Fiene to Receive “VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award”

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).

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Exchange Leadership Initiative

Attached below is an invitation to early childhood educators to join the present 326 ECE Exchange Leaders.  This group of early childhood educators, researchers, and scholars have had a tremendous influence on the early childhood field globally.  For those interested, please take a look at the attachment below and visit the website that lists the 326 ECE Exchange Leaders (https://www.childcareexchange.com/eli-directory/).

Exchange Leadership Initiative 2020 Invite

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Request for ECE Licensing Reports

Please share your research and evaluation reports about licensing in early care and education (ECE). Send the materials, along with your contact information, to TRLECE@acf.hhs.gov by January 31, 2020.

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) recently posted a request for research and evaluation reports about licensing in ECE to inform this project, Understanding the Role of Licensing in Early Care and Education (TRLECE), 2019–2024. TRLECE will identify and address gaps in knowledge about how key features of the ECE licensing system are related to ECE quality and outcomes for children, families, and key stakeholders (e.g., providers, licensing agencies).

One of the early project activities is to refine a conceptual framework and to synthesize information regarding what is currently known about licensing research, policies, and administrative practices. The project team is searching for relevant licensing materials and will review a broad range of information. We invite you to share your relevant work with us. Examples include:

  • Evaluation reports of ECE licensing regulations or practices
  • Reports that summarize or analyze ECE licensing data at the local, regional, or state/territory level
  • Research reports, including manuscripts under review
  • National reports of licensing data across states or territories
  • Conceptual frameworks or models of ECE licensing
  • Logic models that include ECE licensing
  • Descriptions of outcomes or benefits of the ECE licensing system.

We will assume that the materials you share are publicly available unless you specify otherwise. Please include URL information for publicly available reports, if applicable. Please send all materials, along with your contact information, via email to TRLECE@acf.hhs.gov by January 31, 2020.

We encourage you to share this email with colleagues who may have relevant work to share. To learn more about this request, visit the request for research and evaluation reports page.

Sincerely,

TRLECE Project Team

Tracy Carter Clopet, Emily Ross, Ivelisse Martinez-Beck, and Ellen Litkowski, OPRE

Kelly Maxwell, Child Trends

Nina Johnson, ICF

Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mary E. Switzer Building, Fourth Floor, MS 4425, 330 C Street, S.W., Washington, DC  20201, General office number: (202) 690-6782, Fax: (202) 690-5600, General email: occ@acf.hhs.gov, Website: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/occ

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Public Library of Science PLOS One: The iLookOut Research Study

Attached is the latest research article detailing the iLookOut Study and Program, Penn State, College of Medicine, Center for the Protection of Children:

Generalizing findings from a randomized controlled trial to a real-world study of the iLookOut, an online education program to improve early childhood care and education providers’ knowledge and attitudes about reporting child maltreatment

Abstract

In recent years, real-world studies (RWS) are gaining increasing interests, because they can generate more realistic and generalizable results than randomized controlled clinical trials (RCT). In 2017, we published a RCT in 741 early childhood care and education providers (CCPs). It is the Phase I of our iLookOut for Child Abuse project (iLookOut), an online, interactive learning module about reporting suspected child maltreatment. That study demonstrated that in a RCT setting, the iLookOut is efficient at improving CCPs’ knowledge of and attitudes towards child maltreatment reporting. However, the generalizability of that RCT’s results in a RWS setting remains unknown. To address this question, we design and conduct this large RWS in 11,065 CCPs, which is the Phase II of the iLookOut. We hypothesize replication of the earlier RCT findings, i.e., the iLookOut can improve CCPs’ knowledge of and attitudes toward child maltreatment reporting in a real world setting. In addition, this RWS also explores whether demographic factors affect CCPs’ performance. Results of this RWS confirmed the generalizability of the previous RCT’s results in a real world setting. It yielded similar effect sizes for knowledge and attitudes as were found in the earlier RCT. Cohen’s d for knowledge improvement was 0.95 in that RCT, 0.96 in this RWS; Cohen’s d for attitude improvement was 0.98 in that RCT, 0.80 in this RWS. Also, we found several significant differences in knowledge and attitude improvement with regard to age, race, education, and employment status. In conclusion, iLookOut improves knowledge and attitudes of CCPs about child maltreatment prevention and reporting in a real-world setting. The generalizability of the initial RCT findings to this RWS provides strong evidence that the iLookout will be effective in other real world settings. It can be a useful model for other interventions aimed at preventing child maltreatment.

PLOS One Public Library of Science Research Article

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CCDF Resource Manual and Differential Monitoring Algorithms

Below please find links to the CCDF Resource Manual which is a tremendous resource to state agency administrators as they are busy complying with the standards of the Child Care Development Fund.  The Office of Child Care has done a wonderful job in putting in one place a ton of resources that are readily available.

The second link is a series of papers that present the algorithms for putting in place a differential monitoring system.  It provides all the details for state agency Information Technology (IT) staff to get such a system up and running.  Again it provides one stop shopping for state administrators if they are interested in developing such a system.

CCDF Fundamentals Resource Guide

Differential Monitoring Algorithm Papers

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NARA Annual Licensing Seminar

The National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) annual licensing seminar is next week.  It brings together key researchers, policy administrators, and licensing staff and administrators to discuss the latest developments in regulatory administration and science.  Attached is an overview highlighting the presentations for the week.  Please pay particular attention to the presentation by Lisa Clifford and Dawn Downer on Differential Monitoring Through Data Driven Decisions.  They have done a wonderful study in the state of Indiana in the development of a Licensing Key Indicator system and did some very interesting analyses in comparing licensing data with their QRIS system.   Many jurisdictions can learn about very effective and efficient data utilization from their approach.

NARA Licensing Seminar 2019 Schedule of Presentations

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Three RIKI Technical Research Notes for Scientists, ECPQIM Data Distributions, and Principles of Regulatory Compliance Measurement

Listed in this RIKINotes blog are three RIKIllc Technical Research Notes for psychological scientists (geared for all scientists considering research with regulatory compliance data)(1), ECPQI2M (Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model) data distributions(2), and proposed principles of regulatory compliance measurement(3).  These three technical research notes help to further delineate the nuances and idiosyncrasies of regulatory compliance data, measurement, and analysis.

  1. ECPQIM Regulatory Compliance Methods and Practices for Scientists
  2. ECPQIM DB Data Distributions
  3. Principles of Regulatory Compliance Measurement

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Economic Application Utilizing the Theory of Regulatory Compliance

Here is an article published in the Academic Journal of Economic Studies utilizing the Theory of Regulatory Compliance (Fiene, 2016; 2019).  The study appraises the quality of compliance upheld by selected Nigerian and Ghanaian manufacturing companies to minimum disclosure requirements of IFRS during financial reporting. Hence, it determines whether any significant difference exists in the compliance quality of the post IFRS Financial Statements prepared in Nigeria and Ghana in their first five years of IFRS adoption. It is an empirical study that is descriptively designed to pave room for the use of the content analysis scoring system as the core instrument for data collection.

The study recommends that a more robust regulatory oversight on companies’ full compliance to IFRS disclosure requirements be upheld towards achieving a commendable level of comparison in both countries’ IFRS Financial Statements as expected. More so, companies’ consistent full compliance to IFRS requirements should hence be adopted as one of the prerequisites for there continued listing by the Nigerian and Ghana Stock Exchanges.

Academic Journal of Economic Studies

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Exchange Leadership Initiative – New Exchange Leaders Announced

The July-August 2019 Issue of the Child Care Exchange Magazine was just published and I have the distinct honor to be included as one of the new Exchange Leaders announced in this edition of the magazine.  I feel humbled to be included with such a wonderful group of ECE professionals who are doing great work with young children.

Attached is the article that appeared in the magazine announcing the new Exchange Leaders and the Exchange Leader Webpage site:

Exchange Leadership Initiative Article

The Exchange Leaders

 

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A Theory of Early Childhood Outcomes

Attached is a technical research note/abstract (RIKInote #75) on proposing a theory of early childhood outcomes based upon the combined impacts of professional development, program quality, and regulatory compliance.  This is an attempt to combine these major systems into a single unified equation in determining their relative weights for early childhood outcomes.  This is a controversial proposal but one based upon 50 years of research and empirical evidence, all taken from the Research Institute for Key Indicators’ Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicators Model data base.

TECO Fiene July 2019a

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Capital Area Early Childhood Training Institute Reunion

We had a wonderful reunion of many of the staff and faculty from Penn State CAECTI – Capital Area Early Childhood Training Institute.  It was wonderful seeing everyone again.  Here is a picture from the reunion.

CAECTI 20190621_222031

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Preparation for Washington State’s Validation Study Kick Off Meetings Next Week

I am in the midst of preparing to fly to Seattle next week to be part of the Washington State’s Validation Study Kick Off (NARA WA Validation) meetings in Olympia.  This is a really big deal in early care and education licensing because the state is expanding the use of weighted risk assessment in making licensing decisions.  In the past, weighted risk assessment has been used for making determinations about individual rules or regulations and about the frequency of monitoring visits.  Washington state’s licensing office has always been at the forefront of monitoring innovations in being one of the first states to utilize licensing key indicators which has been part of their overall differential/abbreviated monitoring for many years now.   According to my records, they have the longest running use of licensing key indicators than any other state or province.

Washington has been working with the National Association for Regulatory Administration on their weighted risk assessment project for the past couple of years and the next 1-2 years will be devoted to validating their approaches.  The interested reader can find out more details about Washington’s Research Agenda by going to RIKInstitute.com.  I will also be providing updates over the next couple of weeks during my time in Seattle and Olympia.  This is another major step in moving the regulatory science field forward when it comes to regulatory compliance, licensing measurement, and differential monitoring systems.

An interesting discussion during my time in Washington (RAM1)(NARA WA Validation PPT).

NARA WA IMG_2019-06-26_06-44-13

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iLookOut to appear in the Journal of Early Child Development and Care

A description of the iLookOut Program for Child Abuse Prevention will appear in the Journal of Early Child Development and Care.

It was published online yesterday, June 7, 2019.  Below is the journal eprint.

Ilookout for child abuse conceptual and practical considerations in creating an online learning programme to engage learners and promote behaviour 

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News from the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State

Here is the latest news (May 23, 2019) from the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State University highlighting events, faculty, staff, students, and affiliates.

News and Updates from PRC Faculty, Staff, Students and Affiliates

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Exchange Leadership Initiative

I got this wonderful news today, it is truly an honor to be included:

Dear Rick,

Congratulations – you have been chosen to be an Exchange Leader.  You will be included in the article featuring our newest Exchange Leaders in the July/August issue of Exchange magazine. 

The Exchange Leadership Initiative (ELI) launched in November 2014, with the intention of making leadership more visible in the field of Early Care and Education.  Our early childhood field has strong leaders who accomplish the important work of educating young children, as well as supporting and advocating for children, their families, and their communities.  Exchange Leaders are everywhere, doing powerful work in their communities, regions and across the world. 

You are joining the more than 300 current Exchange Leaders.  Your passion for the field and your commitment and perseverance over the years is important to the work we all do.  I welcome you and look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Pam Boulton, Ed.D.

Coordinator, Exchange Leadership Initiative

 

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Journal of Regulatory Science: A Treatise on Regulatory Compliance

The Journal of Regulatory Science is publishing “A Treatise on the Theory of Regulatory Compliance (Fiene TRC JRS 7 2019)” this month (Volume 7)(doi.org/10.21423/jrs-v07fiene).  This article presents the latest research and thinking in how this theory impacts regulatory science and compliance within social and economic regulations.  Here is the link to the Journal of Regulatory Science, look under Policy Commentaries:

Journal of Regulatory Science, Volume 7(1)

or just go directly to the article

(doi.org/10.21423/jrs-v07fiene)

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Dr Richard Fiene, Research Psychologist and Professor of Psychology (ret) at Penn State University is generally regarded as the leading international researcher/scholar on licensing measurement and differential monitoring systems. His theory of regulatory compliance has altered regulatory science and licensing measurement dramatically in thinking about how best to monitor and assess licensing rules and regulations.
Dr Fiene’s measurement and monitoring methodologies have led to targeted or abbreviated inspections in all aspects of human service licensing thru risk assessment, key indicators and differential monitoring approaches. He has maintained an international data base on regulatory compliance for the past 40 years which is housed at the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKIllc) and the Pennsylvania State University and has led to the development of statistical techniques for dealing with highly skewed, non-parametric data distributions. His research has led to the following: identification of herding behavior of two year olds, 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 coaching as a learning platform, Validation framework for licensing systems, and an Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement Model.
He has written extensively on regulatory compliance in the human services and his research has been disseminated all over the world via his website (http://RIKInstitute.com). He presently directs the Research Institute for Key Indicators and is a senior research consultant with the National Association for Regulatory Administration, and is an Affiliate Professor with the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Consultant to the College of Medicine at Penn State Hershey and the College of Ag. Sciences at Penn State University.
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iLookOut Child Abuse Prevention Program: An Online Learning Program for Protecting Children

The iLookOut Child Abuse Prevention program has clearly demonstrated that it significantly improves knowledge about abuse, and attitudes regarding what is needed to protect children from harm and has resulted in individuals feeling better prepared to respond to child maltreatment.  Now it has also been demonstrated that iLookOut improves reporting to child protective services, with significantly more reports resulting in findings of abuse and/or referral for social services.  Here is an Infographic describing the program and its significant results.

iLookOut Infographic

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Dr. Philip Zimbardo gives talk at Penn State Harrisburg

Dr. Philip Zimbardo is an influential psychologist best-known for his 1971 Stanford prison experiment. Many psychology students may also be familiar with his psychology textbooks and the Discovering Psychology video series often used in high school and psychology classrooms. Zimbardo is also the author of several notable books including The Lucifer Effect.

I had the distinct honor to be invited to a dinner hosted by the Penn State psychology faculty for Dr. Zimbardo this week.  Here is a photo of Dr. Zimbardo and the faculty & guests.

PSH Psychology

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New Saskatchewan and NARA Project Demonstrating the Efficacy of ECPQIM and Differential Monitoring

It is exciting to announce a new differential monitoring project in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada being done by NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration.   This project will assist the Ministry of Education in developing a full blown differential monitoring system with key indicators, risk assessment rules, and quality indicators along with the validation of each.  It will be a full evaluation of the ECPQIM – Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model (please see the following webpage (https://rikinstitute.com/ecpqim/) for additional details about the model.  This project will get back to the original purpose of differential monitoring in providing a balance between licensing indicators and quality indicators being used in tandem during abbreviated monitoring reviews.  This approach of combining key indicators with risk assessment rules focuses on children’s health, safety and well-being developmentally.

I will be providing updated RIKI Notes as we move along with the project delineating the various phases.

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Effectiveness and Efficiency Relationship

RIKI Technical Research Note #70 – Effectiveness and Efficiency Relationship with resultant Cost Benefit Analysis modeling based upon data from the Theory of Regulatory Compliance.  This technical research note depicts a graphic display of the relationship between effectiveness and efficiency and how the intersection of these two can result in cost benefit analysis.

RIKI Effectiveness and Efficiency Relationship1

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Dr Richard Fiene, Research Psychologist and Professor of Psychology (ret) at Penn State University is generally regarded as the leading international researcher/scholar on licensing measurement and systems. His theory of regulatory compliance has altered regulatory science and licensing measurement dramatically in thinking about how best to monitor and assess licensing rules and regulations.
Dr Fiene’s measurement and monitoring methodologies have led to targeted or abbreviated inspections in all aspects of human service licensing thru risk assessment, key indicators and differential monitoring approaches. He has maintained an international data base on regulatory compliance for the past 40 years which is housed at the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKIllc) and the Pennsylvania State University and has led to the development of statistical techniques for dealing with highly skewed, non-parametric data distributions. His research has led to the following: identification of herding behavior of two year olds, 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 coaching as a learning platform, Validation framework for licensing systems, and an Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement Model.
He has written extensively on regulatory compliance in the human services and his research has been disseminated all over the world via his website (http://RIKInstitute.com). He presently directs the Research Institute for Key Indicators and is a senior research consultant with the National Association for Regulatory Administration, and is an Affiliate Professor with the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Consultant to the College of Medicine at Penn State Hershey and the College of Ag. Sciences at Penn State University.
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Child Care Aware of America’s Child Care Licensing Database Report

Child Care Aware published a very significant report (Child Care Aware of America’s Child Care Licensing Database: Initial Findings) on state licensing throughout the USA.  It builds upon their innovative reports “We Can Do Better“.  This new report series utilizes Caring for Our Children Basics as the comparison tool in looking at the state’s licensing rules and monitoring systems.  It is an absolutely brilliant approach to being able to look at state’s rules from a national perspective and I applaud Child Care Aware for taking this on.  Here is a copy of the report and links to their webpage which contains additional information about the child care licensing data base.

Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Research Psychologist, Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKIllc); Professor of Psychology (ret), Penn State University; Affiliate Professor, Penn State Prevention Research Center; Senior Research Consultant, National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA).

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Updating the Theory of Compliance with Big Data Analysis via the Key Indicator Methodology

There is a major movement within the human services involving big data where rather than selecting samples to do analyses state/provincial agencies have the capability to provide basically population data.  For the Theory of Regulatory Compliance as it involves the Licensing Key Indicator Methodology, selection criteria and the dichotomization of data are changing dramatically because of the increased cell sizes in determining and generating the Licensing Key Indicators.

For example, in the past, the Licensing Key Indicator Methodology always utilized a 25/50/25 dichotomization model for segregating high compliance from low compliance facilities.  However, with big data being available, cell sizes are much more robust in which this dichotomization model can be increased to 12.5/75/12.5.   The move to this model helps to decrease the number of false negatives while at the same time increasing phi coefficients.  By doing this, the Licensing Key Indicators generated are very robust and highly predictive.

The following Licensing Key Indicators continue to be identified in state/provincial analyses and results (all these Indicators are from the original ASPE Research Brief: 13 Indicators of Quality Child Care):

  • Proper Supervision,
  • Children are properly immunized,
  • The facility is hazard free,
  • Reporting of child abuse, and
  • Staff are trained in CPR and first aid.

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NARA Presentation in Indiana on Differential Monitoring and Key Indicators

NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration conducted a presentation in Indiana on differential monitoring and key indicators (February 14, 2019).  Please go to the following Facebook Live link to see the presentation:

Facebook Live Link

 

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The Relationship between Regulatory Compliance and Quality Initiatives: RIKIllc Technical Research Note #67

The Relationship between Early Care & Education Quality Initiatives and
Regulatory Compliance: RIKIllc Technical Research Note #67
Richard Fiene, Ph.D.
February 2019

 

Over the past couple of decades there has been many early care and education initiatives, such as Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), Professional Development, Training, Technical Assistance, Accreditation, and Pre-K programs to just name a few. Validation and evaluation studies have begun to appear in the research literature, but in these studies there has been few empirical demonstrations of the relationship between these various quality initiatives and their impact on regulatory compliance or a comparison to their respective regulatory compliance. This brief technical research note will provide examples of these comparisons taken from the Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model (ECPQI2M) Data Base  maintained at the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKIllc).

I have written about this back in 2014 (Fiene, 2014) in how the various quality initiatives were having a positive impact on the early care and education delivery system but at that point regulatory compliance data were not available. Today, in 2019, with many changes and developments in state data systems, this is no longer the case. Now it is possible to explore the relationships between data from the various quality initiatives and licensing. Several states in multiple service delivery systems have provided replicable findings in which I feel comfortable reporting out about the relationships across the data systems.

What we now know is that there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between regulatory compliance and moving up the QRIS Quality Levels. In other words, facilities have higher compliance in the higher QRIS Quality Levels and lower compliance in the lower QRIS Levels or if they do not participate in their state’s respective QRIS (F = 5.047 – 8.694; p < .0001).

Other quality initiatives, such as being accredited, shows higher compliance with licensing rules than those facilities that are not accredited (t = 2.799 – 3.853; p < .005 – .0001).

This is a very important result clearly demonstrating the positive relationship between regulatory compliance and quality initiatives. I have some additional state data sets that I will add to the ECPQI2M data base and will continue to analyze these relationships and post additional RIKIllc Technical Research Notes.

 


Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Senior Research Consultant, National Association for Regulatory Administration; Psychologist, Research Institute for Key Indicators; and Affiliate Professor, Prevention Research Center, Penn State University, Professor of Psychology (ret), Penn State University. (http://rikinstitute.com).

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Dissertation on the Effectiveness CCR&R Services Using a Coaching Model on Licensing Compliance

Here is an interesting Early Care and Education Dissertation completed by a doctoral student at the University of South Carolina, Wenjia Wang.  “The purposes of this study were to investigate the significance of the impact of CCR&R services using a coaching model on licensing compliance outcomes at child care centers and to further our knowledge on the use of coaching to improve health and safety conditions in child care environments.”

A Quasi-Experimental Study on the Effectiveness of CCRR TA Coach

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Boston Globe Article

The following article appeared in the Boston Globe this morning:

With New Day-Care Inspection System, High Caseloads and Shorter Visits – The Boston Globe

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Some Technical Considerations in Using Complaint Data and Regulatory Compliance Data: RIKIllc Technical Research Note #66

Some Technical Considerations in Using Complaint Data and Regulatory
Compliance Data: RIKIllc Technical Research Note #66

Richard Fiene, Ph.D.

January 2019

 
As promised in RIKIllc Technical Research Note #65, this Note will provide details on the
and analytical considerations when using complaint and regulatory compliance data together.  As pointed out in the previous technical research note, using complaint data as a potential outcome appears to have merit and should be explored in greater detail. However, with that said there are some parameters that the methodology has that should be explored in order to make the analyses more meaningful.

When looking at regulatory compliance and complaint data there are four possibilities: 1) the facility is in full compliance and has no complaints; 2) the facility is in full compliance but has complaint(s); 3) the facility has some non-compliance and has no complaints; and 4) the facility has some non-compliance and has complaint(s). These four possibilities can be depicted in a 2 x 2 matrix:

Cell C = Full Compliance & No Complaints; Cell A = Full Compliance & Complaints (False Negative): Cell B = Non-Compliance & No Complaints; Cell D = Non-Compliance & Complaints. (See the attached Technical Research Note for a clearer picture of the 2 x 2 Matrix).

 
In the this 2 x 2 matrix, we would want to see cell C and cell D as the predominant cells and cell A and B as the less dominant cells, especially cell A because this represents a false negative result.

However, there are a couple of limitations to the above matrix that need to be taken into account. One, are the complaints substantiated or not. Any complaint must be substantiated to be counted in the model. If it is unsubstantiated, than it is not counted in the matrix. Two, there is the problem with directionality that needs to be addressed. For example, does the complaint occur before or after the full inspection in order to determine regulatory compliance. The 2 x 2 matrix and the modeling for these
analyses is based on the complaint occurring after the full inspection and that is the reason for cell A being labeled a false negative. If the directionality is reversed and the full inspection occurs after a complaint, cell A is no longer a false negative.

RIKI Technical Details

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Relationship between Regulatory Compliance and Complaints in a Human Services Licensing System: RIKIllc Technical Research Note #65

What is the Relationship between Regulatory Compliance and Complaints

Richard Fiene, Ph.D.

January 2019

 

Within licensing measurement and the validation of licensing systems it is particularly difficult to have specific outcome metrics that can be measured within a human services licensing system. The purpose of this technical research note is to propose a potential solution to this problem.

Probably the most accurate measures of licensing outcomes focus on improvements in the health and safety of clients within human services licensed facilities, such as: fewer injuries (safety) or higher levels of immunizations (health). Another measure related to client satisfaction is the number of complaints reported about a licensed facility by clients and the general public. The advantage of using complaints is that this form of monitoring is generally always part of an overall licensing system. In other words, the state/provincial licensing agency is already collecting these data. It is just a matter of utilizing these data in comparing the number of complaints to overall regulatory compliance.

The author had the opportunity to have access to these data, complaint and regulatory
compliance data in a mid-Western state which will be reported within this technical research note. There are few empirical demonstrations of this relationship within the licensing research literature. The following results are based upon a very large sample of family child care homes (N = 2000+) over a full year of licensing reviews.

The results of comparing the number of complaints and the respective regulatory compliance levels for specific family child care homes proved to show a rather significant relationship (r = .47; p < .0001). This result is the first step in attempting to understand this relationship as well as developing a methodology and analysis schema since directionality (e.g., did the complaint occur before or after regulatory compliance data collection?) can play a key role in the relationship (this will be developed more fully in a future technical research note). The focus of this research note was to determine if any relationship existed between regulatory compliance and complaint data and if it is worth pursuing.

It appears that looking more closely at the relationship between complaint and regulatory compliance data is warranted. It may provide another means of validating the fourth level of validation studies as proposed by Zellman and Fiene’s OPRE Research Brief (Zellman, G. L. & Fiene, R. (2012). Validation of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems for Early Care and Education and School-Age Care, Research-to-Policy, Research-to-Practice Brief OPRE 2012-29. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) in which four approaches to validation are delineated for Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). This author has taken this framework and applied it to licensing systems (Fiene (2014). Validation of Georgia’s Core Rule Monitoring System, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning) and more recently proposed as the framework for Washington State’s Research Agenda (Stevens & Fiene (2018). Validation of the Washington State’s Licensing and Monitoring System, Washington
Department of Children, Youth, and Families).

For additional information regarding the above studies, the interested reader should go to RIKInstitute.com.

__________________________________________________________
Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology (ret), Penn State University; Senior Research Consultant, National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA); and Research Psychologist, Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKIllc).

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Data Distributions for the Major ECE Systems: Licensing, QRIS, and ERS

I thought it important to share with researchers who may be doing ECE research on Licensing, QRIS – Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, and ERS – Environmental Rating Scales.  Usually when we are doing research, we find the data to be normally distributed which is the case with ERS data sets.  However, in dealing with Licensing and QRIS data sets, this is not the case.  With Licensing data we find the data distributions to be highly skewed and with QRIS data we find the data distributions to be either bi-modal or highly skewed depending on if only the QRIS sites are used or the full complement of sites statewide.  Attached is a brief technical research note which depicts these data distributions for consideration when doing future research by licensing researchers.

Data Distributions for Licensing QRIS and ERS

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Theory of Regulatory Compliance and Quadratic Regression

Here is a RIKIllc brief technical research note on the Theory of Regulatory Compliance and quadratic regressions:

Theory of Regulatory Compliance and Quadratic Regression 

 

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Evolution of Differential Monitoring

Attached please find a Technical Research Note on the Evolution of Differential Monitoring with special emphasis on Key Indicators and Risk Assessment.

Evolution of Differential Monitoring

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The Importance of Immunizations

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.

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Child Care Licensing Study Trend Analysis

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

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Follow-Up Detail to the Three State Standards Validation Using Stepping Stones as a National Standard

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.

RIKI LOGO VLG

 

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National Association for Regulatory Administration’s Licensing Seminar in Williamsburg, VA (Sept 24-26)

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

My colleague, Dr Sonya Stevens, after our joint presentation on the Theory of Regulatory Compliance at the NARA Licensing Seminar:

Sonya and RJF IMG_1095

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Theory of Regulatory Compliance Models

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

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Washington State’s Early Care & Education Research Agenda

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.

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Validation of Regulations in Three States Using Stepping Stones to Caring for Our Children as Our National Comparison

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.

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ECPQIM – Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicators Model Data Base

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.

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Two Newspaper Articles on Unlicensed Child Care and Home Based Child Care

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

http://www.theintell.com/news/20180712/hiding-in-plain-sight-pennsylvania-turns-blind-eye-to-unlicensed-child-care/1

Home Based Child Care

http://www.theintell.com/news/20180712/bristol-township-home-child-care-providers-explain-why-state-licensing-matters/1

 

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A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Safe and Healthy 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.

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Generic Key Indicators from Regulatory Compliance, Professional Development and Quality Rating Improvement Systems

I get asked all the time what are the most salient generic key indicators from all the various sectors of the early care and education system, such as regulatory compliance/licensing, professional development and quality rating improvement systems (QRIS).  I have mentioned in this blog over the years that I have maintained a national data base for an Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model (ECPQI2M) for the past 40 years which has data from these major systems.   In these systems I have generated key indicators over the decades to look at trends and what were the most important standards that statistically predicted quality and child outcomes.  In the past, these key indicators have focused more on regulatory compliance/licensing and have appeared in ACF and ASPE publications.  More recently, I have been able to apply the same key indicator methodology to professional development and QRIS system.  So here is the list of the seven generic key indicators from these various systems in addition to regulatory compliance/licensing that we should focus on:

  1. All children are properly immunized (licensing)
  2. Teachers & Director have ECE degrees (licensing)
  3. Competent supervision at all times (licensing)
  4. Families are fully engaged (QRIS)
  5. Coaching occurs (professional development)
  6. Teacher’s guide children’s behavior (QRIS and Environmental Rating Scales)
  7. Teacher’s respond to children’s communication (QRIS and Environmental Rating Scales)
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Caring for Our Children Basics

Caring for Our Children Basics has fallen off the radar screen when it comes to monitoring, regulatory compliance and standards development in early care and education (ECE).   This is a very important set of standards that has distilled the most critical  standards from several significant national documents.  ACF had intended its use as a basic voluntary set of standards for all ECE programs.  I really don’t want state licensing administrators to lose sight of this document as they think through and revise their state ECE rules/regulations.

Here is a link to the ACF Webpage:   Caring for Our Children Basics ACF Webpage

Here is the document itself:  Caring for Our Children Basics Document

Here is the tool that accompanies Caring for Our Children Basics:  CFOCB Tool

 

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NARA’s Key Indicator Facilitated Dialogues to Continue at their Licensing Seminar in Williamsburg, Virginia, September 24-26.

The second NARA Key Indicator Facilitated Dialogues session was held yesterday (June 15, 2018) in which Dr Fiene discussed the evolution of the Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model, the Differential Monitoring Logic Model and Algorithm, and his latest Regulatory Compliance research.  The third session in this series will be offered at NARA’s Licensing Seminar to be held in Williamsburg, Virginia, September 24-26, 2018. 

NARA will be highlighting, in addition to the Facilitated Dialogues, several sessions on Key Indicators for participants.  Dr Fiene will be presenting with Dr Sonya Stevens on the innovative work Dr Stevens has been doing in the State of Washington related to key indicators, risk assessment, differential monitoring, and regulatory compliance.  For those who are interested in NARA’s Licensing Seminar, please go to their website.   If interested in the Facilitated Dialogues, please go to the following website – http://www.naralicensing.org/key-indicator-facilitated-dialogues.

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NARA’s Key Indicator System: Facilitated Dialogues this Friday, June 15th

Key Indicator System: Facilitated Dialogues this Friday, June 15th

Join Dr. Fiene and NARA at 

3-4pm AT |2-3pm ET |1-2pm CT |12-1pm MT | 11-12pm PT | 10-11am AKT

Child Care | Adult Care | Child Welfare

 

NARA is excited to present facilitated dialogues on Key Indicators with Dr. Rick Fiene, the father of the Key Indicator System. The Key Indicator System methodology applies across all licensing areas; these dialogues allow licensing professionals across child care, adult care, and child welfare to discuss the application and theory of Key Indicators as they increase efficiency and effectiveness of existing licensing systems.

2018 Meeting Details

Months: March, June, and September
Duration: 60 minutes
Date/Time: June 15 at 2-3pm ET

Every effort will be made to find a date that works for all participants, however, if you cannot join a meeting: 1) you may submit questions in advance for Dr. Fiene to answer, and 2) NARA will send you the discussion recording.

September’s meeting will be held both in person for those attending seminar and via conference call line.

Meeting recordings will be made available to participants.

Participants will be given access to a Community Forum to continue discussion and ask questions between meetings.

Additional meetings into 2018 and beyond will be determined as the group sees fit.

To Join this Group

Complete registration and payment for the 2018 Facilitated Dialogues Package – three (3) 60-minute meetings in 2018 to learn from Dr. Fiene and ask questions specific. You may join this group after it begins in March; you will be sent the recordings for meetings missed.

Register here

Member cost:

Individual and Organizational: $75 per person (breaks down to $25 per session)

Retiree & Student: $60 per person (breaks down to $20 per session)

Non-member cost: $120 per person (breaks down to $40 per session)

 

About Dr. Rick Fiene

Dr. Fiene has spent 40+ years in developing and improving Key Indicator, risk assessment and differential monitoring methodologies. After a long career in Pennsylvania State Government as a research psychologist and the Pennsylvania State University as a professor of psychology, in 2013 he created the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI) in order to consolidate all research on differential monitoring. Most recently RIKI has entered into a strategic partnership with NARA on the future development of Key Indicators, risk assessment and differential monitoring to all human services.

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Regulatory Compliance Skewness and Scaling for Decision Making

Here are two technical research notes/short papers on regulatory compliance skewness and scaling for decision making.  The first note deals with the issues associated with the terrible skewness found in regulatory compliance data while the second research note proposes a scale that could potentially be used for making licensing decisions based upon the results from the first research note.

  1. Regulatory Compliance Skewness
  2. Regulatory Compliance Decision Making Scale

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Fiene Algorithm for Generating Regulatory Compliance Key Indicators (RCKI)

Here is the most recent simplified version of the Fiene Algorithm for Generating Regulatory Compliance Key Indicators (RCKI)

  1. Add up regulatory non-compliances for all programs, agencies, jurisdictions, etc…
  2. Review Regulatory Compliance history sorted from high to low
  3. Nominal (Compliance(1)/Non-Compliance(0)) or ordinal measurement (Gradient(1-5)) scaling
  4. Take Risk Assessment Weighting (1-9) into account and apply to nominal or ordinal scaling.
  5. Top 25% (High Group) and bottom 25% (Low Group) of regulatory compliance scores
  6. Drop out the middle 50% of regulatory compliance scores
  7. Develop a 2 x 2 matrix which includes each regulation by the High Group and Low Group
  8. Cells of the Matrix:  A = High Group + Programs in Compliance on Specific Regulation
  9. B = High Group + Programs out of Compliance on Specific Regulation
  10. C = Low Group + Programs in Compliance on Specific Regulation
  11. D = Low Group + Programs out of Compliance on Specific Regulation
  12. W = Total Number of Programs in Compliance on Specific Regulation
  13. X = Total Number of Programs out of Compliance on Specific Regulation
  14. Y = Total Number of Programs in High Group.
  15. Z = Total Number of Programs in Low Group
  16. Use the following formula: ((A)(D)) – ((B)(C)) / sqrt ((W)(X)(Y)(Z)) = RCKI
  17. Result will range from –1 to +1
  18. +.5 to +1.0 will be included as Regulatory Compliance Key Indicators (RCKI).  All other regulations will not be included.
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Pubs, Docs, Pres for State Licensing Administrators

Here are a series of publications, documents, technical notes, and slides for licensing administrators related to licensing measurement & systems, and regulatory compliance to keep in mind as they design and implement their monitoring systems:

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Ordinal Scaling in Licensing Measurement

I have attached a short technical paper (TRC Ordinal Scale Licensing Measurement ) on moving from the predominant licensing measurement paradigm which measures rules and standards at a nominal scale level to an ordinal scale level.  By introducing this alternate paradigm for licensing measurement it opens up many avenues of analyses, changes in how licensing decision making is done, and potentially combines licensing and quality measurement as one system rather than two systems as it exists now.  This last point will be very controversial because of the existing standards and measurement system that has separate systems for licensing and quality rating & improvement systems (QRIS).   Both systems have their own staffs, infrastructure, rewards, and sanctions when monitoring the rules and standards in each of the respective systems.  The proposal presented in this paper is to have just one system, with one staff, one infrastructure that provides a continuum from regulatory compliance to program quality based upon selected licensing key indicators and quality key indicators that represent specific rules and standards.   This will be the first in several technical papers to develop this concept more fully.

 

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Assorted Flyers and Brochures Describing RIKILLC, ECPQI2M, KI, QI, RA, and DM

Here are an assortment of flyers and brochures developed by the Research Institute for Key Indicators LLC (RIKILLC) and the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) describing the Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model (ECPQI2M), Key Indicators (KI), Quality Indicators (QI), Risk Assessment (RA), and Differential Monitoring (DM).

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ECPQI2M Research Articles

The following three journal articles published in 2013, 2015, and 2017 focus on the key components of ECPQI2M – Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model in regulatory program compliance (1IJCCEP), program quality via Quality Rating & Improvement Systems (QRIS)(2ECRQ), and Early Care and Education professional development (3JPEDHC).

___________________________________________________________________________________
Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist, Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKILLC), Professor of Psychology (ret), Penn State University, & Senior Consultant, National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA).

Contact Dr Fiene at Fiene@RIKInstitute.com or RFiene@NARALicensing.org or rjf8@psu.edu

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Research Projects Over the Past 40 Years

I have had the opportunity to work on some very interesting projects over the past 40 years+ as a research psychologist and professor. I have worked with many National Organizations; Federal, Local and State Agencies; and private human service agencies during my professional career. But probably the best project I ever worked on was with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line where we were asked to assess their youth activity programs (aka child care). What was so much fun with this project was the data collection phase where the only way to collect data was to be booked on seven day cruises. Now that was a blast!!

I was still at Penn State and directing the Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute when this project come to fruition and I still remember the day when I mentioned to the faculty and staff of the Institute that we had a new project. This always got them excited because it meant additional work for staff who were busy all the time. But when I started to describe this new project with Royal Caribbean, suddenly eyes of discontent turned to scenes of royal blue waters.

The staff of Royal Caribbean were first class and a joy to work with. I will not mention names because I have not asked their permission to include them in this blog but all of them from the Director of Global Security to the Captains of the Ships were all highly professional.

The other wonderful outcome of this project was that the standards we developed a portion of them were adopted by the CLIA – Cruise Line International Association for all Youth Sponsored Programs for all their members which numbered about 30 cruise lines. I wished getting standards adopted were as easy for early care and education back in the states.

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Linear versus Non-Linear Reality

Here are some notes that I hope will generate a good deal of thinking about how we approach reality given some random observations about data (mathematics and statistics), psychology (public policy) and physics (time and space).  This is very different from my other posts on this blog but it does tie in nicely with my data prediction research I have been doing for a really long time within the public policy sector dealing with regulatory compliance and administration.

Linear and Non Linear Reality1

___________________________________________________________________________________
Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist, Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKILLC), Professor of Psychology (ret), Penn State University, & Senior Consultant, National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA).

Contact Dr Fiene at Fiene@RIKInstitute.com or RFiene@NARALicensing.org or rjf8@psu.edu

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Building Effective and Efficient Program Monitoring Systems for Human Services

Attached is a paper that describes the basic tenets/elements of building an effective and efficient program monitoring system for human services.  State administrators are constantly under pressure to ensure the health and safety of clients (effectiveness) while not being overly burdensome on the providers of care (efficiency).  This paper highlights how effectiveness and efficiency are tied together and in how efficiency efforts can overshadow effectiveness under certain conditions.

Basic Tenets of Effective and Efficient Monitoring Systems3

___________________________________________________________________________________
Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist, Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKILLC), Professor of Psychology (ret), Penn State University, & Senior Consultant, National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA).

Contact Dr Fiene at Fiene@RIKInstitute.com or RFiene@NARALicensing.org or rjf8@psu.edu

 

 

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Three Things We Have Learned in Regulatory Compliance

Here is a very short paper/abstract entitled:  Three Things We Have Learned about Key Indicators, Risk Assessments, and Differential Monitoring over the past 40+ years of doing research on these methodologies.

KI, RA, DM National Update

 

 

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Regulatory Compliance Decision Making Using the Key Indicator Methodology

In this blog I have a new Technical Research Paper on how best to make regulatory compliance decisions.  “The purpose of the paper is to provide guidance to regulatory administrators in decision making regarding the Key Indicator Methodology. A 2 x 2 Matrix will be used to demonstrate the key decisions that need to be made with various caveats and examples. Key Indicator Systems for Licensing have been used in states for many years now; this paper hopefully will provide a framework for the difficult decision making when it comes to moving from an abbreviated monitoring inspection to a full comprehensive monitoring inspection.”

This paper builds upon previous Technical Research Papers and other publications in which I have described the technical details of the key indicator methodology.  This paper hopefully provides a more straightforward presentation without the algorithms and statistical formulas.

Regulatory Compliance Decision Making Using the Key Indicator Methodology

Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist, Research Institute for Key Indicators; Professor of Psychology (retired), Penn State University; and NARA Senior Consultant.

Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKILLC)

 

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NARA’s First Key Indicator System Facilitated Dialogue Session Held

NARA’s Key Indicator System: Facilitated Dialogues was held on Friday, March 23

Participants joined Dr. Fiene and NARA at the following time to discuss Key Indicators, Licensing Measurement & Systems 

3-4pm AT |2-3pm ET |1-2pm CT |12-1pm MT | 11-12pm PT | 10-11am AKT

Child Care | Adult Care | Child Welfare

 

NARA was excited to present the first session of facilitated dialogues on Key Indicators with Dr. Rick Fiene, the father of the Key Indicator System. The Key Indicator System methodology applies across all licensing areas; these dialogues allow licensing professionals across child care, adult care, and child welfare to discuss the application and theory of Key Indicators as they increase efficiency and effectiveness of existing licensing systems.

2018 Meeting Details

Months: March, June, and September
Duration: 60 minutes
Date/Time: March 23 at 2-3pm ET

Every effort will be made to find a date that works for all participants, however, if you cannot join a meeting: 1) you may submit questions in advance for Dr. Fiene to answer, and 2) NARA will send you the discussion recording.

September’s meeting will be held both in person for those attending seminar and via conference call line.

Meeting recordings will be made available to participants.

Participants will be given access to a Community Forum to continue discussion and ask questions between meetings.

Additional meetings into 2018 and beyond will be determined as the group sees fit.

To Join this Group

Complete registration and payment for the 2018 Facilitated Dialogues Package – three (3) 60-minute meetings in 2018 to learn from Dr. Fiene and ask questions specific. You may join this group after it begins in March; you will be sent the recordings for meetings missed.

Register here

Member cost:

Individual and Organizational: $75 per person (breaks down to $25 per session)

Retiree & Student: $60 per person (breaks down to $20 per session)

Non-member cost: $120 per person (breaks down to $40 per session)

 

About Dr. Rick Fiene

Dr. Fiene has spent 40+ years in developing and improving Key Indicator, risk assessment and differential monitoring methodologies. After a long career in Pennsylvania State Government as a research psychologist and the Pennsylvania State University as a professor of psychology, in 2013 he created the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI) in order to consolidate all research on differential monitoring. Most recently RIKI has entered into a strategic partnership with NARA on the future development of Key Indicators, risk assessment and differential monitoring to all human services.

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NARA’s Key Indicator System: Facilitated Dialogues this Friday, March 23rd

Key Indicator System: Facilitated Dialogues this Friday, March 23

Join Dr. Fiene and NARA at 

3-4pm AT |2-3pm ET |1-2pm CT |12-1pm MT | 11-12pm PT | 10-11am AKT

Child Care | Adult Care | Child Welfare

 

NARA is excited to present facilitated dialogues on Key Indicators with Dr. Rick Fiene, the father of the Key Indicator System. The Key Indicator System methodology applies across all licensing areas; these dialogues allow licensing professionals across child care, adult care, and child welfare to discuss the application and theory of Key Indicators as they increase efficiency and effectiveness of existing licensing systems.

2018 Meeting Details

Months: March, June, and September
Duration: 60 minutes
Date/Time: March 23 at 2-3pm ET

Every effort will be made to find a date that works for all participants, however, if you cannot join a meeting: 1) you may submit questions in advance for Dr. Fiene to answer, and 2) NARA will send you the discussion recording.

September’s meeting will be held both in person for those attending seminar and via conference call line.

Meeting recordings will be made available to participants.

Participants will be given access to a Community Forum to continue discussion and ask questions between meetings.

Additional meetings into 2018 and beyond will be determined as the group sees fit.

To Join this Group

Complete registration and payment for the 2018 Facilitated Dialogues Package – three (3) 60-minute meetings in 2018 to learn from Dr. Fiene and ask questions specific. You may join this group after it begins in March; you will be sent the recordings for meetings missed.

Register here

Member cost:

Individual and Organizational: $75 per person (breaks down to $25 per session)

Retiree & Student: $60 per person (breaks down to $20 per session)

Non-member cost: $120 per person (breaks down to $40 per session)

 

About Dr. Rick Fiene

Dr. Fiene has spent 40+ years in developing and improving Key Indicator, risk assessment and differential monitoring methodologies. After a long career in Pennsylvania State Government as a research psychologist and the Pennsylvania State University as a professor of psychology, in 2013 he created the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI) in order to consolidate all research on differential monitoring. Most recently RIKI has entered into a strategic partnership with NARA on the future development of Key Indicators, risk assessment and differential monitoring to all human services.

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NARA’s KEY INDICATOR FACILITATED DIALOGUES with DR. RICK FIENE

NARA (National Association for Regulatory Administration) is excited to present new, facilitated dialogues on Key Indicators with Dr. Rick Fiene, the father of the Key Indicator System. The Key Indicator System methodology applies across all licensing areas; these dialogues will allow licensing professionals across child care, adult care, and child welfare to discuss the application and theory of Key Indicators as they increase efficiency and effectiveness of existing licensing systems.

This group will meet for one hour in March, June, and during NARA’s September Licensing Seminar in 2018. Additional meetings will be determined as the group sees fit.

Dr. Fiene has spent 40+ years in developing and improving Key Indicator, risk assessment and differential monitoring methodologies. After a long career in Pennsylvania State Government as a research psychologist and the Pennsylvania State University as a professor of psychology, in 2013 he created the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI) in order to consolidate all research on differential monitoring. Most recently RIKI has entered into a strategic partnership with NARA on the future development of Key Indicators, risk assessment and differential monitoring to all human services.

Please go to the following webpage for additional information:

www.naralicensing.org/key-indicator-facilitated-dialogues

 

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NARA Key Indicator System: Facilitated Dialogues with Dr. Rick Fiene

Key Indicator System: Facilitated Dialogues w/ Dr. Rick Fiene

NEW! FOR PROFESSIONALS IN…

Child Care | Adult Care | Child Welfare

In partnership with Dr. Rick Fiene, NARA is starting facilitated dialogues on Key Indicator Systems. The Key Indicator System methodology applies across licensing areas and these dialogues will allow licensing professionals across child care, adult care, and child welfare to discuss the application and theory of Key Indicators as they increase efficiency and effectiveness of existing licensing systems.

This group will meet for one hour in March, June, and during NARA’s Annual Licensing Seminar in 2018. Additional meetings will be determined as the group sees fit.

To join this new group, please fill out this short 3 question survey to indicate your interest and let us know which Key Indicator topics most interest you.

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NARA March Webinar: Key Indicators for Adult Care

MARCH WEBINAR

KEY INDICATORS FOR ADULT CARE

NARA Webinar: Key Indicator Systems in Adult Care Settings – A Powerful Resource

Thursday, March 8 2018 – Register today!

1:30pm AT
12:30pm ET
11:30am CT
10:30am MT
9:30am PT
8:30am AKT

Key Indicator Systems identify a statistically-validated subset of regulations that indicate compliance with the entire set of regulations, allowing licensing oversight agencies the ability to conduct abbreviated inspections while still ensuring that safe, high-quality care is provided in all settings.

Although agencies nationwide are moving towards Key Indicator Systems as an effective alternative to traditional licensing methods, nearly all Key Indicator Systems are developed for child care programs, and are vastly underutilized in adult-care licensing.

This webinar will present an overview of how Key Indicator Systems work, discuss why such systems are not more prevalent in adult-care licensing programs, and explore the benefits of Key Indicator Systems to persons in care, adult-care providers, the licensing agency, and the general public.

FEATURING

Ronald Melusky, Director of the Division of Program Operations, PA Dept. of Human Services

Mr. Melusky is the Director of the Division of Program Operations in the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs. His division oversees statewide implementation of licensing activities in day and residential programs for adults with intellectual disabilities and autism.  Mr. Melusky has previously served as a member of NARA’s Board of Directors and as President-Elect from 2012 – 2014.  He has assisted in the development of Key Indicator Systems for numerous licensing oversight agencies.

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Early Childhood Task Force with Fred Rogers as Honorary Chairperson

Here is an oldie but one that is worth sharing since we are celebrating Fred Rogers 50th Anniversary of Mr Rogers Neighborhood:  creation of the Early Childhood Task Force with Mr Rogers as the honorary chairperson as signed by then Governor Schweiker back in 2002.  Here is the announcement about the creation of the Task Force:

Early Childhood Task Force with Gov Schweiker and Mr Rogers

 

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Early Childhood Innovation Prize

This is one of the most interesting initiatives and solutions in early care and education that I have seen.  It is like the “Nobel Prize” for Early Childhood Education.  What a great idea!  So collaborative and creative.   Please check out the following websites for additional information:

Early Childhood Innovation Prize

Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model (ECPQI2M)

 

 

 

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New OPRE Research Report on QRIS Validation Studies

Attached is a new OPRE Research Report on the Validation of Quality Ratings Used in QRIS – Quality Rating and Improvement Systems:

Validation of Quality Ratings in QRIS

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NARA Webinar: Theory of Regulatory Compliance, January 25, 2018

NARA Webinar: Theory of Regulatory Compliance
Thursday, January 25, 2018 – Register today!

1:30pm AT
12:30pm ET
11:30am CT
10:30am MT
9:30am PT
8:30am AKT

The theory of regulatory compliance is the basis for risk assessment, key indicators and
differential monitoring. Without this theory, these methodologies could not be used within human service licensing. This webinar will discuss the essence of the theory and its implications beyond human service licensing to econometrics.

Featuring
Dr. Rick Fiene, Research Institute for Key Indicators

Dr. Fiene has spent 40+ years in developing and improving key indicator, risk assessment and differential monitoring methodologies.  After a long career in Pennsylvania State Government as a research psychologist and the Pennsylvania State University as a professor of psychology, in 2013 he created the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI) in order to consolidate all research on differential monitoring.   Most recently RIKI has entered into a strategic partnership with NARA on the future development of key indicators, risk assessment and differential monitoring to all human services.

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iLookOut for Child Abuse

The iLookOut for Child Abuse Online Training Program sponsored by the  Center for the  Protection of Children and Department of Humanities, Penn State Hershey and funded by National Institute for Child Health and Human Development is a must see for human service state administrators and training/professional development  coordinators.   The iLookOut training will explain signs, symptoms, and risk factors of abuse as well as what, how, and when to report suspected child abuse. Overall, the participant will learn their role as a mandated reporter.  Please go to the following website to find out more: (http://ilookoutproject.org/).

Here is the latest presentation by Dr Benjamin Levi on the iLookOut program and a poster presentation by Dr Carlo Panlilio:

iLookOut Presentation

iLookOut Poster

 

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Licensing and Quality Data Distributions

Here are two technical research notes which depict licensing and quality data distributions from several states and national data bases maintained by the Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKILLC).

The most prominent aspect of the data displays is the skewness of the licensing data in comparison to the quality data which are more normally distributed.  Because of the non-parametric tendencies of licensing data there are limitations in analyzing the data.  It also introduces certain unwanted results in which a good deal of mediocrity is introduced into the highest levels of compliance with licensing rules when compared to quality scores.  With these limitations in the data, certain methodologies were introduced to overcome these, such as risk assessment/weighting of rules and key indicator/predictor rules to focus and target monitoring reviews on the most critical health and safety rules/regulations.  Differential monitoring is the result when these two methodologies are employed in a program monitoring system.

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Article published in Journal of Pediatric Health Care

The following article is being published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care, Volume 31, Issue 6, November–December 2017, Pages 684-694:  Caring for Our Children Health and Safety Standards Into Child Care Practice: Child Care Health Consultation Improves Infant and Toddler Care.  This article describes a very successful coaching/mentoring intervention.

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Efficient and Effective Monitoring in Licensing Peer Learning Group

The BUILD Initiative – QRIS National Learning Network, NECQAC – National Early Childhood Quality Assurance Center, and NARA- National Association for Regulatory Administration have collaborated on the development and implementation of a major initiative with ten states dealing with more efficient and effective monitoring in licensing.

Please see the following HHS/ACF Office of Child Care website (2017 Efficient and Effective Monitoring in Licensing Peer Learning Group) for the details of this innovative Peer Learning Group.  Ten states (Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia) participated in the Peer Learning Group and the series of webinars have produced several significant resources.  I would highly recommend this webinar series for other states, other human services, and other jurisdictions to take a look at this innovative approach to monitoring in licensing.  The webinars really do move the human services licensing and monitoring fields forward in so many positive ways.

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NARA Webinar: The Importance of Key Indicators and Risk Assessment in a New National ECE Monitoring System

NARA Webinar: The Importance of Key Indicators and Risk Assessment in a New National ECE Monitoring System and the Introduction of a new Coaching Model

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017 – Register Today!

 

We will explore how key indicator and risk assessment methodologies contribute to the development of a national monitoring system for federally funded ECE programs and how a new technology called “Pinging” may be an innovative delivery model for online coaching.

Featuring Dr. Rick Fiene of the Research Institute for Key Indicators and the Prevention Research Center, Pennsylvania State University.

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NARA 2017 Licensing Seminar

The National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) is holding its 25th Annual Licensing Seminar next month.  Please see the attached brochure which highlights this premier seminar on regulatory administration and compliance in the human services field (NARA 2017 Seminar Program).

 

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RIKILLC Clients and Proposals

Here is a listing of RIKILLC past and present clients and collaborators as well as proposals that have been submitted to clients and interested clients who have contacted RIKILLC related to services, and expert witness engagements or consults to give individuals an idea of the scope of work undertaken by the Research Institute for Key Indicators LLC over the past five years:

  1. GEORGIA
  2. GEORGIA EXTENSION
  3. UNC-CH
  4. NARA CALIFORNIA
  5. NARA KANSAS
  6. NARA MICHIGAN
  7. NARA WISCONSIN
  8. NARA ILLINOIS
  9. NARA MONTANA
  10. SASKATCHEWAN
  11. BRITISH COLUMBIA
  12. NARA WASHINGTON
  13. NARA NEW YORK
  14. MISSOURI
  15. NARA ARIZONA
  16. NARA DM/KI/RA RIKI
  17. CFOCB-C/ECELS/PAAAP/UCSF
  18. ONTARIO
  19. HEAD START
  20. LEWIN/DANYA
  21. NHSA
  22. NQAC
  23. OCC
  24. ACF
  25. ASPE
  26. MASSACHUSETTS
  27. ICFI/KOCH
  28. ICFI
  29. NQA/ICFI
  30. INQUIRE
  31. HAWAII
  32. OREGON
  33. COLORADO
  34. NEW YORK
  35. EDS DELAWARE QRIS
  36. ECELS PA AAP
  37. HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER/CPC/PENN STATE (3)
  38. VIRGINIA LEGAL
  39. NEW JERSEY LEGAL
  40. BETTER KID CARE/PENN STATE
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New Resources from the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance

Here are two new resources from the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA Center):

“The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA Center) is pleased to announce the release of these new and updated resources that support states and territories in the implementation of Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) requirements. These and other resources are available on the ECQA Center Web page.”

ACF OCC Announcements (8/21/17)

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Child Care Health Consultation Improves Infant and Toddler Care

Here is a link to the Journal of Pediatric Health Care which published a very significant study on how child care health consultation improves infant and toddler care.

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CCIS – Child Caregiver Interaction Scale

I have attached two documents by Dr Barbara Carl, Penn State University:  the CCIS – Child Caregiver Interaction Scale and a powerpoint presentation regarding the tool.  This tool is a wonderful example of an effective and efficient observation tool to measure early care and education program quality.  I would recommend state administrators to take a look at it as they develop their tool boxes for measuring quality in their respective states.  Dr Carl’s contact information is at the end of the powerpoint presentation.

 

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Contact Information

Many of you have asked what is the best way for getting in touch with me.  Here is my latest contact information:

  • Dr Richard Fiene, Research Psychologist & Director
  • Research Institute for Key Indicators LLC (RIKILLC)
  • 717-598-8908
  • Fiene@RIKInstitute.com

Email continues to be the best way to get in touch with me.

Fiene Picture2

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In partnership with the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) and the Pennsylvania State University’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC).  Dr Fiene is a Senior Consultant with NARA and an Affiliate Professor with PRC.

 

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Penn State Prevention Research Center Updates their Website

The Pennsylvania State University Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center has updated their website recently:

http://www.prevention.psu.edu/

 

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NARA Licensing Key Indicator Systems Flyer

 

This is a new NARA Flyer describing the Licensing Key Indicator Systems.  The flyer provides an overview to the key indicator methodology and its possible uses within agencies:

Please click on the following Link:

NARA Licensing Key Indicators

 

 

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NARA and Montana

 

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Here is a collaborative effort between NARA and Montana describing the Key Indicator System Methodology:

NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration Key Indicator Powerpoint Presentation and Audio:

(https://zoom.us/recording/play/4L2v_U3rxDuNe5bZDPpR8mEXaIpkXzunaG_H8k0hWULjUVJ6CiqTeo0NmMVpHQyw)

 

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NARA Webinar: A Canadian Perspective: Implementing Tiered Licensing in the Province of Ontario

NARA Webinar: A Canadian Perspective: Implementing Tiered Licensing in the Province of Ontario

Thursday, June 22 Register Today!

Faced with growing caseloads for their child care inspectors, the province of Ontario recently implemented a “tiered” approach to allocating licensing resources. Under the new system, centers that have consistently demonstrated high levels of compliance (Tier 1 and 2) are rewarded with longer duration licenses and abbreviated inspections, while lower-performing centers (Tier 3) receive additional ministry oversight and support. In this session, you will learn about the data-driven tier assessment model, the methodology used to develop the abbreviated inspection checklist and early evaluation results.

Featuring

Dana Green, Manager, Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch, Ontario

Natasha Kabani, Senior Policy Analyst, Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch, Ontario

12:30-1:30pm AST

11:30-12-30pm EST

10:30-11:30am CST

9:30-10:30am MST

8:30-9:30am PST

7:30-8:30am AKST

Cost: $45 for members, $60 for non-members

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RIKI

The RIKI (Research Institute for Key Indicators) Institute, directed by Dr Richard Fiene, Retired Professor of Psychology and Human Development, Penn State University, focus is to improve the quality of early care and education programs nationally and internationally through an empirically based Key Indicator Methodology. Readers will find selected publications on this website and the links listed below that describe the specific Key Indicator methodology created by Dr Fiene.

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NARA February 23rd Webinar on Regulatory Compliance Monitoring Paradigms

NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration will be hosting a Webinar (February 23rd) on Regulatory Compliance Monitoring Paradigms.  Please see the following URL for additional information: NARA Webinar Announcement

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The Penn State Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center Webpage Announcement about the Webinar:

Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center Annoucement

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Technical Research Notes & Papers

Here are several Technical Research Notes and Papers updating, refining, and validating the differential monitoring, risk assessment and key indicator methodologies:

There is a very useful analytical technique which can be used with the above validation papers that I would suggest (Classification Matrix and Sensitivity Analysis for Validating Licensing Key Indicators)(better known in the statistical and data analysis field as the “Confusion Matrix”) researchers using which provides several measures to determine if the Licensing Key Indicator methodology is working as it should.  Please pay particular attention to the following measures: accuracy, correlation, and false negatives when determining the validity of your Licensing Key Indicator System.

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Theory of Regulatory Compliance Working Research Papers & Algorithms 2017

Three working papers and algorithms for 2017 that provide some guidance for those who are more interested in the Theory of Regulatory Compliance math modeling. I have expanded upon a previously posted working paper (first paper) providing additional details on the algorithms (second document) presented in the first paper and examples in Excel (third document).


  1. Theory of Regulatory Compliance Working Research Papers 2017
  2. Theory of Regulatory Compliance Algorithm 2017
  3. Theory of Regulatory Compliance Algorithm in Excel 2017

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Research Services

If you are in need of empirically based decision making via big data analysis, RIKILLC may be a resource you explore.  RIKILLC can help organizations, agencies, and businesses as they wade through the reams of data swirling in their various data bases.  Based upon practically a half century of experience in exploring research trends in data, put these resources to use in your own establishment.

Sample Reports:

For additional information, please email Fiene@RIKInstitute.com.

Or for those interested in the future development and dissemination of  Differential Monitoring, Key Indicator and Risk Assessment methodologies as addressed in the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA) website (http://www.naralicensing.org/key-indicators), please contact RFiene@NARALicensing.org for additional details.

Or for those interested in the Regulatory Compliance Monitoring Paradigm research as addressed in the RIKI Blog (https://rikinstitute.com/blog/), please contact rjf8@psu.edu for additional details.

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Regulatory Compliance Monitoring Paradigms and More

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Here are some working papers and graphics I have started to work on to provide  direction and guidance for regulatory compliance monitoring at both the state and national levels.  Most of the examples are from early care and education but the concepts are generic and can be applied to any public or private human service regulations.


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Being Thankful

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As I reflect over the past year thinking about early care and education, I couldn’t be more thankful for the tremendous strides we have made as a field and where we are headed.  I have been lucky enough to be part of the ECE field for over 40 years now and as I move into the twilight of my career, I must say this is probably the most optimistic I have been about its future.

Because of the leadership at the national, state, and local levels we have come together to continue the vision of improving the overall quality of care that all our children receive while in out-of-home ECE programs.   I want to thank all these wonderful individuals and I look forward to working with many of you over the next several years to make this vision reality.

Richard Fiene, Ph.D., RIKI Research Psychologist; NARA Senior Consultant, HMC/PSU Consultant.

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Latest RIKI Research related to ECPQIM and DMLMA

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Here are the two versions of the RIKI Book of Readings for ECPQIM/DMLMA:

1)  Main Reports and Papers, 486 pages (15 MB).  This research monograph/book of readings/reports/papers contains the basic reports written during 2012-2016 related to ECPQIM/DMLMA now in its 4th edition.

2)  Main Reports, Papers, Technical Notes, Tools, & Powerpoint Slides, 694 pages (21 MB).  This compilation contains all the basic reports but also contains the powerpoint slides, technical notes, tools, etc.  written during 2012-16 related to ECPQIM/DMLMA.





Here are some other videos, webinars, powerpoint presentations, and other resources about program monitoring and ECPQIM:



Here is a webinar (Resources and Tools for Revising and Aligning Early Childhood Program Standards that was held on Wednesday, January 11, 2017) conducted by the National Center for Early Childhood Quality Assurance on health and safety resources that will be useful to state administrators:



I have had the distinct honor to become a member of the National Center for Early Childhood Quality Assurance’s Licensing Expert Panel that they have convened.  It is with great pleasure that I serve on this panel with 25 other national experts (Licensing Expert Panel Members) representing all the various components of an early care and education quality continuum.


I have also had the distinct honor to be asked again to serve as a member of the National Head Start Association’s Task Force on Monitoring (NHSA Monitoring Task Force).  Here is the NHSA Task Force Report on Monitoring released back in 2012 (NHSA 2012 MTF Report), we will be updating it with the new CCDBG/CCDF requirements related to monitoring.



The Federal Departments of Health and Human Services and the the United States Department of Agriculture recently put forth a joint monitoring statement which will have a significant impact on the overall quality of child care.  Here is the overall link to the website and the specific joint policy statement:



The RIKI Blog has posts regarding Caring for Our Children Basics (CFOCB) and its potential impact on the ECE field.  I am taking a look at a few of the standards and why they are so important to the ECE field in establishing a firm foundation to ECE health and safety for all children.  I have geared the blog for parents to think about their own ECE arrangements and if it meets the standards as presented in CFOCB.  I am really curious to see what I hear back from parents.  (#6/7/9/11/12/13)

We can’t underestimate the importance of CFOCB.  I have said this in other venues that CFOCB is as important as Developmentally Appropriate Practices when it was first published.  CFOCB is a game changer for the USA in that now we (ECE) actually have nationally voluntary standards for all ECE programs.  This is a significant event.

Having been a state administrator, policy researcher and analyst for 25 years, I would suggest that present state administrators think about using CFOCB as the basis of any revision to their own state ECE rules/regulations as their core set of rules, and for their basic health & safety standards in the state’s QRIS.  CFOCB is based upon a solid research base developed over the past five decades.  It is one of the best examples of combining the Key Indicator and Risk Assessment methodologies together.

My plan is to think through creative ways that CFOCB can be used by state agencies in helping to improve ECE in their respective jurisdictions.  Those of you who know me, know that I have been at this for over 40 years in figuring out the best ways of improving ECE quality for all children.  CFOCB is a first step for us.  Hopefully, with QRIS we can build upon this solid foundation with CFOCB to really tackle ECE quality.

Please go to RIKInstitute.com to get the latest posts.   All the posts are from Caring for Our Children Basics and Caring for Our Children 3rd Edition.



Here is a new resource from the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance regarding new Briefs on Health and Safety Topics (NCECQA Health & Safety Briefs).  I highly recommend these to parents and providers who are seeking child care or are working in child care.  This is just another excellent example of the high quality, thoughtful resources being produced by the National Center.



Based upon 40+ years of research into identifying key licensing and quality indicators it is possible to distill this list of key indicators into three areas/factors when related to rules/regulations/standards.  These three rule/regulatory/standard areas are the following:

  1. A highly qualified ECE Director with a BA/MA in ECE.
  2. Highly qualified ECE Teachers with AA/BA in ECE.
  3. Parent Engagement similar to what we see in Head Start programs.

These three areas have appeared consistently in key indicator lists when analyzing state licensing regulations and QRIS standards.  In an ECE world with very limited resources, I would recommend that we focus our program monitoring on these three areas in order to efficiently and effectively increase the overall quality of ECE programs.

Another question asked many times is if there is a specific rule/regulation that stands out from all the key indicators, in other words, it shows up on every state’s list or most state’s lists.  There is a rule/regulation that fits this threshold and it has to do with children’s immunizations.  For what ever reason, compliance with this rule/regulation appears to have the ability to consistently discriminate between the highly compliant ECE providers and those that have lower compliance.  This is an area that needs additional exploration to determine in greater detail why this occurs.  Presently a MCHB research project being undertaken by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics ECELS (ECELS Report) will help to provide some answers to “why”.

In addition to immunizations, the original thirteen key indicators that were identified  in the 1985 Child Care Quarterly (1985 CCQ) article have not over the past three decades changed alot (STATE KI X 10KIf).  There are fewer of them, 10 rather than 13 with group size and adult child ratio no longer on the list but it is interesting that these key indicators have stayed so constant for such a long time.   And over the past three decades, many states have used the original 13 Key Indicators in designing their abbreviated inspections.  Here is the original list of the 13 key indicators (Parents Guide Checklist) as published by the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care.  For the convenience of the reader, I have listed the key indicators below, for a more detailed look at these, please use the publications listed above.   Those listed with an asterisk (*) are inclusive of the CCDF health and safety national requirements.  Those that are italicized appear approximately two-thirds of the time on state key indicator lists (Thirteen Key Indicators Technical Research Update).  All ten requirements are contained within Caring for Our Children Basics and Stepping Stones.

  1. Supervision of children
  2. Hand washing and diapering
  3. Director & teacher qualifications
  4. Children’s immunizations*
  5. Toxic substances are innaccessible*
  6. Emergency plan*
  7. Fire drills
  8. Child abuse prevention*
  9. Medication administration*
  10. Staff training/first aid*

One last comment about using the key indicator methodology with different data sets, such as with accreditation or QRIS systems.  The key indicator methodology has been also used with ECERS to see if it was possible to find a similar relationship between scoring very high on individual items and the overall score.  Only one item (Item 16 – Children Communicating)  achieved a perfect correlation (r = +1.00) in which it was always scored very highly with only those ECE programs that scored equally highly on the total ECERS score.

I have maintained a national ECPQIM data base where a portion of these data are available at http://rikinstitute.wikispaces.com in various SPSS data files of the key elements.  For interested researchers, I have the full data base available for further analyses.



Dr. Fiene will continue his work in further developing the professional development, training and technical assistance key elements of ECPQIM through his collaborative work with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, ECELS – Early Childhood Education Linkage System’s, Infant Toddler Program Quality Improvement Project; and the Penn State Hershey, College of Medicine, Center for the Protection of Children’s iLookOut for Child Abuse Prevention Project .

ILOOKOUT Certified

He is also continuing his work in the further development of differential monitoring in Canada with the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Education (Tiered Licensing).  This project will provide a comprehensive implementation, evaluation, and validation strategy for those jurisdictions planning on undertaking  differential monitoring, risk assessment or key indicator methodologies.

And of course, his continuing collaboration and partnership with NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration where the further development and dissemination of differential monitoring, risk assessment and key indicator methodologies will continue into the future along with the Validation Studies for each of these methodologies.

The ECELS ITQIP is finishing up its three year MCHB funding and here is an initial draft of the reports that have been produced over the past several years.  It begins with the results from the pre-test in order to establish equivalency of the intervention and control groups.  This is followed by the results from the first post test comparing the intervention group to the control group and looking at change over time.  The third report in the series presents the results from the second post test comparing the cross over effects and latent effects of the intervention and control groups.  And lastly, is the tool/instrument used to collect the data for all three years of the study (ECELS ITQIP Reports).  This study and project is particularly exciting because it clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of a child care health consultant mentoring/coaching model in impacting selected Caring for Our Children standards focused on infant and toddler programs.  It also demonstrated that the intervention is effective in a cross over methodology as well as having latent/lasting effects.  This study builds upon the original mentoring/coaching study conducted at the Penn State Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute/Prevention Research Center in 2002 (CAECTI/PRC Mentoring/Coaching Article).

This study also demonstrated the effectiveness of monitoring.  Data taken from the number of hours CCHC (Child Care Health Consultants) spent in programs doing mentoring/coaching had a positive impact on improving compliance with the Caring for Our Children standards.  But this result was geared more towards the higher compliant programs and the number of hours in mentoring/coaching was not at the high end of the spectrum.  So it appears that just a little help goes a long way with the highest compliant programs.   This is significant because with the push for differential monitoring and abbreviated inspections, having several short monitoring visits still helps a program to improve (ITQIP JEHC Article).



Speaking of Validation Studies, here are several reports on QRIS Validation that should help to guide the reader with a strategic framework for doing these types of studies and a couple of other interesting studies and presentations:



Letters of support Appropriations LetterOMB LetterDOE Letter, DOE Letter1, OMB letter 9.19.17, and Congressional letter 9.19.17 for evidence based programs, regulations, and policies that RIKI – Research Institute for Key Indicators signed on to support.


An excellent presentation done by researchers from ASPE, Child Trends, and Georgia DECAL which presents the future of ECE monitoring.


New Report from ASPE highlighting 13 compelling models for infant toddler early childhood services in which mentoring/coaching models are highlighted, including CAECTI’s Infant-Toddler Caregiver Mentoring Program.



Interesting article on the impact of quality early care and education services (Child Encyclopedia Article).



Three reports regarding child care licensing in Canada, Accreditation, and good standards improving child care quality that I found very interesting.



These two reports demonstrate support for the Theory of Regulatory Compliance which depicts the relationship between program quality and licensing/regulatory compliance where higher licensing standards show a statistically significant relationship with program quality standards but lower licensing standards do not.   Also, a plateau effect occurs when moving from substantial regulatory compliance to full regulatory compliance as it relates to program quality standards.

Because of this plateau effect, it ushered in the key indicator and risk assessment methodologies which are at the basis of abbreviated inspections and differential monitoring.  The purpose of these methodologies is not to have less standards or rules or regulations but rather to determine what are the “right” standards/rules/regulations that impact services the most because they statistically predict overall regulatory compliance or reduce harm or risk for morbidity or mortality.

Although the reports and examples are from early care and education, these methodologies are applicable to all human services (e.g., child and adult residential services, etc.) and probably to other regulatory areas outside of the human services arena.

Theory of Regulatory Compliance  (DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.34971.67360)



Recently Georgia DECAL revised their enforcement and compliance policy which demonstrates one of the better examples of a risk asssessment system.  Here is the link to their work (http://decal.ga.gov/CCS/EnforcementCompliancePolicy.aspx).



Here is a discussion I started within NARA (National Association for Regulatory Administration) about regulatory compliance data limitations and potential solutions:

I’d like to start a discussion about the nature of regulatory compliance/licensing data and the implications related to measurement.  As a research psychologist who has spent his total professional career examining the impact of regulatory compliance policies on children and families, the issues related to measurement and program monitoring have always been at the forefront of my research studies.  I have found regulatory compliance/licensing data to have many limitations when it comes to measurement and analysis because the data are severely skewed.

Why is this important?  Generally in the social sciences, research psychologists deal with data that are more normally distributed with sufficient variance.  However, licensing data are not and probably never will be close to being normally distributed.  Actually, this is a good thing from a public policy point of view.  We don’t want basic health and safety rules to be normally distributed; we want programs (as many as possible) to be in compliance with these basic health and safety rules.  And this is usually what happens.  But from a measurement standpoint, it creates difficulties in analyzing the data.

By having severely skewed data, it is difficult at times to distinguish amongst the data between mediocre programs and either higher performers or lower performers because there isn’t sufficient variance/separation in their scores.  When I first noticed this, I suggested the use of weights attached to each rule in order to increase the variance in the data.  This helps but is not sufficient in increasing the variance in the data.  Unfortunately, this will always be a shortcoming of licensing data.

I point out this above limitation for future researchers who will be dealing with licensing data so that they can be aware of this but also to look at other statistical solutions to this problem and as a discussion point within NARA with other members to be aware.


I started a discussion earlier this morning (the above post) in which I presented some issues with regulatory compliance/licensing data.  I don’t like bringing up issues or problems without at least proposing some solutions.  So here are some solutions to this problem regarding licensing data skewness.

One way is through weighting (I suggested this in my earlier post so let me expand here) which I have advocated for that introduces more variance in the data.  This helps and is the basis for risk assessment systems but it can only go so far because it is really a statistical manipulation where we are saying that all regulations are not created nor administered equally.  There are some regulations/rules that are more important than others; in other words, there are particular regulations/rules which reduce the potential risk of morbidity/mortality to clients if complied with.

Another potential solution, which I have observed in Pre-K programs, is the introduction of higher standards and their resulting influence on licensing compliance in general.  This may be a more effective way to deal with the problem with skewness in data.  If the data become more normally distributed because the standards are more stringent, this is a good thing.  I think with Pre-K standards being utilized in more states and the advent of Caring for Our Children Basics that we may see a change in data distributions.

A complementary issue that probably is a result of the skewness of data has to do with the non-linear relationship between regulatory compliance and program quality.  I have termed this relationship, Theory of Regulatory Compliance.  This relationship I first observed in Pennsylvania in the late 1970’s in early care and education (ECE) programs.  I have continued to find this relationship between regulatory compliance and program quality data which is unsettling from a public policy standpoint.  As a public policy administrator one expects that quality increases with higher levels of regulatory compliance, right.  But this non-linear relationship doesn’t support this conclusion – some of the highest quality programs are in substantial but not full regulatory compliance.  I have suggested that higher licensing standards may eliminate this plateau effect when a high quality Pre-K program is introduced in a state ECE delivery system.

It was because of this non-linear relationship between regulatory compliance and program quality that ushered in the introduction of licensing key indicators and risk assessment systems in attempting to make inspection visits more efficient and effective by balancing program monitoring with quality initiatives.

These results are from the ECE research literature base but I strongly feel that these findings are applicable throughout the human services field and possibly beyond into any regulatory environment, such as banking or environmental regulations, to name a couple of different venues.  This is more about finding the “right” regulations to monitor rather than finding “fewer or more” regulations to monitor.  By utilizing a risk assessment/key indicator approach, this could be a solution to the deregulatory paradox.

For the interested reader, many of my reports which highlight the results above can be found at http://RIKInstitute.com/ecpqim



Here is another discussion question that I have been giving a great deal of thought to in how the key indicator methodology can be used.  Generally, in the past, it has been based upon the compliance history (CI) for a specific provider.  Very high regulatory compliance makes a program eligible for the use of an abbreviated key indicator inspection (KI).  Very low regulatory compliance disqualifies a program for the use of an abbreviated key indicator inspection and generally leads to a more comprehensive full review of all rules (CI).

But there is another way to use the key indicator methodology.  It could be used as a screener where every provider in a state receives the abbreviated key indicator inspection (KI) and based upon the results (compliance with all the key indicators) either the program gets another abbreviated inspection (KI) the following year or it moves to a more comprehensive full review (CI) if non-compliance is found with any of the key indicators.

In summary form, it would look something like this:

Compliance History data (CI)  –>  If high, key indicator inspection (KI), or if low, full comprehensive review (CI).        (CI  –>  KI or CI).

Key Indicator as screener (KI)  –>   If high, key indicator inspection next year (KI), or if low, a full comprehensive review (CI).      (KI  –>  KI or CI).

The advantage with the screener approach is that all providers from the beginning get a chance to be measured via key indicators.   This could be looked upon by providers as initially more equitable in the application of key indicators.  Something to think about as we move forward in the future development of the key indicator methodology.



NARA Newslink Blog of the Month – Key Indicators, by Dr. Rick Fiene.

We often get asked….’What exactly are Key Indicators?’ and ‘Why should my state agency be interested’? This month, Dr. Rick Fiene, the creator of The Key Indicator Methodology has posted a blog to answer those questions. Read today and post your comments. And if your interest has been peaked, join the Key Indicator Circle – a be a part of the NARA community.



NARA has recently created a Key Indicator webpage (http://www.naralicensing.org/key-indicators) that should help state licensing administrators get additional information about differential monitoring, risk assessment, and key indicator systems. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested to check out the new website. It is listed under the NARA Resources Folder on the Menu, just click on Key Indicators.

Here is a pdf of the page which compiles the various reports and studies listed on the NARA webpage (NARA Key Indicator Reports & Studies Examples from Webpage).



RIKI – Research Institute for Key Indicators (http://RIKInstitute.com) has joined a select group of organizations in a strategic partnership with NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration.  Here is the statement on NARA’s website:

Strategic Partnerships

NARA has developed a broad spectrum of strategic relationships that provide access to the most up-to-date information on child care and child welfare regulations at both the federal and state levels. NARA’s collaborative relationships with agencies and advocacy organizations include:

For more information, please email collaborations@naralicensing.org.



I recently updated the NARA Licensing Curriculum Licensing Measurement and Systems Course.  Here is a brief outline of the Course (Content (Webpage location)):

Licensing Measurement, Regulatory Compliance, and Program Monitoring Systems

Richard Fiene, Ph.D.

Please contact Dr Fiene if you have questions or comments:
Rick Fiene, Affiliate Professor, Penn State Prevention Research Center at rjf8@psu.edu, or riki.institute@gmail.com or RFiene@NARALicensing.org



Big news out of the Province of Ontario:  the Child Care Quality Assurance and Licensing Branch within the Early Years Division won their Ontario’s Ministry of Education Realm Award for Innovation for their Tiered Licensing System.  The REALM Awards recognize excellence and achievement in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (the Learning Ministries).  Their Tiered Licensing System utilizes the Differential Monitoring, Key Indicator, and Risk Assessment Methodologies.  What is so exciting about the Ontario Tiered Licensing System is that it uses both key indicators and risk assessment approaches for their differential monitoring system.  Most jurisdictions use either key indicators or risk assessment but not both together.  The Ontario approach provides a blueprint for combining the two methodologies together in the most cost effective and efficient differential monitoring approach.  The NARA Press Release:  (narapressrelease-award 002).


Additional information about the award and project:

The Prix REALM Awards program formally recognizes Learning Ministries’ (Ministry of Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) staff for exceptional and outstanding contributions to:

  • the services provided to Ontarians and/or,
  • making the Learning Ministries a better place to work

This year outstanding achievements will be recognized in five award categories: Collaboration, Customer Service, Diversity and Inclusion, Innovation, Leadership and Lifetime Achievement

Won for Innovation:

Eligibility: Nominees in the category must have developed a new way of doing or thinking beneficial to a business process, program, initiative, or work environment.

About the project:

As part of the modernization of child care, Ontario’s Ministry of Education has developed an innovative risk-based approach to child care licensing – tiered licensing. Tiered licensing is designed to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the licensing process by focusing ministry resources where it matters most – on centres that need help to achieve compliance and areas of highest risk to children’s health and safety and importance to their learning and development – with the goal of improving regulatory compliance in all centres. Tiered licensing is built on best practices from across North America, a robust methodology and a cutting edge IT solution.

More details:

Ontario’s Ministry of Education has developed an original, transformative and innovative risk-based approach to child care licensing called tiered licensing.

The tiered licensing approach has been designed in-house to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the licensing process with the goal of improving regulatory compliance and quality in all child care centres.  Under this approach, ministry resources will be targeted to areas where they matter most – on centres that need extra support to come into compliance and on areas of highest risk to children’s health and safety.  At the same time, the approach will free up resources to provide more in-depth support in the important area of child development and wellbeing.

The ministry is transforming how child care licensing is performed in Ontario through tiered licensing by engaging the expertise of front line staff, Municipalities and licensees and integrating best practices from across North America to develop a robust new methodology and a cutting edge IT solution.

Ontario will be the first province in Canada to adopt a comprehensive risk-based approach for child care licensing and is now on the map as a North American leader in innovative regulatory practices. Dr. Richard Fiene, a leader in the field of regulatory administration for over four decades and a consultant on the project, has referred to Ontario’s approach as a “blueprint that other jurisdictions should follow.”

A Canadian Perspective Implementing Tiered Licensing in Ontario



NARA 40 years of Milestones:

NARA Milestones



Maine is in the news for improvements to their child care licensing program.  Please go to the following link (Maine Licensing System) to learn more.



Here is a powerpoint presentation for researchers and statisticians which has all the math and logic modeling for ECPQIM.

Math/Logic Modeling of ECPQIM



Here is a pdf of the latest powerpoint presentation which has an evaluation and validation study of differential monitoring, key indicators and risk assessment methodologies:



RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR KEY INDICATORS (RIKI) Contributions to the Human Services Field   

  • Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Model
  • Differential Monitoring Logic Model and Algorithm
  • Clustering/Herding Behaviors of Two Year Olds
  • Regulatory Policy based upon Clustering/Herding for Adult Child Ratios
  • Mathematical Model for Computing Adult Child Ratios
  • Child Development Program Evaluation Scale – CDPES
  • Theory of Regulatory Compliance
  • Instrument Based Program Monitoring
  • Human Service Program Differential Monitoring
  • Licensing Weighting/Risk Assessment – CFOCB and Stepping Stones
  • Licensing and Quality Key Indicators – 13 Indicators of Quality, HSKI
  • National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)
  • Human Service Provider Mentoring/Coaching – CAECTI/ECELS
  • Pinging linked with Coaching and Individualized Learning


EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM QUALITY IMPROVEMENT & INDICATOR MODEL (ECPQIM) KEY ELEMENTS (Publications)

  • The ECPQIM/DMLMA Model
    • International Regulatory Compliance Comparisons – ICEP
    • Licensing & Monitoring Publications – ASPE, OCC, CCQ, NARA, ZTT
  • Program Compliance
    • Caring for Our Children – NRC/AAP/APHA
    • Instrument based Program Monitoring – CCQ
  • Program Quality
    • Keystone Stars Evaluation – OCD; Validation – OPRE
    • Infant Toddler Mentoring/Coaching Program – CYCF, ASPE
    • Health Consultants Impact Infant Toddler Care – JPHC
    • National Early Childhood Program Accreditation – NECPA
  • Program Compliance x Program Quality
    • Theory of Regulatory Compliance – NEJHS
    • Child Development Program Evaluation Scale – CCQ
  • Risk Assessment
    • Stepping Stones – NRC/AAP/APHA
  • Key Indicators
    • Thirteen Key Indicators of Quality Child Care – ASPE
    • Head Start Key Indicators – OHS
  • Risk Assessment x Key Indicators
    • Caring for Our Children Basics – ACF
  • Child Development Outcomes
    • Quality in Child Care: What Does Research Tell Us? – NAEYC


  1. ECPQIM0:  1972 – 1974.  Regional Model; EMIS (Fiene etal, 1975)*.  This was the original conceptualization when I was a graduate student. (ECPQIM0/EMIS)
  2. ECPQIM1: 1975 – 1994. Qualitative to Quantitative; focus on reliability; data utilization linking monitoring to training/technical assistance systems; distinctions between program monitoring and evaluation; Key Indicators, Weighted Rules, & principles of licensing instrument design introduced. (Fiene, 1981; Fiene & Nixon, 1985).  This is the original article written describing the model and suggesting the use of differential monitoring.  (ECPQIM1/CCQ)
  3. ECPQIM2: 1995 – 1999.  Policy Evaluation and Regulatory Systems Planning added to model. (Griffin & Fiene, 1995).  (ECPQIM2/ZTT)
  4. ECPQIM3: 2000 – 2011.  Inferential Inspections & Risk Assessment terminology added to the model. (Fiene & Kroh, 2000).  (ECPQIM3/NARA)
  5. ECPQIM4/4+: 2012 – present.  Validation with expected Thresholds & Differential Monitoring formally added via a logic model and algorithm; Quality Indicators introduced. (Fiene, 2012, 2013b, 2015).  (ECPQIM4/DMLMA)

*These are the various editions/versions of the Early Childhood Program Quality Improvement and Indicator Models (ECPQIM0–4+) that I developed while a graduate student and then improved upon the original design.  All the citations can be found in the publications webpage which is part of this RIKI website. 

The next section below contains the most recent examples of ECPQIM key elements.  These are all projects actively going on presently (2016) in the Province of Ontario, Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Penn State College of Medicine.





Here is a very important technical aspect of the Key Indicator Methodology that I want to share with researchers and statisticians.  There are many different cut points or thresholds that can be used to determine the high group from the low group in constructing the 2 x 2 matrix for the phi coefficients (Φ = (a)(d) – (b)(c)/sqrt (w)(x)(y)(z)).  Ideally, (a)(d) should be much higher than (b)(c).  In fact, (b)(c) should be as close to zero as possible.  For example, the high regulatory compliance group (a) could only be those providers who attain 100% regulatory compliance with all rules/regulations.  The low regulatory compliance group (d) could be those providers who attain 99% or lower regulatory compliance with all rules/regulations.  Or the high group could be 100-99% regulatory compliance and the low group could be 95% or less regulatory compliance with all rules/regulations.  In this approach the middle 50% of the data are not used.  I have reported in a previous technical report that a top 25% and a bottom 25% of compliance history for programs was the most optimum cut points.  It appears from two separate studies to test this hypothesis that this approach does appear to be the most effective and efficient dichotomization of the regulatory compliance data.

A study completed in New York bears this out where various cut points/thresholds were used.  Another study going on in Michigan (Centers, Family Homes, Group Homes) where various cut points/thresholds were used with the regulatory compliance data supports this contention as well.



For reaching me online, here are my email and website contacts at RIKI and NARA:

Richard Fiene, Ph.D., Research Psychologist
RIKI – Research Institute for Key Indicators LLC 
Senior Consultant for Licensing Measurement & Systems
NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration



logos-riki-nara-psu-page-001

RIKI – Research Institute for Key Indicators LLC, is a Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company.



 

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RIKI & NARA PARTNERSHIP


For all future research and development for differential monitoring, risk assessment and key indicator methodologies please go to the NARA – National Association for Regulatory Administration.

 

key indicators slider 002

Dr Fiene pictured with Tara Orlowski, NARA President and Marcus Williams, NARA Executive Director

 

Please see the Press Release on the partnership between NARA and RIKI.
(NARA press release on NARA-RIKI partnership).

Also see the NARA Key Indicator Systems Brochure which describes the key elements of Dr Fiene’s methodology.


 Please go t0 the following webpage http://RIKInstitute.com/blog for a continuation and expansion of this blog.  The several posts below highlight selected CFOCB – Caring for Our Children Basics standards for the interested reader.



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PRE SERVICE TRAINING

Before or during the first three months of employment, training and orientation should detail health and safety issues for early care and education settings including, but not limited to, typical and atypical child development; pediatric first aid and CPR; safe sleep practices, including risk reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SIDS/SUID); poison prevention; shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma; standard precautions; emergency preparedness; nutrition and age-appropriate feeding; medication administration; and care plan implementation for children with special health care needs. Caregivers/teachers should complete training before administering medication to children. The needs of the program and the pre-service qualifications of staff. Training should address the following areas: a) Health and safety (specifically reducing the risk of SIDS, infant safe sleep practices, shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma), and poison prevention and poison safety; b) Child growth and development, including motor development and appropriate physical activity; c) Nutrition and feeding of children; d) Planning learning activities for all children; e) Guidance and discipline techniques; f) Linkages with community services; g) Communication and relations with families; h) Detection and reporting of child abuse and neglect; i) Advocacy for early childhood programs; j) Professional issues. In the early childhood field there is often “crossover” regarding professional preparation (pre-service programs) and ongoing professional development (in-service programs). This field is one in which entry-level requirements differ across various sectors within the field (e.g., nursing, family support, and bookkeeping are also fields with varying entry-level requirements). In early childhood, the requirements differ across center, home, and school based settings. An individual could receive professional preparation (pre-service) to be a teaching staff member in a community-based organization and receive subsequent education and training as part of an ongoing professional development system (in-service). The same individual could also be pursuing a degree for a role as a teacher in a program for which licensure is required— this in-service program would be considered pre-service education for the certified teaching position. Therefore, the labels pre-service and in-service must be seen as related to a position in the field, and not based on the individual’s professional development program All directors or program administrators and caregivers/teachers should document receipt of training.

Providers should not care for children unsupervised until they have completed training in pediatric first aid and CPR; safe sleep practices, including risk reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome/Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SIDS/SUID); standard precautions for the prevention of communicable disease; poison prevention; and shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma.

Why this Standard is Important

The director or program administrator of a center or large family child care home or the small family child care home caregiver/teacher is the person accountable for all policies. Basic entry-level knowledge of health and safety and social and emotional needs is essential to administer the facility. Caregivers/teachers should be knowledgeable about infectious disease and immunizations because properly implemented health policies can reduce the spread of disease, not only among the children but also among staff members, family members, and in the greater community. Knowledge of injury prevention measures in child care is essential to control known risks. Pediatric first aid training that includes CPR is important because the director or small family child care home caregiver/teacher is fully responsible for all aspects of the health of the children in care. Medication administration and knowledge about caring for children with special health care needs is essential to maintaining the health and safety of children with special health care needs. Most SIDS deaths in child care occur on the first day of child care or within the first week due to unaccustomed prone (on the stomach) sleeping; the risk of SIDS increases eighteen times when an infant who sleeps supine (on the back) at home is placed in the prone position in child care. Shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma is completely preventable. It is crucial for caregivers/teachers to be knowledgeable of both syndromes and how to prevent them before they care for infants. Early childhood expertise is necessary to guide the curriculum and opportunities for children in programs. The minimum of a Child Development Associate credential with a system of required contact hours, specific content areas, and a set renewal cycle in addition to an assessment requirement would add significantly to the level of care and education for children. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a leading organization in child care and early childhood education, recommends annual training based on the needs of the program and the pre-service qualifications of staff. Training should address the following areas: a) Health and safety (specifically reducing the risk of SIDS, infant safe sleep practices, shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma), and poison prevention and poison safety; b) Child growth and development, including motor development and appropriate physical activity; c) Nutrition and feeding of children; d) Planning learning activities for all children; e) Guidance and discipline techniques; f) Linkages with community services; g) Communication and relations with families; h) Detection and reporting of child abuse and neglect; i) Advocacy for early childhood programs; j) Professional issues. In the early childhood field there is often “crossover” regarding professional preparation (pre-service programs) and ongoing professional development (in-service programs). This field is one in which entry-level requirements differ across various sectors within the field (e.g., nursing, family support, and bookkeeping are also fields with varying entry-level requirements). In early childhood, the requirements differ across center, home, and school based settings. An individual could receive professional preparation (pre-service) to be a teaching staff member in a community-based organization and receive subsequent education and training as part of an ongoing professional development system (in-service). The same individual could also be pursuing a degree for a role as a teacher in a program for which licensure is required— this in-service program would be considered pre-service education for the certified teaching position. Therefore, the labels pre-service and in-service must be seen as related to a position in the field, and not based on the individual’s professional development program.

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BACKGROUND SCREENING

All caregivers/teachers and staff in early care and education settings (in addition to any individual age 18 and older, or a minor over age 12 if allowed under State law and if a registry/database includes minors, residing in a family child care home) should undergo a complete background screening upon employment and once at least every five years thereafter. Screening should be conducted as expeditiously as possible and should be completed within 45 days after hiring.  Caregivers/teachers and staff should not have unsupervised access to children until screening has been completed. Consent to the background investigation should be required for employment consideration. The comprehensive background screening should include the following:

  1. A search of the State criminal and sex offender registry or repository in the State where the child care staff member resides, and each State where such staff member resided during the preceding 5 years;
  2. A search of State-based child abuse and neglect registries and databases in the State where the child care staff member resides, and each State where such staff member resided during the preceding 5 years; and
  3. A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check using Next Generation Identification.

Directors/programs should review each employment application to assess the relevancy of any issue uncovered by the complete background screening, including any arrest, pending criminal charge, or conviction, and should use this information in employment decisions in accordance with state laws.

Why this Standard is important

To ensure their safety and physical and mental health, children should be protected from any risk of abuse or neglect. Although few persons will acknowledge past child abuse or neglect to another person, the obvious attention directed to the question by the licensing agency or caregiver/teacher may discourage some potentially abusive individuals from seeking employment in child care. Performing diligent background screenings also protects the child care facility against future legal challenges. Having a state credentialing system can reduce the time required to ensure all those caring for children have had the required background screening review.

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CHILD:STAFF RATIOS

As promised, I said I would periodically post selected standards from Caring for Our Children Basics (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/caring-for-our-children-basicsand talk about why they are important. For the interested reader, I would suggest going to the full Caring for Our Children (http://cfoc.nrckids.org/book to get the full information on each standard I post.

This first standard, Child:Staff Ratios, is a very well researched standard. I remember when I first got started in the ECE field and the FIDCR Appropriateness Study was being conducted back in the 1970’s, child:staff ratios and group sizes were researched in great detail. Although child:staff ratio and group size do not predict overall quality they do always correlate with overall quality in that they set up the conditions in which high quality care can occur.

Ratios for Centers and Family Child Care Homes

Appropriate ratios should be kept during all hours of program operation. Children with special health care needs or who require more attention dur to certain disabilities may require additional staff on site, depending on their needs and the extent of their disabilities.

In center based care, child provider ratios should be determined by the age of the majority of children and the needs of children present.

For children 12 months or younger, the maximum child:provider ratio should be 4:1. For children between 13-23 months of age, the maximum child:provider ratio should be 4:1. For children between 24-35 months of age, the maximum child:provider ratio should be 4:1 – 6:1.  For 3 year old children, the maximum child:provider ratio should be 9:1.  For 4 to 5 year old children, the maximum child:provider ratio should be 10:1.

In family child care homes, the provider’s own children under the age of 6, as well as any other children in the home temporarily requiring supervision, should be included in the child:provider ratio. In family child care settings where there are mixed age groups that include infants and toddlers, a maximum ration of 6:1 should be maintained and no more than two of these children should be 24 months or younger. If all children in care are under 36 months, a maximum ratio of 4:1 should be maintained and no more than two of these children should be 18 months or younger. If all children in care are 3 years old, a maximum ratio of 7:1 should be preserved. If all children in care are 4 to 5 years of age, a maximum ratio of 8:1 should be maintained.

Taken from Caring for Our Children Basics (2015)

Why this standard is important

Low child:staff ratios for non-ambulatory children are essential for fire safety.

Children benefit from social interactions with peers.  However, larger groups are generally associated with less positive interactions and developmental outcomes. Group size and ratio of children to adults are limited to allow for one to one interactions, intimate knowledge of individual children, and consistent caregiving.

Studies have found that children (particularly infants and toddlers) in groups that comply with the recommended ratio receive more sensitive and appropriate caregiving and score higher on developmental assessments.

Child:staff ratios alone do not predict the quality of care.  Direct, warm social interactions between adults and children is more common and more likely with lower child:staff ratios.

Low child:staff ratios are most critical for infants and young toddlers. Infant development and caregiving quality improves when group size and child:staff ratios are smaller. Improved verbal interactions are correlated with lower ratios. For three and four year old children, the size of the group is even more important than ratios.

The children’s physical safety and sanitation routines require a staff that is not fragmented by excessive demands.  Child:staff ratios in child care settings should be sufficiently low to keep staff stress below levels that might result in anger with children. Caring for too many young children increases the possibility of stress to the caregiver/teacher, and may result in loss of the caregiver’s/teacher’s self control.

Taken from Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition (2011)

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ECE STANDARDS

SAFE AND HEALTHY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION (ECE) VOLUNTARY STANDARDS

I would like to start a discussion related to early care and education (ECE) quality with the publication of Caring for Our Children Basics (CFOCB), the new voluntary health and safety standards published by the Administration for Children and Families last summer. This discussion should occur throughout the ECE field but not be limited to this arena because these new voluntary standards should be viewed by all parents of children in ECE programs and these same parents should be advocating for their adoption by all ECE programs. Grandparents should be involved in encouraging their children who have children in ECE programs because these CFOCB standards are a first step to establishing a caring environment that will be safe and healthy for children in out-of-home settings. Something that I am personally concerned about as a grandparent of three preschool and school age grandchildren. This is a discussion that needs to occur outside the USA as well because even though other countries have standards at a higher level with staffing and training, generally their health and safety standards can be lacking based upon recent research comparing standards between other countries and the USA.

CFOCB is based upon the latest research in the field which has accumulated over the past five decades and although the standards are very basic and do not necessarily ensure a high quality ECE program, the standards do establish a baseline to safe and healthy ECE which is a starting point.

For those interested readers, please go to the following website to see CFOCB: (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/caring-for-our-children-basics).

For those who want to find out more about the research that supports CFOCB, please go the following website: (https://rikinstitute.com/riki/).

I look forward to a continuing dialogue with interested individuals.

Rick Fiene, Research Psychologist
Research Institute for Key Indicators (RIKI)

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