Quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) is important for young children’s holistic healthy development. As ECCE scales, contextually relevant and feasible measurement is needed to inform policy and programs on strengths and areas for improvement. However, few measures have been designed for use across diverse contexts. Drawing on principles of mixed methods design, this study reports on a new approach to ECCE quality measurement: the Brief Early Childhood Quality Inventory. Using data from the USA, Liberia, and Colombia, results indicate variation in the items perceived as highly relevant to each setting and in the characteristics of classrooms including the degree of child autonomy, the types of activities, and in child/educator interactions and dialogue. However, despite this variation, a small set of items indicate potential functionality as cross-country anchor items. Findings lend support to the idea that quality measures can have some common elements with room for adaptation within and across settings. Future work in this area should address the possibility that the significance of these practices for child development also varies across settings.


Download a PDF