1 Does Paths to QUALITY™ Evaluation Brief #3: Benefit Indiana’s Child Care Providers? What is Paths to QUALITY™? Paths to Figure 1. Paths to QUALITY™ was created in Fort Wayne, QUALITY building Indiana in 2000 to help parents identify and block levels select quality child care and to recognize providers who work to achieve higher-quality care, beyond minimum state licensing requirements. In 2008, Paths to QUALITY was introduced statewide as a voluntary system for licensed child care centers, licensed family child care homes, and unlicensed registered child care ministries. The goals of Paths to QUALITY are to: » improve child care quality » recognize providers for their quality achievements provide a tool for parents to use to select high- » quality child care support better development for children birth » Purdue University Research to 5 years on Paths to QUALITY The state of Indiana contracted with Purdue The four-level Paths to QUALITY rating system has 1 University to evaluate the first three years of a “building block” structure . Each level has quality Paths to QUALITY, from 2008 to 2011. This criteria that must be met. To advance, the provider research/policy brief highlights key findings about must meet all standards for the new level and also child care providers’ experiences with the new maintain the required standards for lower levels. As program. See other briefs in this series for in-depth providers take steps to improve quality, they progress information about the Purdue evaluation research. toward Level 4 – – recognized nationally accreditation as the highest standard of child care quality.
2 2 Evaluation Brief #3 Paths to QUALITY • What did child care providers say were the How many caregivers chose to participate in most important benefits of participating in Paths to QUALITY™? Paths to QUALITY after one year? » As this research brief was written in July, 2012, there were 603 licensed child care centers, 2,280 licensed family child care homes, and % of Providers Most Beneficial Aspect 723 unlicensed registered child care ministries The mentoring services I have received operating in Indiana. The strong and growing 37% from the local child care resource and level of participation by these providers has been referral agency. a striking success for Paths to QUALITY. The gifts and incentives I get from the 25% » In June, 2011 at the completion of this program. evaluation research, 82% of all licensed child The recognition I get from parents, care centers, 52% of all licensed family child other providers, or the public that I am 16% care homes, and 11% of all registered child care providing high quality child care. ministries had enrolled in Paths to QUALITY. The training provided through the 9% These numbers have continued to increase over program. the past year. By September, 2012, 88% of Paths to QUALITY participation licensed centers, 59% of licensed homes, and 9% provides me with a marketing tool for my child care program. 10% of registered ministries were participating in Paths to QUALITY. Note: Only the top 5 reasons given are shown. What were the child care providers’ reasons Were child care providers who enrolled in for enrolling in Paths to QUALITY? Paths to QUALITY motivated to advance to » The Purdue evaluation team surveyed 270 higher quality levels? randomly-selected child care providers who were Yes! 23% of providers interviewed had advanced » participating in Paths to QUALITY. to a higher level in the 6 months since the “Why did you decide to Providers were asked, » evaluation visit. join the Paths to QUALITY program?” » 54% of providers interviewed reported they were Here are their most frequent responses: working hard to move up to higher Paths to QUALITY Levels. Level 2 providers were most likely to advance » Reasons for Enrolling % of Providers within 6 months, followed by Level 1 providers: I wanted to improve the quality of 82% my child care program. % of Providers Level of % of Providers I wanted more professional 70% Who Moved Up Provider at Who Stayed at recognition. at Least 1 Level Time of Purdue the Same Level I wanted to make my child care Evaluation Visit in 6 Months in 6 Months 66% more attractive to parents. 26% 69% Level 1 (n=65) I wanted new ideas for my child 63% care program. 41% 46% Level 2 (n=70) The gifts and cash incentives that 81% 13% Level 3 (n=53) 61% were offered for Paths to QUALITY Level 4 (n=50) 96% NA* participation. *Level 4 is the highest Paths to QUALITY level, so further I wanted the training or technical advancement is not possible. assistance that Paths to QUALITY 61% offered. 49% I wanted to increase my business. Note: Providers could give more than one reason.
3 3 Paths to QUALITY • Evaluation Brief #3 According to providers, what are the main Conclusions & recommendations for challenges they face participating in future work with child care providers in Paths to QUALITY? Paths to QUALITY. There were challenges some providers faced » According to providers, participating in Paths in participating and advancing in Paths to to QUALITY is most beneficial in terms of the QUALITY. Providers were asked, “In your mentoring they receive from quality advisors and opinion, what have been the biggest obstacles the public recognition they receive for working to you face in moving up to the next Paths improve the quality of care and education they offer. to QUALITY level?” 96% of the providers But there are significant challenges for providers. Here are their most responded to this question. They often lack the time and resources they need to frequent responses: make changes required to reach the next quality level. % of Providers Challenges for Providers Based on these findings, the Purdue Research Team Finding the time to complete tasks recommends that: 21% required by Paths to QUALITY » Paths to QUALITY program staff consider Completion of required education providing training in leadership and time 16% and training management, to support provider’s efforts to Insufficient funding to meet manage the new responsibilities that come with 9% standards participation in Paths to QUALITY. Organization; getting paperwork and Continue to offer regional meetings and focus » 8% documentation in order groups with providers around the state. Providers Preparing for and meeting national will offer valuable information about how Paths 6% accreditation standards to QUALITY is working for them and potential 6% Other obstacles. improvements in marketing, incentives and training/technical assistance. Difficulty making needed changes in 4% environment. In the long term, child care providers need to » feel confident that working to advance their Having to wait 6 months to get the 4% next Paths to QUALITY assessment. Paths to QUALITY level will be beneficial, in terms of their pride in offering quality care to Need more feedback from my 2% children and families, public recognition for their mentor. accomplishments, and financial rewards. Paths Challenges in developing 2% to QUALITY should make ongoing efforts to curriculum. ensure that participating providers are actually Reported no obstacles or no 22% receiving these benefits and recognition. response
4 4 Evaluation Brief #3 Paths to QUALITY • The Purdue Research Purdue University completed independent assessments of quality using research-validated measures in a statewide random sample of 312 licensed child care center classrooms, registered child care ministry classrooms, and licensed family child care homes. The Purdue team also interviewed more than 1800 parents and 270 child care providers, and completed developmental assessments with more than 550 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in Paths to QUALITY centers and homes. The research took place between March, 2009 and June, 2011. The Purdue evaluation research focused on the following questions: Are child care providers of all types entering the voluntary Paths to QUALITY system? Do providers 1. understand the system? 2. What are the incentives for providers to enroll? What are the barriers? Do child care providers move to higher Paths to QUALITY levels after enrolling in the system? 3. 4. Are providers aware of available training/technical assistance (T/TA) resources to help them increase Paths to QUALITY levels, and do they use them? Does T/TA help providers advance their Paths to QUALITY levels? 5. When providers attain higher Paths to QUALITY levels, does this result in higher quality care, as assessed using research-validated measures? Are children who are placed with providers who have achieved higher Paths to QUALITY levels 6. developing more optimally than children placed with providers having lower Paths to QUALITY levels? 7. Are parents of Indiana infants, toddlers, and preschool children aware of and do they understand the Paths to QUALITY system? Does the Paths to QUALITY system affect parents’ child care decisions? 1 http://qrisnetwork.org/glossary QRIS National Learning Network, Glossary of Terms, . This research-policy brief was written by Treshawn Anderson and James Elicker at Purdue University. It is one in a series available on the Purdue ) under “Publications.” www.cfs.purdue.edu/cff Center for Families website ( 1. Evaluation Brief #1: Key Findings 2. Evaluation Brief #2: Does Paths to QUALITY™ Produce Quality Care and Education for Indiana’s Young Children? Evaluation Brief #3: Does Paths to QUALITY™ Benefit Indiana’s Child Care Providers? 3. Evaluation Brief #4: Does Paths to QUALITY™ Help Indiana Parents Find Quality Child Care? 4. For more detailed information about the methods, measures, and results, refer to the Paths to QUALITY Final Evaluation Report (2011) also on the Center for Families website. . www.in.gov/fssa/2554.htm For more information about Paths to QUALITY, visit the Paths to QUALITY website: Funding for this project was provided by contract with Purdue University from the Indiana Bureau of Child Care, Division of Family Resources, Indiana Family & Social Services Administration. The contents of the brief and reports are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the funding agency, nor does this publication in any way constitute an endorsement by the funding agency.
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