2022 was an exciting year for the ECD Measure team as we partnered with early childhood practitioners and researchers in the US, Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia to work towards data-driven early childhood systems. In the past year, we worked in 17 countries and served more than 450 educators, 6 implementing organizations, 4 research teams, and dozens of program coaches, administrators and policymakers. Indirectly, more than 4,000 children and their parents benefit from our products, which are designed to lead to improved quality and outcomes.
Below are some highlights of ECD Measure’s work from last year.
Brief Early Childhood Quality Inventory (BEQI)
BEQI is ECD Measure’s adaptable suite of tools that help measure the quality of early childhood settings for children birth to age five. It includes an observational tool, educator self-assessment, and educator questionnaire. 2022 brought a lot of growth for ECD Measure’s BEQI products. BEQI has been translated into Spanish, Tajik, Portuguese, Kiswahili, Persian (Dari), Russian, and Kyrgyz. Almost 500 BEQI observations have been completed in thirteen countries and we have trained more than 100 reliable BEQI observers around the world (with a 94% reliability training success rate).
This year we also completed human-centered design (HCD) training through IDEO and Acumen Academy, which allowed us to think about strategies to engage childcare providers in early childhood measurement and processes. We had the opportunity to engage directly with childcare providers to understand how we can support them engage with data and increase evidence-based practices.
Using this HCD lens, we expanded some of our BEQI products in 2022. For example, we enhanced the BEQI Self-Assessment to gather information on educators’ well-being and motivation and continued working with partners to test out the self-assessment process around the world. We also developed professional development materials, such as coaching cards associated with specific educator practices measured by BEQI, to help family childcare providers reflect on BEQI results and set goals for evidence-based practices. Finally, we launched a new BEQI app, which makes it easy for observers and educators to enter data, share videos and pictures, and receive real-time feedback. The app also aggregates BEQI data and allows organizations to easily view educators’ information in an online portal.
In addition, our new publication (in press, International Journal of Early Childhood) reports on BEQI observational data from the US, Liberia, and Colombia and contributes to the evidence base on measurement of ECCE quality at scale.
Below are some highlights of how our partners and clients used BEQI in 2022 and some possibilities on the horizon to continue supporting measurement and improvement of early childhood quality.
|What we achieved with our partners in 2022||What’s next?|
|We worked closely with Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative (NECC) on their work to support family childcare and childcare center educators in Nebraska through monitoring and mentoring on program quality. To date, 80 childcare educators have engaged with the BEQI and received mentoring discussions with NECC coaches to reflect on their program quality. NECC is using the BEQI app to gather data and give feedback to childcare educators.||We will continue working with NECC coaches and administrators to think about how educator engagement with BEQI data can lead to changes in program practices.|
|Schools 2030, led by the Aga Khan Foundation, is a participatory learning improvement program in ten countries that uses principles of human-centered design to support innovations that foster holistic learning. In 2022, we worked with Schools 2030 teams in Kenya, Tajikistan, Portugal, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan to adapt, pre-pilot, and pilot country contextualized versions of the BEQI.||The BEQI tools will be scaled to approximately 270 preprimary classrooms in 2023. We will also work with Aga Khan Foundation to build capacity of local country teams and teachers to use BEQI data to improve teaching quality, including more integration of BEQI into the ongoing human-centered design processes.|
|We partnered with Universidad del Norte to gather validation evidence for BEQI in Colombia. The team collected BEQI data in 120 Colombian pre-primary classrooms to explore how BEQI captures constructs of quality. We also looked at BEQI’s psychometric properties, including concurrent validity with another measure of classroom quality (ECERS), and associations with child development (IDELA). Additionally, the team documented BEQI’s feasibility (including the ease of training, observer reliability, effectiveness of video coding) and qualitative research on stakeholders’ understanding of BEQI items.||The team will complete analyses on the psychometric properties of the Colombian BEQI and plans to publish our findings on how the BEQI performed in Colombia. ECD Measure will also continue to work with the UniNorte team to explore how the Colombian BEQI can support data-driven improvements in Colombian pre-primary classrooms.|
|Our partner, University of Liberia worked with the Liberian Ministry of Education to collect data on 60 pre-primary classrooms using an adapted BEQI as part of the Together for Early Childhood Evidence research.||The research team is engaging in dialogue with the Ministry of Education and teacher training institutions to advocate for more focused play-based practices in Liberia. The team also is interested in scaling data collection at a national level, as part of larger ECD data management efforts.|
|We partnered with UNICEF to support the government of Guinea Bissau in adapting and using BEQI as part of its process in developing an ECE monitoring system and rolling out a new pre-primary curriculum.||BEQI piloting will be completed in early 2023 in Guinea Bissau. We hope to continue to work with UNICEF to strategize how the tools can be integrating into ongoing quality monitoring processes.|
|We worked with the World Bank, the Egyptian Ministry of Education, and St. Catherine University to complete research using an adapted version of the BEQI and MELQO instruments to monitor quality of Egyptian Kindergartens. The research covered 214 schools, 659 classes, 935 teachers, and 2,603 children with a battery of instruments to measure the quality of kindergarten environments, teaching, and learning.||We are working with the research team to finalize two publications looking at a) how quality assurance system monitoring tools can measure key dimensions of teaching and learning; and b) quality and inequality in kindergarten and home environment inputs to ECD.|
|In partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, we launched a research study in the United States to see if supporting early childhood educators with goal setting and providing feedback based on BEQI results using SMS text messaging to early childhood educators can help lead to quality improvements
|The study will be completed by Spring 2023 and we hope the findings can influence our broader BEQI goals of making data impactful to quality program improvements.|
Together for Early Childhood Evidence (T4ECE)
With generous support from USAID, ECD Measure leads the Together for Early Childhood Evidence: Consortium on Pre-Primary Data and Measurement in Africa, to explore how the use and application of data can lead to positive change in ECE systems and to accelerate country-level action to improve young children’s early learning experiences. Below are some of our key T4ECE accomplishments in 2022:
- Supported teams in Ethiopia, Liberia, South Africa and Rwanda in country-led research projects to build data-driven early childhood education systems.
- Organized and hosted the Together for Early Childhood Evidence Workshop in Mauritius with 40 stakeholders to discuss data-informed early childhood systems in Africa.
- Convened a panel at the 2022 Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) conference with the T4ECE country teams to share about the research activities.
- Attended the Association for Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) 2022 Triennale in Mauritius.
- Supported USAID Liberia to map local organizations involved in early childhood work in Liberia and started working with USAID Malawi to support them in strategizing about early childhood quality and outcomes measurement.
Additional research to frame key issues in ECE data-driven systems
- In partnership with the Harnessing Global Data for Young Children Collaborative, we produced a case study on access to quality early childhood care and education in Brazil.
- In partnership with the Association for Development of Education in Africa, we conducted research on early childhood quality assurance systems in Africa through surveying 15 ministries of education.
Thank you to all of our partners and teams- we have so much appreciated working with all of you and look forward to continuing our work in 2023!
Wishing you all a happy new year!
The ECD Measure team