The Quality Interventions for Early Care and
Education (QUINCE) study is a multi-state study of two assessment
based, individualized on-site consultation models: The Partnerships for
Inclusion (PFI) consultation model, to be implemented in California, Iowa,
Minnesota, Nebraska, and North Carolina,
and the Rameys’ Immersion Training for Excellence (RITE) consultation model,
to be implemented in Mississippi. The consultation will consist of child
care provider training for providers and teachers in both centers and homes,
but will have a special emphasis on providers in family child care homes,
including license-exempt care. The goal of this research is to determine the
conditions under which very specific assessment based, on-site consultation
models of child care provider training will enhance the quality of the
family home or child care classroom and will also result in positive child
The FPG Child Development Institute (FPG)
at UNC-Chapel Hill will manage the North Carolina site as well as act as the
coordinating center for the 5 states evaluating the PFI model. The other 4
study sites and their administrative homes are California (University of
California-Los Angeles), Iowa (Iowa State University), Nebraska (University
of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Minnesota (Child Trends, Inc. and University of
Minnesota). Each state has partnered with 2-5 state or community agencies
that currently provide training to family and/or center-based child care
providers. The agencies have committed to allowing their consultant staff to
participate in the proposed evaluation, including agreement to random
assignment of participating consultants to treatment (PFI) or control
conditions. The study will begin recruiting child care providers in
September 2004 and will continue until September 2007.
On-site consultation is becoming more widely used as a
training and technical assistance approach to quality improvement, yet the
way in which it is delivered is quite variable. The delivery of the PFI
systematic approach in multiple service systems will result in variations
that will be evaluated as part of the research. The study will provide more
information and direction to states and agencies trying to improve the
quality of early childhood education. Research questions include:
- Is child care quality improved when providers receive
- Is PFI consultation a more effective quality
enhancement strategy than existing quality enhancement services?
- Does quality improvement maintain after PFI
- Do some providers benefit more than others (e.g.,
- Will children in the care of providers who receive
special training have better outcomes than children in control groups?
In summary, what is QUINCE?
Quality Interventions for Early Care and Education (QUINCE) is a
research project examining the effectiveness of different strategies to
improve child care quality. The QUINCE evaluation will compare
different mentoring and consultation programs in place currently in
Minnesota with an on-site consultation model called Partnerships for
Inclusion (PFI). The PFI model involves a 6-stage process
through which a consultant and family child care home provider work together
in a collaborative relationship to enhance the global quality of the early
Who will participate in the QUINCE
Mentors for the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association and
several other organizations are participating in the study. Family
child care providers who work with the MLFCCA mentors, as well as the
children in their care, will also be asked to participate in the study.
What will I be asked to do?
A member of the research team will visit your family child care program
three times to observe the environment, interactions, materials, and
activities. The researcher will ask you questions about you, your
program, and the children in your care. The researcher will also spend
time directly with some children in your program to learn more about their
language, social, and cognitive development. To thank you for your
participation, we will offer you a $50 gift certificate for our first visit,
a $75 gift certificate for our second visit (10 months later), and $100 for
our third visit (6 months after the second visit). Children who
participate in the study will receive a book.
What will happen with the information
All information about you, your program, and the children in your care
will be kept confidential. We will never identify individual providers
or homes. In addition, we will not share details of our visit with
anyone, including any state agency. If, however, we see child abuse or
neglect, we are required by law to report it.
How long will the evaluation last?
The evaluation will last for four years, though most study participants
will be actively involved for only one or two years. All participants
in the study will receive copies of reports describing the findings from the
Who is funding the evaluation?
The Child Care Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services is funding the evaluation. The University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill is leading the five-state evaluation, and Child Trends, along
with the Harris Center at the University of Minnesota, is conducting the
evaluation in Minnesota.