On May 5th, MRTQ PDN hosted a gathering of stakeholders at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell to provide an overview of the newly-created Quality Improvement Toolkits (QITs) and how they provide tools to increase program quality across settings, give a preview of the on-demand QITs, and share insights from the pilot participants. In April of 2017, MRTQ PDN received funding from the Davis Family Foundation to support quality improvement in early childhood and out-of-school time settings throughout Maine. Over the course of the past year, the QITs were created as web-based resources to support quality improvement efforts in four key areas:
1. Program evaluation
2. Professional development planning
3. Assessment of child learning
4. Creating a curriculum framework
Each QIT helps programs assess their current practices and learn more about the importance of each topic area as it relates to high-quality programming. The QITs all provide tools and resources to help programs plan for and achieve program goals in each topic area.
QIT development was led by Lee Lingelbach, with assistance from Linda Labas of the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies and MRTQ PDN staff Robin Holman and Tammy Dwyer. Lee piloted the QITs with a group of participants representing family child care, child care centers, Head Start programs, and out-of-school time programs. This spring, MRTQ PDN collaborated with E-Learning Services at the Cutler Institute to revise the QITs to be fully on-demand online. After final revisions are complete, the QITs will be available FREE to all programs in Maine.