Based on findings from an evaluation of Delaware's quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early care and education programs, RAND provided recommendations for state decisionmakers, including considering further refinements to the rating structure, strengthening quality improvement supports, and enhancing administrative data systems.
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?