Current Projects:

Quality Support
The R&E unit engages in continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts. Data is continually analyzed and synthesized to track and monitor general center-based and family child care program information. The unit also documents and examines CQI in terms of initial assessment and protocol for ongoing support at the classroom and program levels.

Professional Learning Experiences
The R&E unit also analyzes data from early childhood professionals across the state regarding workshop attendance, feedback, and needs. A significant component of this work involves providing and evaluating professional learning experiences.

Leadership Development for ECE Professionals
The project focuses on the development of leadership among early childhood professionals. The R&E unit is exploring aspects of ECAP programs in working toward aligning programs with ECAP standards. The unit also explores the benefits of Communities of Practice (CoPs) and Group Reflective Experiences (GREs) that technical assistants currently facilitate.

Family Child Care Support
This project focuses on individualized support for family child care professionals. The R&E unit is examining the implementation of a newly-developed protocol that technical assistants spearhead in their work with providers.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential
DIEEC has designed and implemented several cohorts to help early childhood professionals obtain the CDA. The R&E unit is conducting comparisons of the effectiveness of the other cohorts.

The Family Map
This project is a strengths-based assessment tool that New Directions Early Head Start uses. The Family Map collects information on various topics from Early Head Start families. This data helps home visitors and family service workers support families in setting and achieving their goals. It also supports program improvement initiatives.

Motivational Interviewing
This project seeks to examine the implementation of motivational interviewing (MI) by technical assistants to support quality improvement efforts of programs participating in the QRIS. Audio/video recordings and reflection sheets document and assess fidelity and how motivational interviewing skills evolve.

Early Childhood Quality Improvement Pathway System (EQuIPS)
EQuIPS is a new measure of early childhood program quality designed to combine program observation, document review, and provider interviews to measure quality in early childhood programs. Our research team supports the development of this tool by collecting observation data, conducting provider interviews, and other support as needed.

Previous Projects:

Pandemic-Related Research
The Research & Evaluation Unit tracks and reports on the status of center-based and family child care programs as they open and close due to COVID-19. An additional survey project seeks to collect information on the learning impacts of COVID-19 on early childhood programs during the pandemic. Surveys gather information from administrators, family child care providers, and teachers on various topics related to workforce issues, supports, challenges, and barriers

FCC Exit Study
This project seeks to understand why family child care centers and large child care centers have withdrawn from the Delaware Stars Quality Rating and Improvement System over time. Data collection involves surveys to gather information on professionals’ reasons for previously joining Stars, their support, and their challenges. In-depth interviews with a subset of providers aim to collect additional information on their perceptions of quality and experiences with Delaware Stars.

Parent Reviews of Child Care
This project examines parents’ satisfaction with and evaluation of their child care programs in Delaware. Google and Facebook consumer reviews posted between 2012 and 2019 are analyzed for 474 child care centers in Delaware. Public ratings are also compared with Delaware Stars Ratings to examine the alignment of ratings between consumers and Delaware Stars.

Cost of Quality Study (Ernst & Young, 2020)
This project seeks to understand the cost of quality for early education programs in Delaware by identifying key components of quality and estimating the cost of care and operations. Using data collected by the Delaware Department of Education, a summary of findings was presented in a brief for stakeholders, along with recommendations for the next steps.

FCC Action Research Study
This project provides support and resources to FCC professionals in two areas. First, the wellness-focused community of practice seeks to support those interested in their personal health and well-being. Professionals are provided with resources on various topics, including setting achievable goals, mindful eating, exercise, and meditation. This community of practice is ongoing. Second, the remote-learning community of practice focused on providing resources to FCC providers with school-age children who were attending school virtually. Data were collected using pre- and post-surveys to assess the impact of each community of practice on FCC providers.

National Survey Data
This project compares center-based early care and education options serving infants and toddlers in moderate-and high-poverty density areas across four program types (Early Head Start, subsidized centers, public ECE, non-publicly funded ECE). Using the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education, this study examines a broad set of workforce, classroom, and program features.