Great Learning

Improving Quality for Child Care Centers in Greater Philadelphia Final Report

The Success By 6® (SB6) initiative is designed to support early care and education centers in improving and sustaining quality in Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).  Keystone STARS is a statewide QRIS that is comprised of four levels, STAR 1 through 4.  Achieving high quality early care and education is a critical activity to promote positive development of children in Philadelphia and the nation, particularly for children from low-income families. SB6 was launched in 2007 by the United Way (UW) of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey with funding from the William Penn Foundation, United Way, and other community partners. Centers engaged in the 18 – 24 month initiative receive intensive technical assistance, program improvement funds, and other resources that target movement in Keystone STARS from a STAR 2 to a STAR 3. In addition, SB6 supports sustainability at the centers by offering leadership development as well as financial awards for centers that achieve a STAR 3 or 4.

SB6 is at a point in implementation that is ideal for reflection and evaluation. In the past eight years, SB6 has recruited 368 centers to participate in the initiative and has achieved an overall success rate (center movement to a STAR 3 or higher within 24 months of participation) of 60% regionally and 46% in Philadelphia. From the inception of SB6, the management team at UW, with partners from the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC), Montgomery Early Learning Centers (MELC) and Saint Joseph’s University, has engaged in shared decision-making and a continuous improvement process to revise and update service components in response to feedback from the centers that participate and the technical assistance consultants working in the field. To supplement this ongoing internal review of SB6 activities and progress, Child Trends was engaged in 2014 to conduct an evaluation of SB6 design, implementation and results. The purpose of the SB6 evaluation report is to describe key findings and to offer a set of recommendations for SB6 stakeholders to consider for improvement. The report is intended to inform discussions about quality improvement within SB6 and nationally.


Published: February 2016
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