Promoting the quality of early care and education (ECE) is a central goal of state and national initiatives aimed at supporting children’s early learning and healthy development. Given these investments, program administrators, policymakers and researchers alike are interested in understanding how quality improvement activities can best target changes in practice that will support children’s development and can be sustained over time across a wide range of programs.
Advances in the science of improvement offer ECE a new framework for thinking about approaches to quality improvement. While some of the specific methods derived from improvement science have generated dialogue and investments in pockets of the ECE field, these methods are not yet widespread in practice.
The Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) is a structured improvement methodology developed originally for use in the healthcare field. The goal of the BSC is to build organizational capacity for quality improvement; support data-informed decision making; engage leadership from all levels of the organization in the change process; and, ultimately improve quality, outcomes, and efficiency (Mittman, 2004). The Culture of Continuous Learning (CCL) Project: A Breakthrough Series Collaborative for Improving Child Care & Head Start Quality will examine the potential of the BSC to support the organizational capacity of child care and Head Start settings to test and implement program improvements. (Author abstract)