In the second year of RAND's evaluation of Delaware's quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), key findings offer insight into provider participation, the use of financial incentives, and the amount of technical assistance received by providers—all pointing to the importance of administrative data in a QRIS.
RAND Evaluation of Delaware Stars
The Delaware Office of Early Learning, Department of Education has contracted with the RAND Corporation to evaluate the Delaware Stars program, Delaware's quality rating and improvement system for child care and early childhood education programs.
The RAND Evaluation of Delaware Stars will assess:
- the extent to which rating tiers reflect relevant differences in the quality of home- and center-based programs
- whether the system is operating effectively in terms of technical assistance, financial supports, and other features.
This study will produce a series of annual reports.
An advisory group will guide the project with input on the study design, implementation, and interpretation of results, as well as draft study reports.
The evaluation addresses the following research questions in four thematic areas:
Ratings and Program Quality
Do quality tiers reflect differential levels of program quality? What is the relationship between program characteristics and quality?
System and Program Quality Improvement
Does technical assistance help programs in meeting and moving up in Stars? Do high-need programs improve their program quality?
Ratings and Child Developmental Outcomes
Do children in higher-rated programs experience greater gains? What dimensions of Stars are most relevant for child outcomes?
How well do the Stars system components operate? What do consumers understand about Stars? Is Stars properly financed?