activities may be related to quality in preschool classrooms.
        Qualities of observed interactions assessed by the Arnett Caregiver Interaction Scale were
not significantly associated with workplace indicators.
        A composite score representing overall satisfaction with working conditions was
constructed by computing the mean of all Q12 ™ workplace items (Cronbach’s alpha = .82). The
Gallup Q12 ™ composite score was significantly related to several self-reported indicators of
quality. Providers who rated their workplace more positively were significantly more likely to
use reading and learning centers with children (r =.17, p < .01), more likely to frequently
communicate with parents (r =.18, p<.01), and more likely to rate their environment for children
positively (r =.42, p < .01).

                                        Recommendations

    Iowa’s early care and education system needs improvements in regulations, enforcement, and
professional development. No parent should have to leave their child with a caregiver and
wonder whether the provider will wash hands after changing a diaper and before fixing a meal.
The high rate of founded child abuse in Iowa child care centers supports the need for such
regulation. Although some would argue that this rate is high because Iowa does not distinguish
between child care and babysitting, we would argue that the lack of distinction reflects Iowa’s
lack of child care regulation and enforcement. The absence of child care regulations does not
provide parent choice, it limits parent choice because of the failure to provide consumer
protection. The relatively high scores in caregiver interaction suggest that parents may be
choosing care based on the interactions they observe and experience with the caregiver.
However, consumer protection is needed to ensure that the caregiver implements basic health
and safety regulations when the parent cannot be present.
   Iowa’s lack of regulations and enforcement may also result in the lack of impact on quality
from specific training initiatives, such as Child Net. Using training to substitute for regulation
and enforcement is costly and inefficient. Without regulations, a significant portion of training
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                    43


monies are devoted to motivating providers to participate in training, to improve practice from
poor to at least mediocre levels, and to become registered.
    Mandatory licensing, such as implemented in other states for group sizes over four children,
may permit training efforts to focus on helping providers improve from mediocre to good quality
practices. Mandatory licensing may also encourage more collaborative partnerships between
Head Start and family child care providers. Informally, Iowa Head Start directors report that
providers are daunted when they see the standards required for such partnerships. Furthermore,
mandatory licensing will help persuade the poorest quality providers—those who provide child
care only for the paycheck, or only to help someone, or until they get another job--to seek
another profession. For both educational and economic reasons, more of Iowa’s child care needs
to be in the good quality category.
     Although Iowa does have some preschool center-based child care programs that provide
early care and education of good quality, it is especially troubling that no instances of good care
were observed among infant-toddler center-based programs. Critical developments in social,
cognitive, and communication skills occur through the very young child’s interactions with the
primary caregiver. Although some family child care was good quality, nearly half of the family
child care was of poor quality. Good quality care leads to good outcomes for children and helps
to provide the foundation needed for success both in school and in life. It is less costly to build
social, cognitive, and communication competencies in qood quality early care and education than
it is to remedy the social, cognitive, communication deficits when children are in elementary
school.
   Specific recommendations based on the findings of this report follow:
   1. There is an immediate and urgent need to improve quality among infant-toddler center-
      based providers. A major training initiative, the Program for Infant-Toddler Caregivers,
      was begun after this data was collected. This program may help increase program quality.
      However, the high turnover, low wages, and poor scores in adult needs suggest that the
      administrative and supervisory infrastructure for infant child care also needs attention.
   2. There is an immediate and urgent need to improve quality among both registered and
      non-registered family child care home providers who are approved to receive subsidies.
      Few non-registered providers were observed; however, the care observed in those settings
      was among the lowest quality care observed overall. On average, non-registered
      providers had lower levels of education; furthermore, they reported engaging in fewer
      quality related practices than other providers. If providers are to receive public subsidies,
      they should be required to meet basic health and safety standards.
   3. Whenever possible, target family child care home providers when establishing
      relationships with Early Head Start/Head Start programs, increase access to opportunities
      for CDA training, and increase access to participation in the USDA Child and Adult Care
      Food Program. A combination of regulation, enforcement, and training initiatives will
      provide an investment in providers who choose child care as a profession and who intend
      to stay in the field. Prioritize CPR/First aid training for all providers to ensure the basic
      safety of Iowa children for whom the state provides child care funding.
   4. Emphasize improvements in the learning opportunities available to children throughout
      Iowa child care. It is especially urgent to help infant-toddler center-based and family
      home providers see the potential for intentional planning, creative use of space, and other
      high quality early childhood practices.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                  44


   5. Continue to work to raise the very low annual earnings and enhance work-related benefits
      among providers in every form of child care in the state.
   6. Continue to augment partnerships between all early care and education providers in Iowa
      (e.g. Early Head Start/Head Start, Shared Visions, early childhood special education, and
      child care providers). Iowa has chosen to invest many of its early care and education
      funds through Empowerment Areas giving a great deal of control to local communities.
      However, Iowa has fewer examples of partnerships between Early Head Start/Head Start
      programs than is true for the other Midwestern states where these formal partnerships
      were strongly associated with higher levels of quality. In addition, quality in some
      programs within Iowa (e.g., Shared Visions programs) is higher than is the quality of
      Iowa child care settings overall.
   7. Support local Empowerment Areas to implement initiatives directed toward quality
      improvements throughout Iowa’s early care and education system. Further training
      regarding the components of quality; program design, administration, and evaluation; and
      collaboration could enhance these efforts effectively.
   8. Continue and expand efforts to strengthen the rigor and enforcement of Iowa’s child care
      regulations. Recent steps to strengthen Iowa’s registration system for family child care
      home providers represent an important move in this direction. However, Iowa continues
      to have the least rigorous child care regulations among its Midwestern neighbors, and
      Iowa has the lowest ratio of personnel assigned to inspection relative to numbers of
      providers. Provide expanded training and educational opportunities, especially training
      opportunities that are rigorous and outcomes oriented.
         Provide incentives for achieving performance outcomes from increased education and
          training.
         Replace requirements for training from hours-based to outcomes-based, based on
          specific competencies in the Iowa Early Care and Education Professional
          Development Competencies.
         Implement pre-service requirements for training to ensure that all caregivers have
          completed basic health and safety training before caring for children. Enforce
          requirements for CPR/First Aid training, especially among family home providers.
         Explore avenues to embed the CDA within the two-year programs offered by
          community colleges to bring the added rigor of the CDA to two-year preparation and
          to bring Iowa up to CDA completion rates in neighboring states.
         Build articulation systems from outcomes-based training provided by groups such as
          Child Care and Referral Agencies and Cooperative Extension to competency-based
          credentials, such as the CDA, and credit-based degrees at community and four-year
          colleges.
         Build on the contributions of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program that has
          been an important way to augment the quality of programs serving low-income
          children in neighboring Midwestern states.
         Combine Internet and video training programs with ―in-person‖ training components.
          Iowa providers use ―not in-person‖ training heavily, especially family home providers
          and providers living in rural areas. Unfortunately, the benefits of this type of training
          are not as great as those associated with ―in-person‖ training. Consider more
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                     45


           opportunities for ―in-person‖ training for family child care (e.g., Missouri’s
           EDUCARE program).
          Build on successful and promising approaches. For example, continue efforts with
           and expand upon ongoing training initiatives (e.g., PITC) that associate with quality
           across the country. Continue to emphasize training that has a monitored outcome,
           certificate, or credit.
          Provide training for providers to enhance their abilities and willingness to implement
           a curriculum or a planful approach to their caregiving. Such intentionality appears to
           be a strong correlate of quality across the Midwest and the nation.

                                           Next Steps
        The Midwest Child Care Research Consortium has been funded as a three-year project.
The data reported here are from Year One of the Project and the Iowa 2002 report is one of
several products that the Project will produce. Readers may be interested in seeing additional
reports from the Year One Project activities. These will include:
      Report of Child Care Quality and Provider Characteristics in Nebraska
      Report of Child Care Quality and Provider Characteristics in Kansas
      Report of Child Care Quality and Provider Characteristics in Missouri
      Midwest Child Care Research Consortium Report: Report of Child Care Quality and
       Provider Characteristics in Four Midwestern States
    During Year Two of the project, the focus of the child care research work is on parents and
their perceptions of child care quality and choice. Data are being collected in two ways—through
a paper survey to parents of providers who participated in the quality observations and through a
telephone survey of parents whose children’s tuition is paid through federal and state subsidies.
There will be state reports and a Midwest report pertaining to findings about parents in 2003.
    During Year Three of the project, the focus of the Midwest Child Care Research Consortium
will return to quality and provider characteristics, enriched with findings from Year One and Year
Two. During Year Three, we will again study the quality of child care in the Midwest, tracking
change from Year One to Year Three. Many initiatives have begun or continued even since the
Year One study was begun and changes may be expected. The study will attempt to develop a
shorter list of more predictive factors for the study of quality.

                                           References
Harms, T., Clifford, R. M, & Cryer, D. (1998) Early Childhood Rating Scale-Revised. NY:
   Teachers College Press

Harms, T., Cryer, D., & Clifford, R. M. (1990). Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale. NY:
   Teachers College Press

Harms, T. & Clifford, R. M, (1989). Family Day Care Rating Scale. NY: Teachers College Press,

Helburn, S. et al. (1995). Cost, quality, and child outcomes in child care centers: Key findings
   and recommendations. Young Children, 50(4). 40-44.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                  46


Peisner-Feinberg, E. S. & Burchinal, M. R. (1997). Relations between preschool children's child-
    care experiences and concurrent development: The Cost, Quality, and Outcomes Study.
    Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 43, 451 - 477.

Peisner-Feinberg, E. S., Burchinal, M. R., Clifford, R. M., Culkin, M. L., Howes, C., Kagan, S.,
    & Yazejian, N. (2001) The relation of preschool child-care quality to children’s cognitive and
    social developmental trajectories through second grade. Child Development, 72, 1534 –
    1553.

Scott, S. (2001). Abuse in Child Care Settings in the United States, 1999. Des Moines, IA:
   Prevent Child Abuse Iowa.

U. S. Census Bureau (2002). 2001 Supplementary Survey: Percent of Children Under 6 Years
    Old With All Parents In the Work Force. http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products
    /Ranking/SS01/R18T040.htm

Zan, R. & Edmiaston, R. (2002). Two-year evaluation of Shared Visions classrooms, Presentation
   to the Iowa Child Development Coordinating Council, Des Moines, IA, September.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                      47


                              Appendix A: Training Initiatives
       Many child care studies have found that education, training and wages are important
descriptors of the child care workforce and that they are important predictors of quality.
        In our survey, we asked about level of education, type of degrees, special certificates and
participation in training initiatives. There are a number of initiatives available in Iowa; some of
these are unique to Iowa and some are also available in other states in the Midwest. In the current
study we use the following definitions.
Child Development Associate: an intense one-year credentialing program for early childhood
education providers.
One Year Child Development Program: a one-year program that is generally equated with the
Child Development Associate.
Special Care: a relatively new program to provide training to providers who care for children
with special needs. Information about Special Care training in the current study was not
requested because of initiative timing; ability to do so will be in the next assessment in 2003.
Parents as Teachers: an initiative that began in Missouri that trains home visitors and others in
child development and parenting.
Creative Curriculum: a developmental curriculum for child care developed by Teaching
Strategies, Inc.

High Scope: approach to curriculum, environment, and philosophy for early childhood
education.

Montessori: a program that extends on the philosophy of Italian educator Maria Montessori with
a structured approach to environment and philosophy.

ChildNet: a program offered only in Iowa for family child care providers by child care resource
and referral agencies; certification requires 25 hours of training, registration with the Department
of Human Services, participation in the child care food program, training in mandatory child
abuse reporter requirements, and an on-site visit.

CPR and First Aid: basic safety and emergency response training programs.

Project Construct: a program offered in Missouri only that provides training in pre-literacy and
language following the philosophy of Jean Piaget.

EDUCARE: a program offered in Missouri only whereby providers are visited in their facilities,
often family child care homes, by a mentor/traveling resource van.

West Ed/PITC: The Program for Infant and Toddler Caregivers: a training program that targets
high quality services for infants and toddlers. This program was developed by the West Ed
company, LaJolla, California.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                             48


                         Appendix B: Measurement of Quality
       Three observation instruments were used in the Midwest Child Care Research
Consortium’s study of child care quality. The Family Day Care Rating Scale (Harms & Clifford,
1989) was used in family child care homes. The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale,
Revised (Harms, Clifford, & Cryer, 1998) was used in preschool classrooms. The Infant/Toddler
Environment Rating Scale (Harms, Cryer, & Clifford, 1990) was used in infant and/or toddler
classrooms. A list of the items assessed by each instrument are detailed below.
Family Day Care Rating Scale
Space and Furnishings for Care and Learning
       1. Furnishings for routine care and learning
       2. Furnishings for relaxation and comfort
       3. Child-related display
       4. Indoor space arrangement
       5. Active physical play
       6. Space to be alone

Basic Care
       7. Arriving/leaving
       8. Meals/snacks
       9. Nap/rest
       10. Diapering/toileting
       11. Personal grooming
       12. Health
       13. Safety

Language and Reasoning
      14. Informal use of language
      15. Helping children understand language
      16. Helping children use language
      17. Helping children reason

Learning Activities
       18. Eye-hand coordination
       19. Art
       20. Music and movement
       21. Sand and water play
       22. Dramatic play
       23. Blocks
       24. Use of T.V.
       25. Schedule of daily activities
       26. Supervision of play indoors and outdoors

Social Development
       26. Tone
       27. Discipline
       28. Cultural Awareness
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                  49


Adult Needs
       28. Relationship with parents
       29. Balancing personal and caregiving responsibilities
       30. Opportunities for professional growth

Supplementary Items: Provisions for Exceptional Children
      31. Adaptations for basic care (physically handicapped)
      32. Adaptations for activities (physically handicapped)
      33. Adaptations for other special needs
      34. Communication (exceptional)
      35. Language/reasoning (exceptional)
      36. Learning and play activities (exceptional)
      37. Social development (exceptional)
      38. Caregiver preparation

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale
Space and Furnishings
       1. Indoor space
       2. Furniture for routine care, play and learning
       3. Furnishings for relaxation and comfort
       4. Room arrangement for play
       5. Space for privacy
       6. Child-related display
       7. Space for gross motor play
       8. Gross motor equipment

Personal Care Routines
       9. Greeting/departing
       10. Meals/snacks
       11. Nap/rest
       12. Toileting/diapering
       13. Health practices
       14. Safety practices

Language-Reasoning
      15. Books and pictures
      16. Encouraging children to communicate
      17. Using language to develop reasoning skills
      18. Informal use of language

Activities
        19. Fine motor
        20. Art
        21. Music/movement
        22. Blocks
        23. Sand/water
        24. Dramatic play
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                         50


       25. Nature/science
       26. Math/number
       27. Use of TV, video, and/or computers
       28. Promoting acceptance of diversity

Interaction
        29. Supervision of gross motor activities
        30. General supervision of children (other than gross motor)
        31. Discipline
        32. Staff-child interactions
        33. Interactions among children

Program Structure
      34. Schedule
      35. Free play
      36. Group time
      37. Provisions for children with disabilities

Parents and Staff
       38. Provisions for parents
       39. Provisions for personal needs of staff
       40. Provisions for professional needs of staff
       41. Staff interaction and cooperation
       42. Supervision and evaluation of staff
       43. Opportunities for professional growth

Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale
Furnishings and Display for Children
       1. Furnishings for routine care
       2. Use of furnishings for learning activities
       3. Furnishings for relaxation and comfort
       4. Room arrangement
       5. Display for children

Personal Care Routines
       6. Greeting/departing
       7. Meals/snacks
       8. Nap
       9. Diapering/toileting
       10. Personal grooming
       11. Health practice
       12. Health policy
       13. Safety practice
       14. Safety policy

Listening and Talking
       15. Informal use of language
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                     51


       16. Books and pictures

Learning Activities
       17. Eye-hand coordination
       18. Active physical play
       19. Art
       20. Music and movement
       21. Blocks
       22. Pretend play
       23. Sand and water play
       24. Cultural awareness

Interaction
        25. Peer interaction
        26. Adult-child interaction
        27. Discipline

Program Structure
      28. Schedule of daily activities
      29. Supervision of daily activities
      30. Staff cooperation
      31. Provisions for exceptional children

Adult Needs
       32. Adult personal needs
       33. Opportunities for professional growth
       34. Adult meeting area
       35. Provisions for parents
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                 52


                      Appendix C: Iowa Licensing Standards
                                         Group Size Limits

                     Family Child Care           Group Child          Group Child care
                          Homes                  Care homes            Homes – Joint
                                                                        Registration
Infants              Maximum of 4 at any one time
Preschool (24        Maximum including infants = 6                  Maximum of 10
months to entering                                                  children present aged
school)                                                             24 mo. or older but not
                                                                    attending school. Total
                                                                    of infants &
                                                                    preschoolers NEVER
                                                                    to exceed 11.
School-aged          5 for less than 2 hrs.    5 at any one time,   Included in the basic
                     at any one time.          PLUS 4 for less      11 maximum, PLUS 4
(Kindergarten or a
                                               than 2 hrs. at any   for less than 2 hrs. at
higher grade)
                                               one time             any one time.
Inclement weather    11 children total         15 children total  15 children total (see
exception (under     (see above) with a        (see above) with a above with a joint
applicable           responsible helper        responsible helper holder of the
conditions)                                                       Certificate of
                     (see below) present       (see below)        Registration present
                     when more than 6          present when       when more than 6
                     children are present      more than 6        children are present
                     for 2 hrs. or more.       children are       for 2 hrs. or more.
                                               present for 2 hrs.
                                               or more.
Assistant Required    14 years of age or       14 years of age      Joint certificate holder
                      older. Must be           or older. Must be    (adult meeting all
                      present when             present whenever     provider
                      inclement weather        more than 6          requirements). Must
                      exception is in          children are         be present when more
                      place                    present for 2 hrs.   than 6 children
                                               or more.             present for 2 hrs. or
                                                                    more.
Total Children       Maximum of 11: 6          Maximum of 15:       Maximum of 15: 11
Permitted            under school age +        6 under school       children any age + 4
                     5 school-age under        age + 5 school-      school-age under 2
                     2 hrs.                    age over 2 hrs +     hrs.
                                               4 school-age
                                               under 2 hrs.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                     53

                            Required Center Caregiver – Child Ratios

Age of Child                                    Caregivers – Child Ratio

2 weeks – 2 years                               1:4

2 – 3 years                                     1:6

3 – 4 years                                     1:8

4 – 5 years                                     1:12

5 – 10 years                                    1:15

10 years and over                               1:20



Combination of age groupings for children four years and older may be allowed and may have
staff ratio determined on the age of the majority of the children in the group. If children 3 years
of age and under are included in the combined age group, the staff ratio for children aged three
and under shall be maintained for these children. Preschools shall have staff ratios determined on
the age of the majority of the children, including children who are three years of age.

Staff requirements:

Persons counted as part of the staff ratio must be at least 16 years of age. If less than 18 years of
age, the staff shall be under the direct supervision of an adult.
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                                   54


       Appendix D: Midwest Child Care Research Consortium Presentations
        The Iowa team members involved in the Midwest Childcare Research Consortium have
met numerous requests to provide information regarding this Project to a variety of local, state-
wide, regional, and national groups. Susan Hegland, Lesia Oestereich, Carla Peterson, and Hyun-
Joo Jeon have shared these responsibilities. For some presentations, these team members have
been joined by Kathleen Larsen, who worked with Susan Hegland on an earlier survey of child
care directors in Iowa. In addition, several Iowa State University Extension Field Staff members
who worked with the Iowa team to collect observational data have shared information about and
findings from this Project in their local communities.

       Below is a listing, in reverse chronological order, of the presentations delivered and
scheduled, as well as the estimated number in the audience for each presentation:

Date                                         Organization                                 Number

2003

February 3        Cedar Rapids Downtown Rotary Club, Cedar Rapids                               150

January 10        Iowa Empowerment Board, Des Moines                                             40

2002

December 16       Polk County Legislators, Des Moines                                            20

December 11       Children’s Policy Coalition, Ames                                              10

November 20       Iowa Early Childhood Care and Education Congress, Des Moines                  400

October 23        Annual Conference of the Iowa Community Action Association,                    10
                  Des Moines

October 12        Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, Des                      30
                  Moines

October 10        Area Education Agency Directors of Special Education, Ankeny                   20

October 2         Story County Empowerment Board, Ames                                           10

September 24      Iowa Child Care and Early Education Network, Des Moines                        30

September 23      Iowa Smart Start Empowerment Team, Des Moines                                   5

September 20      Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education, Cedar Falls                 15

September 20      Exceptional Persons, Inc. (CC&RR Agency Area 2) Cedar Falls                    35
Iowa Child Care Quality Report                                                       55


Date                                      Organization                           Number

September 18    Iowa Child Development Coordinating Council, Des Moines             12

July 30         Family and Consumer Sciences Leadership Forum, ISU, Ames            20

July 19         Iowa State University State Families Extension Specialists. L.      20
                Mtg., Ames

July 7          Region VII Child Care Meeting, Kansas City, MO                      76

June 28         Head Start Research Conference, Washington, DC                      35

June 18         USDA Rural Development. Des Moines                                  26

May 16          Iowa Child and Adult Care Food Program Home Child Care              40
                Sponsors. Ames

May 15          Area Education Early Childhood Consultants. Des Moines              20

May 8           Iowa Early Childhood Special Education Leadership Network,          10
                Urbandale

May 8           Iowa State University Family Life Specialist Inservice, Ames        21

April 24        Even Start Program Directors. Des Moines, IA                        15

April 6         Iowa Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Des Moines        30

March 4         Iowa Early Childhood Care and Education Congress, Des Moines        75

2001

December 12     Iowa State University Extension Service Field Specialists           21

December 7      Iowa Empowerment Board Leadership Team, Des Moines                   5

								
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