Pia Caronongan

Pia Caronongan

Principal Researcher
Name Pronunciation: PEA-yuh KAH-raw-GNAW-ngun
Pronouns: she/her
  • Early care and education access and quality
  • Early childhood workforce development
  • Cost and financing of early care and education programs
Focus Areas
  • Human Services
  • Early Childhood
  • Professional Development
  • Quality Measurement
  • Effective Data Use
  • Strengthening and Disseminating Research
About Pia

Pia Caronongan’s work focuses on federal and state efforts to support and improve early care and education (ECE) access and quality. She collaborates with clients and stakeholders to design and conduct rigorous evaluations of early childhood initiatives and in-depth examinations of the systems that support ECE programs, including community-based centers, state pre-K, and Head Start.

She is project director of the Infant and Toddler Teacher and Caregiver Competencies Project for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. This project focuses on how states, institutes of higher education, and professional organizations use competency frameworks to promote development of the ECE workforce and improve the quality of care of infants and toddlers. She is also the deputy project director of the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education project, working to develop measures of ECE implementation and cost to better understand how child care centers can use resources to deliver and improve ECE services. In addition, Caronongan directs Mathematica’s subcontract for the Child Care Research and Evaluation Capacity Building Center, with the Urban Institute. This Center is developing resources and activities to support state, territory, and tribal child care agencies in conducting, understanding, consuming, and using research and evaluation for decision making.

Caronongan is a member of the Society for Research in Child Development and the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management. She received her Ed.D. in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education from Harvard University.

Key Projects
  • How Effective Is Home Visiting?

    The Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness project is a thorough and transparent review of the home visiting research literature and an assessment of the evidence of effectiveness for home visiting models that serve families with pregnant women and children from birth to age 5.

  • Evaluating Child Care Quality Rating Systems (QRS)

    Mathematica's assessment involved gathering, analyzing, and organizing information to inform each piece of the QRS logic model. We also helped states better understand the full picture, the interactions that can occur, intended and unintended consequences of policy and implementation.

  • Universal Preschool Child Outcomes Study (UPCOS)

    The Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) was created to increase the number of preschool slots available in the most underserved Los Angeles' communities. Since 2007, Mathematica has conducted this study to provide descriptive information about the diverse population LAUP serves.

Related Case Studies
  • HomVEE Literature Review Identifies Effective Home Visiting Programs

    The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) allocated $1.5 billion over five years for the new Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) to establish home visiting programs for at-risk pregnant women and children up to age 5. As a requirement in the law, 75 percent...