MD-MN Research Partnership – Early Care and Education Choices, Quality and Continuity for Low-Income Families

Maryland and Minnesota are two states that have been leading innovations across early care and education policy and simultaneously investing in research and data infrastructure to ensure that their strategies are informed by evaluation and new evidence in the field. The Maryland-Minnesota Child Care Research Partnership brings together two states committed to examining critical issues in early care and education and using research findings to inform policy with an interdisciplinary team of researchers experienced in conducting studies on subsidy policy, quality improvement strategies, family experiences and child outcomes.

The Partnership plans were developed in collaboration with the State partners and reflect the issues that are of highest priority for administration of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and other early care and education policy and program efforts. The Partnership will focus on understanding the follow issues: (1) how families seek and process information about early care and education, (2) how families value and weigh different features of the quality of arrangements, (3) the dynamics of how families/children transition between arrangements, and (4) the effects of these processes/decisions on family and child outcomes. Choices, quality and continuity of early care and education were selected as focal constructs for in-depth study by the Partnership because of their centrality in the lives of families with young children and because of their linkages to outcomes such as children’s school readiness and parents’ employment that are targets of the policies and programs administered by the State partners.