Since July 2012, Child Care Aware of Washington has been developing and implementing new services for child care providers as part of Early Achievers, Washington’s new Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care providers. CCA of WA and its regional partners are responsible for supporting child care providers as they prepare for rating, and then coaching participants after they receive their rating.
CCA of WA has contracted with The Athena Group for the last three years to conduct annual evaluations of its services to child care providers as part of Early Achievers. Their goal for these annual evaluations is to inform program development and improve the quality of services they provide to child care providers.
The Athena Group conducted the evaluation using a mix of methodologies. Key to the evaluation was understanding the experience of child care providers around the state so The Athena Group surveyed participating providers and conducted three discussion groups around the state – including one with Spanish-speaking providers in the Central region – to learn more about their experience. We also surveyed and conducted discussion groups with regional staff. Additionally, we analyzed program and ratings data.
The Athena Group’s annual evaluations of CCA of WA’s Early Achievers services to child care providers have informed program development and helped CCA of WA and its regional partners continue to improve services and performance even as they develop the program.