Issue brief

Building High-Quality After School Systems: Research-to-Policy Resources

Child Care & Early Education Research Connections is a federally funded collection of publications and datasets on early childhood development, education and policy.  This Research-to-Policy Resource List highlights the work of the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) and focuses on resources in the Research Connections collection published in the past ten years that focus on building high-quality after school systems.

Afterschool Program Quality and Student Outcomes: Reflections on Positive Key Findings on Learning and Development From Recent Research

This issue brief provides a summary of the increasingly robust research base on key characteristics of high quality programs and the resulting child outcomes. It also refers to the many valid and reliable measures that exist to examine program effectiveness, including the California Afterschool Outcome Measures Project. It provides implications for policy around program quality and outcomes.

How Quality Afterschool Programs Help Motivate and Engage More Young People in Learning, Schooling, and Life

This issue brief shares how to apply new research from neuroscience to build an out-of-school time (OST) program that will help recruit and retain underserved youth. The brief describes how LA's Best programs build on what is relevant and of interest to youth to build an engaging social setting, while embedding literacy and numeracy skills. It also includes recommendations for program design.

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.

States' Strategies to Reduce Improper Payment Errors in CCDF

Over the past eight years, states have made considerable progress in lowering error rates and reducing improper payments in their child care programs. In their State Improper Payments Reports (ACF-404), states share practices that have helped reduce errors, particularly those that lead to improper payments. This brief summarizes practices that states have cited as being most successful.

Este documento también está disponible en español:   Estrategias de los Estados para reducir errores de pagos indebidos en CCDF

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.