Saskatchewan Study Confirms Program Quality Indicators

The downloadable file below contains the final report of the Saskatchewan Early Childhood Program Quality Indicators Validation Study. The report contains the results from the validation study and analyses as well as the Program Quality Indicators Scale. It is the final piece in assembling/validating the differential monitoring approach in Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Education Child Care Programs.

This is a very significant study because of the following: It was a large comprehensive validation study involving 30 programs, 90 classrooms and 180 observations of infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms utilizing the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS)/Infant Toddlers Environmental Rating Scale (ITERS) and the Saskatchewan Early Childhood Program Quality Indicators (SKECPQI) instruments. Six trained observers collected the data over a two-month period.

The analyses clearly demonstrated that the new SKECPQI instrument is a valid and reliable measure of program quality. Program Quality Indicator Number 2 (PQI #2) clearly showed its predictive power in this study. The SKECPQI and PQI #2 correlated very highly with the ITERS and ECERS. The SKECPQI appears to correlate more highly with regulatory compliance violations than the ECERS or ITERS. The ceiling/plateauing effect is not as evident with the SKECPQI as it is with ECERS/ITERS.

The Regulatory Compliance Scale (RCS) is a better sorter for regulatory compliance than the violation data. There is a good deal of internal consistency within the SKECPQI Tool just as it is with the ERSs.

The Regulatory Compliance Theory of Diminishing Returns was validated in comparing RCS with ECERS/ITERS. Both the SKECPQI Scale and the Regulatory Compliance Scale are introduced as new improvements to measuring quality and regulatory compliance.

This report should have great national and international interest generated because of the above results and the new scales being proposed. Both scales are generated from empirical evidence and expert opinion.

About Dr Fiene

Dr. Rick Fiene has spent his professional career in improving the quality of child care in various states, nationally, and internationally. He has done extensive research and publishing on the key components in improving child care quality through an early childhood program quality indicator model of training, technical assistance, quality rating & improvement systems, professional development, mentoring, licensing, risk assessment, differential program monitoring, and accreditation. Dr. Fiene is a retired professor of human development & psychology (Penn State University) where he was department head and director of the Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute.
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