Having children properly immunized is a very important goal within public health. It helps to protect children’s health. Within early care and education programs, immunizations are both a standard of care as well as an outcome of that care. Recently, as I have been doing additional in-depth analyses of the national data base that RIKILLC – Research Institute for Key Indicators maintains, having children properly immunized has been and continues to be a key indicator rule that statistically predicts overall regulatory compliance with all early care and education rules. This is a result that appeared in the research literature over 40 years ago and is still present in today’s analyses. It helps to account for approximately 70% of the variance related to statistically predicting regulatory compliance. These results are across the USA and Canada.
So why is an immunization standard or rule such a good discriminator of high performing early care and education programs. Keeping track of children’s immunizations is not an easy task. It is very detailed-oriented which takes a great deal of diligence on the individuals doing the tracking. One can assume that the best programs have figured this out while the mediocre programs who have difficulty with regulatory compliance have not.
After returning from a stimulating week at the National Association for Regulatory Administration’s (NARA) Licensing Seminar and the Expert Licensing Panel hosted by NARA and the National Center for Early Childhood Quality Assurance (NCECQA), I learned about a new resource made available by the Child Care and Early Education Research Connections (CCEERC). The resource makes all the data over the past decade from the Child Care Licensing Studies conducted by NARA and NCECQA available as SPSS data files. I started to mine these data as soon as I got back and plan on posting several blogs on this website over the winter months looking at trends in the data over the past decade.
There are five data points from 2005 – 2014. The data base provides a national window into child care licensing in both center based and home based care. I will start with the centers data base and then move to the home data bases. Here is my first look at the center data base related to licensed capacity, number of centers and average size of centers. As I said, I will be selecting variables and posting results overtime looking at trends over the five data points. If anyone has any pressing questions that they are interested in seeing how things have changed over the past decade, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at Fiene@RIKInstitute.com.
Child Care Licensing Study CCC Licensed Facilities 2005-2014
Below I have a hotlink to a chart and graphic display which provides additional detail to an earlier RIKI Blog post on a three state standards validation study using Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children. The chart provides the specific number of standards by the major categories within Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children. This gap analysis provides a template/model for doing these types of analyses with all states and jurisdictions. I would encourage states and jurisdictions to do this type of validation gap analysis related to validating their rules in comparison to Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children.
Three State Standards Validation Study by Fiene & Stevens
For additional information about this validation study, please don’t hesitate to contact: Dr Richard Fiene, Psychologist/Principal Investigator, Research Institute for Key Indicators (http://RIKInstitute.com) (Fiene@RIKInstitute.com). Dr Sonya Stevens, Washington State Licensing Analyst was Co-Principal Investigator.
The National Association for Regulatory Administration’s Licensing Seminar was held in Williamsburg, Virginia from September 24-26th along with the Expert Licensing Panel hosted by the National Center for Early Childhood Quality Assurance from September 26th-27th.
Here is the URL – NARA Licensing Seminar and the schedule – NARA Seminar – Schedule at a Glance
Response to a presentation from the Seminar: LinkedIn
Attached to this blog is a technical research note outlining the three theory of regulatory compliance models that have been used over the past 40 years describing the essence of this theory. It is interesting to note that the three models moved from a linear relationship to a non-linear relationship to a tiered relationship between individual key indicators and overall regulatory compliance & program quality.
Here is the technical research note with graphic displays:
Theory of Regulatory Compliance Models
It is with great excitement that I share with you today two very significant publications from the Washington State’s Department of Children, Youth and Families which outline their research agenda for licensing of early care and education programs. These publications are ground breaking in that they address many of the key systemic issues that states are dealing with related to licensing and program quality today.
These publications provide a state example of how best to apply public policy analysis to
regulatory and standards development, validation and implementation. They provide a blueprint to follow as state administrators deal with the complex task of rule formulation within the context of differential monitoring involving risk assessment and key indicators. Washington State has provided actual study examples to Zellman and Fiene’s (2012) Conceptual Framework for Validation by applying it to licensing and regulatory compliance.
Washington staff have creatively utilized legislation to align several sets of standards, a
goal that has had difficulty coming to fruition in many other states. This is a public policy
approach that is both cost effective and efficient. Building upon this base, they have been able to craft a plan to test both validity and reliability of the data and decisions being made related to regulatory compliance, program quality and child outcomes.
Washington State has always been a leader in utilizing NARA’s Key Indicator Methodology as being one of the first states to fully implement such a system by utilizing the Fiene Indicators as part of their abbreviated tools. Washington State staff continue to work with the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) and the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI) in building and refining their differential monitoring system.
The past several posts to this blog have dealt with standards, rules/regulations, Caring for Our Children, and unlicensed child care. This specific post presents some initial analyses of doing a validation study of regulations in three states using as the national comparison tool Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children (Stepping Stones). Stepping Stones is a risk assessment listing of standards taken from the larger Caring for Our Children book which focuses only on those standards that place children at greatest risk of morbidity and mortality.
In doing this validation study I assumed that there would be a high agreement between the 122 Stepping Stones standards and the respective regulations in the three states. Oh, was I ever disappointed!! There was 50% to 67% agreement between the Stepping Stones standards and the respective state regulations which means a gap of one-half to one-third. Please keep in mind that these are standards that if they are not met place children in the greatest risk of mortality and morbidity. Very sobering to say the least.
Here is the article and comprehensive data base for the Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model (ECPQIM) I have been suggesting to use as a systems approach for monitoring and evaluating early care and education programs.
The following two links provide interesting newspaper articles for parents and policy makers that fit nicely with my two previous blog posts on Caring for Our Children Basics and the Parent’s Guide to Choosing Safe and Healthy Child Care.
Unlicensed Child Care
Home Based Child Care
For those who follow my RIKI Website and Blog, I have in two previous RIKI Blogs posted Generic Key Indicators for Early Care and Education and Caring for Our Children Basics for state administrators. In this blog, I want to post a guide (A Parent’s Guide for Choosing Safe and Healthy Child Care) that has been around a long time and disseminated all over the world and is based upon 40 years+ of research in which the indicators within the guide have been studied extensively in a host of replication studies. I would recommend parents to use it when visiting potential child care programs before making a final decision on where they would want their child cared for, or for parents who have their children in child care already. For others, who follow this blog, please share with parents who may be making a child care decision. As I said above, what is unique about this parent’s guide is the number of replication studies that have been completed validating the indicators within the guide.