Dr Richard Fiene will be receiving a Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award (PennAEYC Award Announcement) in April of this year. Dr Fiene’s career spans 5 decades from the early 1970’s until the present day. He has spent his professional career in improving the quality of early care and education in various states, nationally, and internationally both at the public policy and academic levels. He has done extensive research and publishing on the key components in improving child care quality through an innovative early childhood program quality indicator model of training, technical assistance, quality rating & improvement systems, professional development, mentoring/coaching, licensing, risk assessment, differential program monitoring, key indicators/regulatory compliance, and accreditation which has led to a cost effective and efficient approach to data utilization and child outcomes.
Dr Fiene is a retired professor of human development & psychology (Penn State University) where he was department head and founding director, along with Dr Mark Greenberg, of the Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute. He is presently President & Senior Research Psychologist for the Research Institute for Key Indicators which he founded in 2013 and continues consulting with early care & education agencies in the US, Canada, and beyond; and with the College of Medicine at the Penn State Medical Center in Hershey, the Prevention Research Center & Better Kid Care Program at University Park.
Dr Fiene is generally regarded as a leading international researcher/scholar on human services licensing measurement and differential monitoring systems. His regulatory compliance law of diminishing returns has altered human services regulatory science and licensing measurement dramatically in thinking about how best to monitor and assess licensing rules and regulations through targeted and abbreviated inspections.
His research has led to the following developments: identification of herding/clustering behavior in the developmental play patterns of two-year olds, preschool developmental play patterns being applied to adult-child ratio regulatory compliance, national early care and education quality indicators, mathematical model for determining adult-child ratio compliance, solution to the trilemma in child care delivery services, Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children, online mentoring/coaching as a targeted and individualized learning platform, the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA), validation framework for early childhood licensing systems and quality rating & improvement systems, an Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement Model, Theory of Regulatory Compliance, Caring for Our Children Basics: Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education, and to the development of statistical techniques for dealing with highly skewed, non-parametric data distributions in human services licensing systems (child care, child-residential, and adult-residential)(National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) Key Indicators).