BUILDing Strong Foundations

December 14, 2015

Posted by: Amielle Major

Joan Lombardi
Director of Early Opportunities LLC

Lombardi explores chapter 8 of Rising to the Challenge. In this chapter, Debi Mathias chronicles the history, trends and innovations that have come to characterize this unique way of thinking about quality. In many ways, QRIS was the heart of the Early Learning Challenge as it was one way to assess a primary goal of a program: to increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged young children enrolled in high-quality early learning programs.  This made the validity of the standards particularly important.

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October 04, 2015

Posted by: Amielle Major

By Stacie G. Goffin, Rhian Evans Allvin, Deb Fils, and Albert Wat

During a plenary session of the 2015 QRIS National Learning Network’s national meeting, panelists explored questions critical to advancing early childhood education (ECE), in particular the fragmentation of the field and the variability in the quality of children’s formal early learning experiences. Moving beyond attempts to only solve existing problems, in this guest blog post Stacie G. Goffin, Rhian Evans Allvin, Deb Flis, and Albert Wat answer and pose challenging questions on how to develop the future of the ECE as a professional field of practice.

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October 04, 2013

Posted by: BUILD Initiative
Debi Mathias
Director, QRIS National Learning Network

There has been a great deal of discussion about the Science magazine article “Can Policy-Relevant Ratings of Pre-K Programs Predict Children's Learning?” This article provides a great opportunity to use our best thinking and create an informed debate around understanding research and the implications for improving protocols and interventions within the QRIS framework. My initial concern was that the article might be mistaken as a call to dismantle systems building efforts in the states, rather than a piece about how to focus interventions within a system to achieve stated goals and outcomes. I also think it is important for us to understand the limitations of the research and regard the conclusions in a context of “building a case,” rather than a final affirmation of how to proceed.
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September 25, 2013

Posted by: BUILD Initiative
Linda K. Smith
Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development
ACF, HHS

Continuous quality improvement is about creating an environment in which management and workers strive to create constantly improving quality. It’s a process to ensure that programs are systematically and intentionally improving services and increasing positive outcomes for the children/families they serve. It’s a cyclical, data-driven process. It is with a continuous quality improvement lens that quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) began just over a decade ago. But QRIS is not a specific intervention – like a specific curriculum or program model. Instead, ... the QRIS is a framework or umbrella for multiple efforts to support quality in a systemic way. And it is going to need to be refined as we learn more – the goal of a continuous quality improvement process.

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July 29, 2013

Posted by: Build Initiative
Sherri Killins, Ed.D.
BUILD Initiative Consultant

To what extent should program standards, known as QRIS, seek to define program quality by including health, safety and business practices of early childhood programs? Should program standards include hand-washing, CPR, first aide, safe sleeping and medication administration etc.? Should program standards include business practices like annual audits, calculation of depreciation, business plans, record keeping, budgeting etc.?
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