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Quality Interventions for Early Care and Education

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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 change.

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.

Research Questions
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 PFI consultation?
  • Is PFI consultation a more effective quality enhancement strategy than existing quality enhancement services?
  • Does quality improvement maintain after PFI consultation ends?
  • Do some providers benefit more than others (e.g., home/center, new-to-field/experienced)?
  • 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 childhood program.

Who will participate in the QUINCE evaluation?
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 collected?
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 evaluation.

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.

Quince Logo QUINCE Project Title
Quality Intervention for Early Care and Education

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