Effects of quality improvement system for child care centers

Xin Ma, Jianping Shen, Amy Kavanaugh, Xuejin Lu, Karen Brandi, Jeff Goodman, Lance Till, Grace Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Using multiple years of data collected from about 100 child care centers in Palm Beach County, Florida, the authors studied whether the Quality Improvement System (QIS) made a significant impact on quality of child care centers. Based on a pre- and postresearch design spanning a period of 13 months, QIS appeared to be effective in improving quality of child care centers. The effects of QIS were quite limited during the first few years, but improvement accelerated over time. Results clearly demonstrated that (1) systematic initiatives like QIS can become efficient and effective in improving quality of early childhood care and education; (2) improvement is more difficult in certain areas of early childhood care and education (e.g., program structure) than others (e.g., activities that centers offer to children); and (3) education change (improvement) takes time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-414
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Registry at Palm Beach Community College approves and offers workshops and conferences for practitioners to earn credits toward certificates and degrees. Staff in all QIS centers are required to become members of the Registry and keep their individual education records current and accurate. Apart from workshops and conferences it offers, the Registry also accepts other informal and formal trainings for professional development credits required of all staff. Informal trainings must be approved by the Registry according to established standards. The Seek Excellence in Education and Knowledge (SEEK) scholarship program allocates funds for practitioners to pursue formal and informal continuing education. Open to all members of the Registry on a first-come, first-served basis, the scholarship covers textbooks and fees associated with college enrollment. The Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency (WAGE$) program provides financial support to retain practitioners in the profession. The award, funded by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County and administered through the Institute of Excellence, is based on education achievement and longevity. Career advisers provide practitioners with information on the program and help them with applications.


  • child care services
  • early childhood education
  • evaluation
  • statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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