An Assessment of the North Carolina School-age Child Care Accreditation Initiative

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Journal of Research in Childhood Education




The primary purpose of this study was to determine if participation in the North Carolina Quality Enhancement Initiative (NC QEI) improved the overall quality of the 26 participating school-age child care programs in three North Carolina communities. A paired t-test showed a positive and significant increase in the quality of school-age child care environments and teacher/child interactions over the 9-month period, from pre-initiative to post-initiative. Pre-initiative and pre- to post-initiative difference scores on each dependent measure were grouped together using a cluster analysis. Each cluster of programs was compared to determine relationships between these program variables and the program clusters. A state license and a smaller group size were related to higher quality programs at pre-initiative. Director education, teacher salary, state license, and program size were related to greatest program improvement from pre-initiative to post-initiative. In addition, six of the 10 programs were awarded accreditation by the National School-Age Care Alliance (NSACA). These findings suggest that participation in program improvement initiatives, like the NC QEI, is a viable means of improving the quality of school-age child care programs.


Copyright and Open Access: http://sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0256-8543/