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Program Quality

Program Quality

There are many programs and providers that offer early childhood services in Nebraska, but not all of them meet or even approach the level of quality known to encourage children's healthy development and school readiness. Sixpence cultivates early learning and care programs that demonstrate a solid commitment to achieving and maintaining the quality standards that set infants and toddlers on the path to lifelong success.

Every year, a team of independent researchers at Nebraska's prestigious Munroe-Meyer Institute (UNMC) conduct a rigorous evaluation of Sixpence-funded programs and services statewide. Sixpence's public-private Board of Trustees and technical staff use this evaluation data to help funded programs and services continually strive for higher levels of professionalism, effectiveness and efficiency. This process not only yields developmental gains for the children themselves, but ensures accountability for the public and private dollars we invest in Sixpence.

Center-Based Services

Emotional and Behavioral Supports: 94% of infant and toddler groups served in center-based Sixpence programs met quality benchmarks for responsiveness, positive emotional reinforcement and behavioral supports on the part of the professionals who worked directly with children—a 9% gain over 2014-15 evaluation results. [Instrument: Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)]

Interaction Quality, Language Development Practices, Physical Environment: 64% of programs and services in their first year of Sixpence funding met or exceeded high quality benchmarks measuring adult-to-child and peer-to-peer interactions, language development practices, physical environment and other measurements. This enables Sixpence technical staff to focus on programs most in need of quality improvement. [Instrument: Infant/Toddler Environmental Rating Scale—Revised Edition (ITERS-R)]

Family Engagement Services

Parent Coaching Effectiveness:  82% of the program specialists who worked directly with families exceeded high-quality standards of professionalism in their understanding of families' circumstances, responsiveness to their needs and the ability to encourage positive parent-child interactions. [Instrument: Home Visit Rating Scales—Adaptive and Extended (HOVRS-A+v2.1)]

Parent Motivation and Engagement: Nearly all (94%) families showed a high level of engagement with the parenting techniques modeled by parent coaching specialists in Sixpence-funded programs. Parent-child interactions exceeded high-quality benchmarks associated with strong developmental outcomes for infants and toddlers. [Instrument: Home Visit Rating Scales—Adaptive and Extended (HOVRS-A+v.2.1)]




Independent researchers at Munroe-Meyer Institute (UNMC) concluded that, on average, the quality of  Sixpence-funded programs exceeded that of services available on the open market to parents able to purchase developmentally positive supports for their infants and toddlers.

Ensuring early childhood programs meet and maintain high levels of quality delivers accountability for our public and private investment in the healthy development of Nebraska's youngest citizens.