Culture of Continuous Learning (CCL) Project: A Breakthrough Series Collaborative for Improving Child Care and Head Start Quality, 2016 - 2021

The purpose of this project is to explore how child care and Head Start programs can improve the quality of services received by young children, while institutionalizing continuous quality improvement activities. The project will design and assess the feasibility of implementing a specific approach to continuous quality improvement (CQI), the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC), to promote the uptake and success of evidence-based practices around social and emotional learning (SEL) in both child care and Head Start settings.

The BSC is a unique method aimed at improving the uptake, sustainability, and spread of evidence-based practices. A BSC includes five key elements:

  1. the Change Framework
  2. Multi-Level Inclusive Teams
  3. Expert Faculty
  4. a Shared Learning Environment
  5. the Model for Improvement

BSC teams meet regularly and include program directors, teachers, and parents. The BSC groups are designed to create a shared learning environment in which CQI strategies are used to test research-based practices and make adjustments based on short term, informal data collection. The goal is to influence changes in the culture, climate, structures, and leadership within ECE settings as well as the knowledge, skills, beliefs, and attitudes of the practitioners participating in the BSC.

In 2018, a BSC focused on supporting children’s SEL within eight ECE settings (4 Head Start, 4 child care) in an East Coast, urban area will begin. A study to assess the feasibility of implementing a BSC was conducted alongside implementation to better understand whether a BSC can successfully improve SEL practices in ECE programs. The study uses an embedded case study design and data from multiple sources at multiple time points, across all phases of implementation of the BSC to understand the organizational and individual characteristics that relate to feasibility, and the supports within the BSC that are associated with progress towards improvement.

OPRE has contracted Child Trends, with subcontracts to the University of Massachusetts-Boston, JRA Consulting, Ltd., and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, to conduct the project.

Point(s) of contact: Ivelisse Martinez-Beck and Nina Philipsen Hetzner.

This study is registered on the Open Science Framework under the title Culture of Continuous Learning Project: A Breakthrough Series Collaborative for Improving Child Care and Head Start Quality Visit disclaimer page .

Information collections related to this project have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under OMB #0970-0507. Related materials are available on at the CCL Information collection page on Visit disclaimer page .

The most currently approved document are accessible by clicking on the ICR Ref. No. with the most recent conclusion date. To access the information collections (E.g. interviews, surveys, protocols), click on View Information Collection (IC) List. Click on View Supporting Statement and Other Documents to access other supplementary documents.

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