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1 UPK Alignment with QRIS January 2012

0 UPK Alignment with QRIS January 2012. UPK Policy Objectives Implemented in FY11 and FY12 For FY11 and FY12, the following policy objectives were implemented.

Jan 18, 2016



Kenneth Webster
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  • *UPK Alignment with QRISJanuary 2012

  • UPK Policy Objectives Implemented in FY11 and FY12For FY11 and FY12, the following policy objectives were implemented to begin alignment with UPK and QRIS:For FY12, UPK programs were required to participate in QRIS by June 1, 2011;Programs shall use a portion of UPK funding to support progress on QRIS for FY12;An agreement to allow EEC staff to conduct on-site ECERS/FCCERS reviews;An agreement to provide staff information, including compensation and education level, through EECs registry or other designated mechanism; andAn agreement to provide child level data, with parent consent, allowing children to be assigned a State Assigned Student Identification (SASID) number.

    UPK grantees were also notified that FY11 was a planning year for the purpose of restructuring UPK in FY12 and beyond.

    Subject to EEC Board approval, programs may be required to be level 3 in QRIS by FY13.


  • Committee Feedback Regarding UPK Alignment with QRIS Over the past few months, various committees and subcommittees convened to discuss ideas to align UPK and QRIS and provided recommendations:The Planning and Evaluation Committee convened on November 29, 2011 and December 21, 2011.The K-12 & Higher Education Subcommittee of the Advisory Board convened on December 16, 2011.

    The Full Advisory Council will address this issue at the upcoming January 13, 2012 meeting.

    The Committees generated 5 recommendations for the Board to consider in the subsequent slides.


  • Recommendation #1: QRIS LevelPrograms in UPK must be at least a level 3 in QRIS.

    Current UPK programs who do not satisfy level 3 in QRIS may be grandfathered in for one year.

    Any program that attains level 3 in QRIS will be considered a UPK program.


  • Recommendation #2: AccessFocus on high needs children.Currently, Massachusetts defines high needs children as those with sufficiently low household incomes, those in need of special education assistance, and other priority populations who qualify for federal and/or state aid.Massachusetts is moving toward a broader definition of high needs children.Programs will be required to conduct formative assessments and screenings to identify high needs children. The documentation and assessment data will need to be submitted to the EEC: in the past EEC has not required programs to submit individual child information.


  • Recommendation #3: Grant EligibilityTo be eligible for a UPK grant, programs would have to demonstrate they serve high needs children as defined in the RTTT-ELC grant.Programs would have to demonstrate that they serve children with multiple risk factors that meet this broader definition.This will include providing screening and/or formative assessment scores for targeted group of children.UPK programs must demonstrate movement toward median salary for lead teachers.Program match is required.Grants will be competitive: potential grantees would have to compete annually for funding.Programs will be required to demonstrate PreK-3 alignment with the school district in which they are located.*

  • Recommendation #4: Change the Funding FormulaHowever, keep it as a grant to programs based on revised numbers and criteria.

    Formula based on the number or percentage of high risk children the programs serve.

    The amount is determined by 50% of the annual full time subsidy rate per expansion child.

    For current subsidy children, the add-on amount will be less than 50% of the subsidy rate.


  • Recommendation #5: Use of FundsGrants could be used to increase access to high risk children, but spent on normal and expected expenses when running an early childhood program.

    UPK funds should not be used to help programs move up in QRIS because other funds will be used for that.*

  • Background Information*1. Review of UPK Policy Objectives Implemented in FY11 and FY12 How UPK Compares to QRIS

    Definition of High Needs Children

    3. Materials on Preschool to Grade 3

  • *Review of UPK Policy Objectives Implemented in FY11 and FY12

  • *UPK Funding BackgroundFY07: $4.6 million Pilot implementation grants for Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK)FY08: $7.1 million Budget provided increase of $2.5MFY09: $10.9 million (post 9c) Budget initially provided an increase of $5M for UPK; reduced by $1.25M in mid-year budget reductionsFY10: $8.0 millionBudget reduced funding by $2.9MAll grant awards were reduced by 37% from FY09 FY11: $7.5 millionBudget reduced funding by $500KAll grant awards were reduced by 5.23% to compensate for the cut in fundingFY12: $7.5 million

    Grants are awarded for specific classrooms in a programs and have been renewed yearly to date (with additional new grants being awarded in FY08 and FY09). A portion of each years funds were allocated to evaluation and planning activities, as well as in FY07, FY08 and FY09 funding for Assessment Planning grants to help programs move towards UPK eligibility).

    Funding is determined by the number of children and portion of subsidized children in each classroom, and operating hours and full or part-time/year status.Total classroom enrollment x $500 + total subsidized enrollment x $1500 = total grant award [total is then prorated based on full or part-time/year status]

  • *UPK Grant Program EligibilityEvolving to Align with QRIS*The EEC-selected assessment tools include: Work Sampling, High Scope Child Observation Record (COR), Creative Curriculum, Teaching Strategies GOLD and Ages and Stages (programs using Ages and Stages are transitioning to other tools for the purpose of assessment). **NEASC included in FY08 accreditation options; CDA or higher included in FY09 and forward as accreditation alternatives for family child care.

    CriteriaFY07 FY08 -FY10FY11 and FY12EEC Licensed or License-ExemptUse one of the EEC-selected assessment tools for at least one year*Use Early Childhood Program Standards For Three and Four Year Olds and Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences Have teacher/provider with BA in each UPK classroom/setting

    OrUsed as selection priorityHave National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation or New England Association of Schools and Colleges or for family child care, National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) accreditation or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential or higher ** **

    Serve or willing to serve children receiving financial assistanceProvide access to full-day full-year servicesParticipation in QRIS

  • *UPK Grantee Overview

    Grant Program

    # Program Sites

    # UPK Classrooms/ Homes

    # UPK Children

    # Cities/ Towns

    FY12 UPK Current Classroom Quality Grantees





    FY11 UPK Classroom Quality Grantees





    FY10 UPK Classroom Quality Grantees

    (originally funded in FY07, FY08 or FY09 and renewed each year)





    FY09 UPK Classroom Quality Grantees (originally funded in FY07, FY08 and renewed each year or new in FY09)





    FY08 UPK Classroom Quality Grantees (originally funded in FY07 and renewed or new in FY08)





    FY07 UPK Classroom Quality Grantees





  • UPK Studies on Classroom Quality: Abt. Associates, Inc.In the spring of 2009, EEC commissioned Abt Associates, Inc. to conduct a study to:

    (1) describe the quality of licensed and license-exempt early childhood care and education programs in the state that serve a majority of subsidized children; and

    (2) determine the extent to which these programs are providing high quality learning environments.


  • Abt Associates, Inc.s Findings: Quality of Preschool ProgramsEmotional Support Average rating: 5.6 out of 7

    Classroom OrganizationAverage rating: 5.1 out of 7

    Instructional Support Average rating: 2.6 out of 7

    Overall quality across 3 domains21% are high quality; 41% are average quality; 22% are below-average quality; and 15% are low quality

  • Abt Associates, Inc.s Findings: Quality of Family Child CareEmotional Support Average rating: 5.6 out of 7

    Classroom OrganizationAverage rating: 4.9 out of 7

    Instructional Support Average rating: 1.8 out of 7

    Overall quality across 3 domains 4% are high quality; 41% are average quality; 41% are below-average quality; 15% are low quality

  • Abt Associates, Inc.s Findings: Differences in Quality of CarePreschool programsInstructional Support: significantly higher level of quality in public school programs than either Head Start programs or licensed child care centersNo statistically significant differences by UPK status

    Family child care homesNo statistically significant differences by UPK status

  • UPK Studies on Formative Assessment: Oldham Innovative Research

    In the spring of 2010, EEC commissioned Oldham Innovative Research to conduct a study to:(1) analyze the FY10 UPK child assessment data,(2) investigate what child assessment tools are currently being used in Massachusetts, and (3) investigate how other states are utilizing their child assessment data.

    The study generated 9 recommendations that are outlined on the next two slides.

    * To see the full report, please go to the following website:*

  • Oldham Innovative Researchs Recommendations(1) Using web-based submissions as a way of collecting data should be a requirement of UPK grantees;(2) EECs web-based licensees should indicate if they are a UPK grantee and specify the programs UPK children;(3) While UPK grantees should be allowed to assess all of the children in their programs through the on-line license, they must delineate the children that are enrolled in UPK;(4) Increased and efficient communication with family child care grantees that belong to a family child care system needs to be systematically planned in order to raise submission rates;*

  • Oldham Innovative Researchs Recommendations (cont)(5) Domain completion rates could be increased with professional development;(6) Professional development on how best to utilize the web-based system of assessing children should be offered annually;(7) To determine specific professional development needs for teachers as related to early childhood assessment, EEC will need to depend on director interviews, teacher interviews and/or focus groups or observation;(8) Professional development coupled with technical assistance should be a systemic part of offering UPK grants and initiatives; and (9) Provide professional development and technical assistance to UPK grantees on how they can use their aggregated child assessment data at the local level.*

  • Sustainability/Program Drop Off

    Various reasons for the drop in number of programs participating in UPK:Program sites were closed;Accreditation for program revoked;Program failed to submit assessment data; andProgram not interested in continuing with UPK. *

  • *How UPK Compares to QRIS

  • How UPK Compares to QRIS*UPK is based on six basic eligibility criteria:Licensed or license-exempt,Provides access to full-day full-year services,Serve or willing to serve children receiving financial assistance,NAEYC accredited for center-based and public school programs, and NAFCC accredited or a CDA or higher for family child care,Uses the Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences,Uses one of the EEC approved assessment systems.UPK funds allow programs to maintain and enhance quality criteria as they choose, without defined measurable criteria to assess and improve quality.

    QRIS offers a comprehensive way to assess, improve and communicate quality to the field.Quality criteria is organized into standards and exceeds the scope of UPK eligibility criteria. A few examples are: Curriculum and Learning: Assessment subcategory requires programs implement developmental screening within 45 days of childrens program entry, whereas only formative assessment is explicitly required by UPK, and Workforce standards require that directors are not only trained in the Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences, but also child development and Strengthening Families protective factors.QRIS requires measurement of quality through environmental ratings by an outside evaluator (ECERS, FCCERS, etc.)

  • UPK Eligibility Requirements Compared to Level 3 QRISBelow is a summary of how the UPK requirements align with the QRIS levels.Licensed or license-exemptLevel 1Provides access to full-day full-year servicesNot required in QRISServe or willing to serve children receiving financial assistanceNot required in QRISNAEYC accredited for center-based and public school programs, and NAFCC accredited or a CDA or higher for family child careAccreditation may be used for documentation for select standards in levels 2 through 4Uses the Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences,At level 3, programs are required to receive training on the Guidelines and at level 4 they are required to align it with curricula, however UPK does not explicitly require either.Uses one of the EEC approved assessment systems.QRIS does not require specific formative assessment tools, but states that at level 2 programs must receive professional development related to assessment, at level 3 the data is used to set goals, and at level 4 to improve curriculum planning.

    Many level 3 QRIS standards can be documented with accreditation, which is a requirement of UPK, however some QRIS requires documentation in addition to accreditation for certain standards, andsome standards cannot be met by accreditation at all.A main difference between QRIS and accreditation is use of the environmental rating scales (ERS tools).


  • Standards Beyond Which Accreditation Can be Used to Document Meeting a Level 3 StandardCategory 1: Curriculum and LearningCurriculum, Assessment and Diversity1A.3.2 Staff has received formal professional development in the curriculum; using the MA Guidelines for Preschool Learning Standards or Infant / Toddler Learning; documenting childrens progress; and working with children from diverse languages and cultures and second language acquisition. (documented with PQ Registry)

    1A.3.4 Staff demonstrate language and literacy skills either in English or the childs language that provide a model for children. (documented with ERS tools)

    Teacher Child Relationships and Interactions1B.3.1 All staff engage children in meaningful conversations, use open-ended questions and provide opportunities throughout the day to scaffold their language to support the development of more complex receptive and expressive language, support childrens use of language to share ideas, problem solve and have positive peer interactions. (documented with ERS tools and other QRIS measurement tools)

    1B.4.1 Staff utilize teaching strategies that ensure a positive classroom environment, engage childrenin learning and promote critical thinking skills. (documented with ERS tools and other QRIS measurement tools)

    Category 2: Safe Healthy Indoor and Outdoor Environments2A.3.2 Staff are trained in how to work with children with special diets, allergies and specialized feeding issues. (documented with PQ Registry)

    2A.3.3 Demonstrates healthy, safe and clean indoor and outdoor environments. (documented with ERS tools)


  • Standards Beyond Which Accreditation Can be Used to Document Meeting a Level 3 StandardCategory 3: Workforce Qualifications and Professional DevelopmentDesignated Program Administrator Qualifications and Professional Development3A.3.1 Program administrator has at least a Bachelors degree. (as indicated in PQ Registry)

    3A.3.2 Program administrator has at least 9 credit-bearing hours of specialized college-level course workin administration, leadership, and management. (as indicated in PQ Registry)

    3A.3.3 Program administrator has at least 24 credit-bearing hours of specialized college-level coursework in early childhood education, child development, elementary education, or early childhood specialeducation OR Documents that a plan is in place to meet the above qualifications within five years. (as indicated in PQ Registry)

    Program Staff Qualifications and Professional Development3B.3.1 75 percent of classrooms have Educator(s) with a Bachelors degree or higher who work for the fullprogram day. (as indicated in PQ Registry)

    Category 4: Family and Community Engagement4A.3.2 Families are encouraged to volunteer in the program, to assist in the classroom, and share culturaland language traditions or other interests such as their jobs, hobbies and other relevant information. (documented with ERS tools)

    4A.3.4 Program representative(s) participate in local community group work that is related to early childhood, and the cultural groups served by the program and/or family support. (documented with Program Administration Scale (PAS))


  • Standards Beyond Which Accreditation Can be Used to Document Meeting a Level 3 StandardCategory 5: Leadership, Management and AdministrationLeadership, Management and Administration5A.3.1 Program tracks and monitors absences of individual children and contacts families when children are absent more than 20% in a month.

    5A.3.2 Program director, staff and family input is solicited on an annual basis through a survey to evaluate the program. (documented with PAS)

    5A.3.3 Results of the annual survey are used to develop a comprehensive written program improvement plan.

    5A.3.4 Program has an annual review conducted of the accounting records by an independent partywho has accounting or bookkeeping expertise.

    5A.3.5 Program tracks and monitors teacher turn over and has plan for addressing turn over.

    Supervision5B.3.1 Program uses at least 3 types of internal communication on a monthly basis to inform staff ofprogram activities, policies, etc.

    5B.3.2 Staff receive at least one benefit (paid vacation time, sick time, health insurance, tuition/PDreimbursement or retirement plan option). (documented with PAS)

    5B.3.3 Staff are given feedback that give examples of best practice at least twice a month. (documented with PAS)

    5B.3.4 The program has a system to support the career development of staff through a career ladder (e.g., regularly scheduled time to meet with a supervisor or mentor to monitor progress towards career goals). (documented with PAS)

    5B.3.5 Staff salary scales reflect the educational levels, experience and performance levels, as determined by the annual evaluation of the staff members, and is comparable with the current wage level of others in the community with the same levels of education. (documented by PAS)


  • *Definition of High Needs Children

  • Broader Definition of High Needs ChildrenInclude children who have multiple risk factors linked to poor school and life outcomes:Children and parents with special needs;Children whose home language is not English;Families and children involved with multiple state agencies;English language learners;Recent immigrants;Children with parents who are deployed and are not living on a military base;Low-income households; andParents with less than a high school education;Children who are homeless or move more than once a year.


  • Broader Definition of High Needs Children (cont)The state estimates that as many as 135,000 children from birth to age five face one or more risk factors each day that could lead to toxic stress, with as many as 20,000 (15%) facing three or more risk factors that without intervention are likely to lead to developmental delays.*

    *National Center for Children in Poverty. Young Child Risk Calculator. Retrieved from *

  • *P-3 Alignments:Key Principles and Elements

  • Mission Statements Support Alignmentprovide the foundation that supports all children in their development as lifelong learners and contributing members of the community, and supports families in their essential work as parents and caregivers.strengthen the Commonwealths public education system so that every student is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, compete in the global economy, and understand the rights and responsibilities of American citizens, and in so doing, to close all proficiency gaps.

    Department of Early Education and CareDepartment of Elementary and Secondary Education*Head StartImprove Childrens school readiness outcomes and promote changes that integrate children into a continuum of high-quality early care and education spanning from birth to age eight.

  • *Children Experiencing Multiple Risks in MA

  • Key Principles in the P-3 AlignmentHorizontal alignment

    Vertical alignment

    Temporal alignment*

  • Principle 1: Horizontal AlignmentHorizontal alignmentVertical alignmentTemporal alignment

    Horizontal alignment is created by using consistent learning approaches within an age range or grade.Full-day kindergarten*

  • Principle 2: Vertical AlignmentHorizontal alignmentVertical alignmentTemporal alignment

    Vertical alignment is created by using consistent learning approaches across ages or grades.

    1st gradeK Pre-K2nd grade3rd grade*

  • Principle 3: Temporal AlignmentHorizontal alignmentVertical alignmentTemporal alignment

    Temporal alignment is created by using consistent learning approaches across a childs day.


  • Need to evaluate alignment onseveral parameters

    Balance: the degree to which the two documents address the same domainsDepth: the degree to which the two documents address the same specific skill and knowledge within a domainDifficulty: the degree to which the expectations within the two documents reflect a similar level of difficulty or age-levelKagan, Scott-Little, Reid & Greenburg, 2007*Data from the Office Of Head Start Summit, On the Road to School Readinesspresented by Catherine Scott-Little on February 15-17, 2011Baltimore, MD

  • What does P-3 look like in Massachusetts?A coordinated and collaborative approach*

  • *



    ******Our mission creates many opportunities for collaboration across the two agencies. Specifically, the Governor and the Executive Office of Education (EOE) have identified proficiency for all students by Grade 3 as the vision for all 3 agencies under the Secretariat: EEC, ESE, and Department of Higher Education (DHE), to be working towards in its collaborations and individual agency work. This unified goal creates an opportunity for the agencies to create a framework from which a coordinated and comprehensive approach to this important vision can be taken.3rd grade is also the point at which children shift from learning to read to reading to learn. A framework for birth to grade 3 services and programs provides the necessary consistency in instruction to prepare students for this important shift in their learning.**The agencies work is closely linked in that the goal is to create individuals who are life-long learners and prepared for continued education as well as responsible citizenship. We approach this work by creating solid early learning opportunities, supporting families as their childs first teacher and improve schools to raise student achievement.

    From Head Start Road Map to Excellence improve school readiness outcomes among Head Start children and to promote their long-term success. These actions will improve the extent to which classroom activities book reading, dramatic play, number games, music, and more are not just fun and engaging, but also promote increased vocabulary, early math skills, problem solving abilities, and social skills so that children start kindergarten ready, and continue to learn. And, the actions will promote changes that integrate Head Start into a continuum of high-quality early care and education spanning from birth to age eight. This integration will foster cooperation between Head Start programs and elementary schools so that Head Start programs prepare children for what they will need to succeed in elementary school and so that schools are ready to take these children and help them build on what happened in Head Start.

    ACCESS MAY BE RELATED TO RISK FACOTRSFor NCCP Young children = 0-6**Horizontal alignment with a grade or age level provides children with experiences that are consistent and provide continuity.*Vertical alignment across ages or grade levels provides children with learning experiences that are reflective of young childrens development and build upon one another. This alignment creates a continuum of seamless experiences instead of expecting that children and families transition every year to a different environment with different approaches.*Temporal alignment recognizes that children are in many different settings in the course of a day and a week. Consistent approaches and coordinated learning opportunities across settings maximizes childrens development and learning.*This diagram reflects the many elements needed to create a comprehensive P-3 framework. These elements are based on the