The Childcare Quality & Early Learning Center for Research and Professional Development (CQEL) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of early learning environments for all children and eliminating the achievement gap that exists so clearly among our nation’s children.

Our mission is to play a critical role in efforts to improve the quality of early care and education in Washington State and beyond, by providing training, support, and research on numerous research-based early childhood assessments and quality standards.

In Washington State, CQEL conducted the 2010-2011 Quality Rating and Improvement System Seeds to Success pilot in partnership with the Washington State Department of Early Learning and Thrive by Five Washington. The information gathered and analyzed in this pilot was used by CQEL researchers to develop the Early Achievers Standards, Washington State’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, which began in July of 2012.

Additionally, CQEL conducted the 2010 Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills pilot, which evaluated three whole-child assessments being considered by the Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) for the statewide program known as WaKIDS, to be implemented the following year. In 2012-2013, CQEL conducted concurrent-validity and reliability studies on the measure ultimately selected for WaKIDS, an adapted version of Teaching Strategies GOLD.

CQEL is currently engaged by the Washington State Department of Early Learning to serve multiple functions within the Early Achievers QRIS system:

  • Conducting ratings of participating childcare and early learning programs using the Washington State Standards.
  • Providing training and support on research based measures such as the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) and Environmental Rating Scales (ERS).
  • Providing training and support on the Early Achievers Coach Framework to the coaches of Child Care Aware Washington, who provide coaching to Early Achievers participants following their quality rating.

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