Iowa QRS: Understanding what Families Know of Child Care Quality Indicators Initiatives
With an end goal to determine if the study protocol is feasible this pilot study sets out to address deficits in data of the knowledge base of first time expectant parents seeking child care with regards to quality indicators and initiatives in early childhood environments specific to the State of Iowa. Current literature with specifics for this unique demographic’s knowledge base as they embark on making choices for what is termed quality child care specificities is lacking. However, key research out of Minnesota reports low-levels of awareness and use of the state’s QRS care and that research is needed to identify effective parent education strategies and the characteristics of a QRIS that are linked to parents trust in the system as a support for their decision-making” (Forry, Isner, Daneri, & Tout, 2014) or the Quality Rating System: the quality initiatives formed by the state to enhance and promote early childhood settings (Committee, 2017). Thus far there is little to support much with regards to research in this area. To address the shortfall in knowledge this study design will use a questionnaire with the target demographic of first time expectant parents seeking child care and employ a mixed method approach to evaluate their baseline knowledge of the quality indicators and initiatives specific to the State of Iowa. It is hypothesized that current policy design and marketing efforts are not enough to inform the market. The proposed research is expected to provide evaluation of what consumers know of quality indicators and initiatives to help to inform policy design and to construct future marketing.