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Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) are tools states use to assess, improve, and promote quality in early child care and education. The ratings can be used by parents in selecting child care, by providers as a benchmark to achieve better quality care, and by programs as an accountability measure for funding. States and municipalities that adopt these methods need support in determining the most useful ways to build and evaluate models. Mathematica has conducted an assessment of these systems, including helping states better understand the intended and unintended consequences of policy and implementation. We have also examined associations between quality features, thresholds and dosage and child outcomes in the Q-DOT project, and charted teachers’ use of child progress monitoring to improve instructional practice (Child Progress Monitoring). In addition, we have developed measures of family experiences in programs (Head Start Family Voices) and of child-adult interactions in infant/toddler care settings (Q-CCIIT).
American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES)
Mathematica conducted AI/AN FACES 2015, the first national descriptive study of children and families in Region XI Head Start programs. Again in AI/AN FACES 2019, Mathematica will assess the strengths and service needs of children and families in Region XI.
Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey: Baby FACES 2018
Mathematica has launched a new five-year descriptive study of Early Head Start, the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES 2018), to guide program technical assistance, management, and policy.
Nikki Aikens specializes in descriptive and evaluation studies focused on young children, their families, and the quality of programs serving them, including Head Start, Early Head Start, and publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs.Featured Projects
- Harlem Children's Zone Longitudinal Study
- Improving Practice: The Study of Coaching Practices in Early Care and Education (SCOPE)
- Toddlers in Early Head Start: A Portrait of 2-Year-Olds, Their Families, and the Programs Serving Them (Executive Summary)
- Early Head Start Programs Deliver a Variety of Quality Services to Families with Infants and Toddlers (In Focus Brief)
- Quality Improvement
- Early Childhood
- Child Development
- Early Childhood Systems
- Quality Measurement
- Human Services