Partnership Impact Research Project, 2001-2004 [United States] (ICPSR 4298)

Version Date: Apr 17, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Diane Schilder, Education Development Center, Inc. Center for Children and Families

Version V1

The Partnership Impact Research Project is a three-year study designed to assess the nature of early education partnerships among Head Start, pre-kindergarten (pre-k), child care, and early care and education programs and their influence on child care quality and access to services. The project analyzes qualitative data in an existing database that was collected by the Quality in Linking Together (QUILT) Early Education Partnerships initiative. The QUILT database was designed to provide training and technical assistance in the development and sustainment of partnerships to professionals across the nation, including early care and education providers and state leaders. It is divided into two sections: state-level and local provider-level information. Both sections contain narratives, factual data, and documents. Additionally, the project collected new quantitative and qualitative data from randomly selected child care and Head Start providers in Ohio to study the influence of partnerships on the quality of and access to services.

The Partnership Impact Research Project explored questions about partnerships and their impact on child care and parents while attempting to determine whether state actions could influence both the development of provider-level partnerships and the processes partnerships engage in to sustain their work. Specifically, the study was designed to address the following objectives:

  1. Conduct a qualitative analysis of data in an existing database to assess the nature of partnerships and state actions to support partnerships.
  2. Conduct a longitudinal study that uses a quasi-experimental design and involves original data collection at three points in time to learn about the impact of partnerships on child care center quality, child care classroom quality, and accessibility of services for parents.
  3. Develop detailed reports and research briefs, tailored to specific audiences such as legislators, administrators, and providers, that translate research findings into practical information that addresses questions frequently asked about child care partnerships.
  4. Disseminate research reports and briefs through established networks of policy makers and practitioners, using their organizations' Web sites and publications.

The six datasets associated with this data collection are summarized below:

  1. Child Care Center Data -- contains information on a variety of aspects about a child care center from the director's point of view with many focused questions aimed at the preschool population and an overview of the child care center as a whole. This dataset provides information about the population being served, services provided, teacher ratios, teacher training and education, annual budgets, funding sources, and other major aspects of a child care center in order to achieve an understanding of quality.
  2. Child Care Center Partnership Data -- contains information about the child care partnership with the Head Start Agency that provides their services. There are five sections: funding sources, origins of the partnership, resources, nature of the partnership, and benefits/challenges. Information about how the partnership began, what the centers' role is, what services are provided, and a variety of general questions that inform others about the nature of the partnership are available in this dataset.
  3. Head Start Background Data -- contains background information about a Head Start Agency that partners with child care centers and other information related to budget, funding sources, number of children served, and Head Start program organization.
  4. Head Start Partnership Data -- a companion to the Head Start Background data, this dataset contains information about the specific partnership with each child care center the agency is involved with. There are four sections: background information, teacher training/professional development, services, and director information. Additionally, information on how the partnership began, what the agency's role is, what services are provided, and other general questions about the partnership is available.
  5. Parent Data -- contains information on parents' views of the child care center that their preschooler attends. This dataset provides information about the population being served including home/school connection, how a parent views the classroom and the care being provided by the center, and the services available to both the child and parent through the center.
  6. Teacher Data -- contains information about teachers' views of the child care center where they are employed. This dataset provides information about the population being served, services provided, teacher ratios, teacher training and education, and teacher experience in order to achieve an understanding of quality.

Schilder, Diane. Partnership Impact Research Project, 2001-2004 [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-04-17.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Child Care Bureau (90YE037)

This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2001 -- 2004
2001 -- 2004
The Child Care Bureau and Head Start Bureau jointly fund the QUILT, which is comprised of three organizations: Community Development Institute (CDI), Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), and the National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC). EDC is responsible for designing and maintaining the QUILT state and provider partnership profiles database, accessible through the QUILT Web site hosted by CDI.

The Partnership Impact Research Project adopted the QUILT project's taxonomy to categorize local partnership structures into three types:

  1. One organization blends multiple funding streams.
  2. Two or more organizations blend funding and resources.
  3. An organization blends funds with a family child care provider.

Year One of the study focused on a qualitative analysis to explain partnership approaches at the state and local levels and to produce a report for national dissemination to a variety of audiences. During project Year Two and Year Three, the focus was on the influence of provider-level partnership practices on quality and access.

Year One Methodology

During the first year of the project, a standardized case study approach was used to analyze the state- and provider-level data in the QUILT partnership profiles database. Additionally, research literature about partnerships was reviewed as well as studies of state early care and education funding and policies. Two research questions framed the Year One analysis and writing: (1) How are states across the country supporting and promoting early care and education partnerships? (2) How are early care and education providers engaging in partnerships? To address these questions, two separate case studies were utilized:

State-Level Case Study: Data sources included reviews of documents produced by national organizations and by states as well as interviews with state child care administrators, Head Start-State Collaboration directors, state pre-k directors, and directors of agencies responsible for early care and education services. The state factual data include links to state early care and education web pages, state demographics, child care licensing regulations, eligibility criteria for early education programs, funding for early education programs, and numbers served, all of which are from secondary sources such as the census.

Provider-Level Case Study: Data came from the 65 partnership profiles in the database and provided factual information for each. Questions focused on: partnership approach, partnership hours and days, number of children served by the partnership, total numbers served by the center, ages of children served by the partnership and by partnering organizations, funding used to support the partnership, partnership setting, services offered, and the primary objective for partnering.

Years Two and Three Methodology

The second and third years of the project continued to examine the qualitative data across cross-cutting themes while also addressing questions about the influence of partnership on quality and access. In-depth longitudinal data collection continued and follow-up data was gathered from child care directors, teachers, parents, and from directors of Head Start programs partnering with child care centers. This portion of the project focused on: partnership processes, quality of services, parental access to services, duration of partnership, benefits/challenges of partnership, and child care quality. Additionally, detailed briefs were developed aimed at addressing specific questions posed by different audiences such as policymakers and providers.

In both the state and provider (local) sections of the database, data are from a convenience sample selected to ensure a broad range of perspectives and to ensure methodological soundness to control for biases and to meet the criteria for credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. The sample includes partnerships that represent a range of programs, communities, program sizes, target populations, funding sources and partnership settings.

The sample in the state profiles section of the QUILT database represents early care and education stakeholders from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The sample in the provider section of the database represents over 200 providers in partnerships from 36 states, Puerto Rico, a tribal nation, and each region in the country.

child care centers, child care providers
survey data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Schilder, Diane. Partnership Impact Research Project, 2001-2004 [United States]. ICPSR04298-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-04-17.

2006-04-17 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.