Access and quality

States are investing in strategies to improve the quality of children’s early care and education experiences and ensure that more young children and their families have access to high-quality programs. Child Trends’ researchers work with the federal government and states to support evaluation and continuous improvement of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). Our research examines QRIS data systems, parents’ awareness of QRIS ratings, and validation of QRIS. Looking across states, we have catalogued state QRIS details in a 2015 online Compendium that provides access to QRIS state profiles and analysis of trends and new features in QRIS. We have also examined quality improvement efforts and evaluated pre-kindergarten programs. We have worked with national experts to develop new ideas for how states can measure access to high-quality programs, and we have summarized the literature on child care subsidies. Our team helps leaders use research and data to inform their decisions about early care and education.

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