Issue brief

Strengthening Families: A Protective Factors Framework

This brief outlines the protective factors from Strengthening Families. It is a brief and practical guide that can be used for professional development on how to support families about the importance of (1) parental resilience in response to stressors; (2) social connections for information and support; (3) knowledge of parent and child development; (4) concrete supports; and (5) building social-emotional competence of children.

Using Contracts and Grants to Build the Supply of High Quality Child Care: State Strategies and Practices

This paper provides information on state and territory efforts to use contracts and grants with providers, beginning with an overview of states and territories whose 2016–18 Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Plans indicate that they are currently using contracts and grants. Topics addressed include: (1) the overall approach of states and territories that use contracts and grants, including examples; (2) contract and grant payment practices; and (3) monitoring processes for grants and contracts.

Continuous Quality Improvement: An Overview Report for State QRIS Leaders

This issue brief highlights interviews conducted by BUILD QRIS Learning Network with 29 key informants from 7 states and 9 national entities to explore thinking about Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). There was consensus that building a CQI culture at multiple levels will strengthen outcomes for children and families and build change that lasts.

Building Community Systems for Summer Learning: Snapshots of State and Local Efforts

This issue brief identifies 6 elements of coordinated community system-building efforts including: (1) shared vision; (2) engaged leadership; (3) continuous quality improvement; (4) data management; (5) sustainable resources, and (6) marketing/communications. It includes promising practices from a number of city and state planning efforts. It provides valuable policy recommendations that can advance system-building efforts by incentivizing partnerships, promoting flexibility of resources, and investing in structural supports.

The State of Afterschool Quality: Promoting Professionalism

This National Afterschool Association (NAA) brief summarizes the research on the afterschool workforce. It explores the conditions and barriers to building and sustaining a quality afterschool workforce, including pre-service requirements, core knowledge and competencies, provider registries, and credentials/certifications. This brief also summarizes the results of the NAA's 2013 nationwide survey of their membership on the state of the afterschool workforce.  Included are examples from Florida, Illinois and Vermont.

The Stage of Change Approach for Quality Improvement in Early Care and Education

The Stage of Change approach provides a model for those leading change to take into account readiness for change tied to motivation, confidence, and commitment levels of the individuals engaged in change. It is a model for educators, based on practices for health care and mental health. It offers guidance on what support to provide staff, given their stage of readiness for change.

NCASE Summer Learning Brief: Why Summers Matter

Summer learning is a key solution to closing academic and opportunity gaps that affect many communities across the country. When children continue to learn during the summer, they are healthier, safer, and smarter, and their schools and communities are more successful. This brief features research on program quality, funding strategies and information, a program spotlight, and other valuable resources that support reflection and program planning and implementation.

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Spotlight on Quality: What Is Quality and Why Does It Matter?

Brief on the components of a quality school-age program and why quality matters.

Linking Schools and Afterschool Through Social-Emotional Learning

This issue brief explores how in-school educators, afterschool providers, families, and policy makers can work together to build social emotional skills youth need to succeed. The brief explores the policy context for social-emotional learning, how it is currently implemented in afterschool and school settings, and suggestions for how the two can partner on this issue.

Building Literacy in Afterschool

This issue brief includes helpful facts on literacy rates among underserved youth. It identifies ways afterschool and summer programs can contribute to literacy development. It includes program examples and ideas for advocacy.