FAQs for Providers Participating in the Study

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) by providers invited to participate in the RAND Quality Pre-K Cost Study.

Frequently Asked Questions

How were providers selected for the study?

A stratified random sample of providers in each system that deliver the publicly funded pre-K program will be invited to participate in the cost study. The selection process was designed to include providers in each system with diverse features. Selected providers will be contacted directly by RAND.

What will providers be asked to do?

Providers that agree to a participate in the study will be asked to complete up to three activities:

  • Initial interview. RAND will conduct a short phone interview with each provider to answer questions about the project and collect basic information about their program.
  • Financial information. Providers will be asked to answer questions about the structure of their pre-K program and the expenditures associated with the program for the most recent completed fiscal year. This information may be obtained through a second telephone interview, by completing an electronic form, or by completing a paper form. All information supplied by providers will be kept confidential. Data collected will be reported in totals, averages, and statistics; answers from individual providers, including names, will not be included in any study report.
  • Follow-up by phone or email. RAND may follow-up with providers by phone or email to clarify the information provided.

What type of information will be requested?

For the most recently completed fiscal year, providers will be asked about programmatic information, such as the number of classrooms, the number of children served by age group, hours of operation, and staffing levels; levels of staff training and professional development; information about participation in the state or district pre-K program; sources of revenue; costs associated with salaries, overhead, facilities, transportation, food, and materials; and information about the program’s physical space.

What are some benefits of participation?

RAND will provide participating providers with a $250 gift card. In addition, participation in this study gives providers an opportunity to contribute to important public policy research that may help to improve access to and the quality of early care and education experiences for preschoolers across the country. By better understanding the actual costs of providing pre-K in the state/district and across the country, stakeholders and decisionmakers will be better informed about issues of affordability for families and the effects of preschool subsidy rates. Also, RAND can give participating providers a summary of their program cost data that can be used for business purposes and that can be compared with the aggregated data collected from providers across the states and districts.

Are there any risks to participation?

There are no direct risks for participation in this study. No penalties will occur if providers choose not to participate. Participation will not affect current or future participation in the state or district pre-K system.

What are the participants’ rights?

The decision to take part in the RAND Quality Pre-K Cost Study is voluntary. Even if a provider agrees to participate initially, a provider may choose to withdraw consent at any time using the contact information provided here.

Will information be kept confidential?

RAND will keep all information and results completely confidential. RAND will not share any information provided with anyone outside the study team. All information will be reported in totals, averages, and statistics; individual answers and names will not be included in any study report.

Who can be contacted about the study?

For general questions about the study, please contact Jill Cannon at cannon@rand.org. Questions about participation for providers in each state/district can be directed to the contacts listed here:

Please direct questions about your rights as a research participant to RAND’s Human Subjects Protection Committee:
1-866-697-5620 (toll free)
hspcinfo@rand.org
Please reference study #2019-0948