This study examined the quantity and quality of implementation in early childhood interventions and how variation in implementation is linked with early childhood care and education program outcomes. The study provided examples of how these constructs are examined in published work, and conveyed the benefits of measuring both the quantity and quality of implementation to researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.
Quantity of implementation measures focus on capturing straightforward, objective counts of interventionist or participant behavior. Examples of quantity measures include dosage (amount of an intervention), intensity (how much of an intervention is delivered during a session), frequency (how often intervention is delivered), and adherence (proportion of intervention components delivered). Alternatively, implementation quality measures examine the level of skill shown by an interventionist (e.g., coach/mentor, supervisor, teacher) in delivering an intervention. Examples of quality measures include how well an interventionist delivers the intervention (e.g., ability to engage participants, pacing, developmental appropriateness, ability to individualize, generalization to other types of tasks), as well as indirect measures of quality through participants' engagement in the intervention. The study showed that greater efforts are needed to incorporate quality measures into the implementation evaluation process. Much can be learned by adopting an implementation evaluation strategy that explicitly balances measures that tap into both quality and quantity.
Report Title: Measuring the Quality and Quantity of Implementation in Early Childhood Interventions
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Ivelisse Martinez-Beck, 202-690-7885
Performer: Child Trends
Record ID: 10146 (June 6, 2013) Health