Excerpt from Board on Children, Youth, and Families website:
In response to a request from the Child Care Bureau of the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Board on Children, Youth, and Families recently convened two workshops to review current and emerging efforts to establish performance measures for early childhood programs. At each workshop, experts in the fields of child development, child care, early intervention, program evaluation, performance measurement, statistics, and public policy and administration examined lessons learned from performance measurement initiatives in other policy areas, such as public health. They also considered criteria for developing performance measures for child care, including the range of content areas that such measures might encompass and the challenges associated with measuring the performance of a service sector, particularly those that relate to aspects of measurement, data availability, and data aggregation. The first workshop, which was held on September 27-28, 1999, addressed the current status of national and state efforts to assess the performance of child care and early childhood education, as well as lessons learned from efforts to establish performance measures in other domains of public policy. The second workshop, which was held February 28-29, 2000, focused on the challenges inherent in establishing criteria for assessing the quality of child care programs and examined their implications for developing and implementing performance measures for the field. Discussion also centered on the content areas that research suggests should be included in such measures and the hurdles in moving beyond conceptualizing performance measures to developing and implementing them. A major focus of the discussions was on improving the quality of child care for all children, not just those receiving subsidies.