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Quality and Research
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The field of early childhood education continues to be a dynamic one. The focus on improvement of child care quality is pervasive in the field of early care and education. As of 2007, fourteen states have implemented child care quality rating and improvement systems (Rand Corporation, 2008). Because of this national focus on quality improvement, there is a need to examine, verify and redefine the high quality standards of care based on the most current knowledge base in the field.


Beginning in 2007, the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation and renowned researcher, Dr. Barbara Carl undertook an extensive review of the existing standards. As part of an ongoing commitment to improving the profession of early childhood education, NECPA reviewed all standards, ensuring each indicator is based on current research and field recommendations. This exhaustive analysis ensures that programs voluntarily participating in NECPA Accreditation are offering children and families high quality early childhood programs.


Barbara Carl, Ph.D. has a long history of working for the quality improvement of early childhood education. She previously served as the Director of Research and Evaluation of The Pennsylvania State University’s Capital Area Health and Human Development Institute, under the direction of Richard Fiene, Ph.D. Currently Dr. Carl splits her time between teaching and conducting various research projects. She is committed to advocating for maintaining high quality early childhood care. Much of Dr. Carl’s early childhood research is focused on improving the quality of child care provider interaction. Dr. Carl created the “Child Caregiver Interaction Scale”, an assessment measure that looks at the quality of interactions between the child care provider and the children in care. The measure has been used in various research projects across the nation. Further, the measure has been identified as a valuable training and technical assistance tool.




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