A New Approach to Supporting the Quality of Early Care and Education Programs in Arkansas: Case Studies of Array

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Smith, S., Granja, M., Zamora, C., Grindal, T., & Park, C. (2023). A new approach to supporting the quality of early care and education programs in Arkansas: Case studies of Array. SRI International.

The Arkansas Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE) launched the Array initiative. Array is designed to proactively identify early care and education (ECE) programs that could benefit from social-emotional-focused training and support, and then offer assistance to a program’s entire staff that is tailored to that program’s particular needs.

Researchers from the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) and SRI Education conducted case studies of three ECE programs that participated in Array. These case studies examined features of Array implementation, including the methods and resources used in Array professional development (PD), strengths and challenges of delivering Array PD and the perceived benefits of Array to programs. Array case study participants reported meaningful changes in their practices, such as positive changes in everyday routines that reduced stress for children and teachers, and more frequent nurturing interactions with children. Many of the challenges concerning Array related to the high demands placed on program staff and the limited resources of ECE programs. Based on these findings, the case study report outlines recommendations for the ongoing expansion and refinement of Array. 

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