SRCD State Policy Fellow Portfolio Abstracts: Claudia Kruzik


2019-2020 State Policy Pre-doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care


Portfolio Entry 1: High Quality Curriculum Rubrics

Project Overview:

Background: Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS) are a tool for improving the quality of early education and care available in the field. The placement agency is working on developing an updated version of their QRIS. As part of this, the agency is considering what it means by and expects from a high quality curriculum - one component among many that is important for program quality in the QRIS. 

Goal(s): To develop rubrics differentiated by child age which can be used to evaluate the quality of early childhood curricula.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Developed drafts of Infant and Toddler Curriculum Quality Rubrics drawing on existing drafts of the Preschool Curriculum Quality Rubric and infant/toddler state guidelines.
  • Engaged in iterative editing process of all three curriculum quality rubrics (Infant, Toddler, and Preschool).
  • Edited an LMS course on curriculum for center directors.
  • Identified and reviewed potential measurement tools for observing teacher practices aligned with essential practices included in curriculum rubrics.
  • Reviewed Preschool Curriculum Quality Rubric against public preschool curricula.
  • Developed report regarding needs and considerations for rubric use in curriculum evaluation.

Activity Focus Keywords: Literature Review; Framework Development; Needs Assessment
Policy Area Keywords: Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS); Classroom Quality; Child Care and Early Education; Curriculum

Portfolio Entry 2: Cost of Quality Tables

Project Overview:

Background: As part of the strategic planning process that began in 2019, EEC staff want to gain a better understanding of a) baseline costs associated with providing early education and care in the state and b) costs associated with providing high quality education and care.

Goal(s): To analyze program costs of a range of different types of providers in the state including those who did and did not have access to state grant funding used to improve classroom quality.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Collected follow-up data after reviewing state grantee’s cost data.
  • Analyzed state grantee costs for fiscal year 2019.
  • Analyzed cost data from ten additional non-grant-funded programs using administrative data.
  • Wrote two reports for internal use including findings from cost analysis of state grantees and non-grantee providers.  

Activity Focus Keywords: Administrative Data; Data Collection; Data Analysis; Data Visualization; Written Report
Policy Area Keywords: Cost of Care; Classroom Quality

Portfolio Entry 3: FAQs for Health & Safety Guidelines for Child Care Reopening

Project Overview: 

Background: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, states which made the decision to close child care and early education programs needed to develop and disseminate plans for reopening including guidance for the field around updated Health and Safety protocols and procedures. These documents can be quite large and complex and often the field can benefit from supporting documentation that provides more detail and clarifications around key points.

Goal(s): To review provider feedback and concerns, identify common themes, and develop questions for the FAQ document.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Qualitatively reviewed written survey submissions from the field around reopening concerns and identified themes.
  • Used field submissions to develop questions for the FAQ document to accompany the MA Health and Safety Guidance.

Activity Focus Keywords: Data Analysis; FAQ Development
Policy Area Keywords: Child Care and Early Education; Health and Safety Regulations; Classroom Quality; COVID-19

Portfolio Entry 4: Intent to Reopen Data Analysis

Project Overview:

Background: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, states which made the decision to close child care and early education programs needed to develop and disseminate plans for reopening. This planning process can benefit from having access to anticipated information about reopening including anticipated demand, capacity, and workforce needs.

 Goal(s): To analyze survey data regarding providers’ intents to reopen in order to provide EEC staff with key information helpful for reopening decision making.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Qualitatively analyzed “Intent to Reopen” survey data from the field to better understand the number of providers planning to reopen, potential enrollment and capacity of the field, timelines for planned reopening, geographic differences in reopening, etc.
  • Developed slides for communicating this information internally for use in reopening decision making.

Activity Focus Keywords: Data Analysis; Data Visualization
Policy Area Keywords: Child Care and Early Education; Child Care access; Workforce; COVID-19

Portfolio Entry 5: FY20 CPPI Grantee Enrollment Report  

Project Overview:

Background: The Commonwealth Public-Private Partnership (CPPI) is a state grant in Massachusetts that provides funding to grantees with the goals of improving classroom access and increasing access to target populations. Fiscal Year 2020 enrollment data submitted by grantees is used both to develop a report of grant activities for the legislature and used to inform grant planning and management, specifically by supporting EEC staff in better understanding what children grantees are serving and whether they are meeting the needs and target populations of their respective communities.

Goal(s): To analyze FY20 CPPI enrollment data in order to provide information needed for the CPPI legislative report and write a report for internal use.

Contributions of Fellow:

  • Analyzed grantee data of child enrollment by key demographic factors in order to get a better understanding of who the programs are serving in comparison to their proposed target populations and in comparison with demographics of their communities at-large.
  • Contributed to a legislative report reviewing grantee contributions and progress in FY20
  • Wrote a report communicating a broader set of enrollment findings for internal use.

Activity Focus Keywords: Data Analysis; Data Visualization; Written Report
Policy Area Keywords: Pre-K; Community-Public Partnerships; Classroom Quality; Preschool Access

Read more about Claudia's Fellowship Experience