Data Use in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: Lessons Learned from Quality Start Los Angeles

Quality Start Los Angeles (QSLA) is a county-level quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) that supports center-based and family child care providers serving children from birth to age five. During a developmental evaluation of QSLA that focused on program coaching, assessment technical assistance, and quality tier rating perceptions, the authors of this report also examined data use at QSLA. In this report, they identified strengths, challenges, and lessons learned that could benefit other QRISs or early learning systems as such organizations create or expand data systems, noting that, even with good intentions and a strong data system infrastructure, data use might not always be implemented as expected.

This study was commissioned by First 5 Los Angeles and undertaken by RAND Education and Labor.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND’s publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.

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