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and formal (licensed day care family homes and center-based settings) care is likely to grow (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2000).

Third, the use of public funds for early childhood care and education, as well as concerns about preparing young children to enter school ready to learn, have prompted demands for objective and quantifiable information on such programs and growing concern about the effects of early care and education on children's development (e.g., The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the National Education Goals Panel of 1998, Head Start Performance Standards and Measures). Child care also figures in other policy debates, such as welfare reform and the requirements of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996.

As a result of the heightened public and political attention and the movement toward standards and accountability, performance measurement has emerged as an important concern in the early childhood care and education field. At the request of the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, the Board on Children, Youth, and Families convened two workshops to learn from existing efforts to develop performance measures for early childhood care and education, to consider what would be involved in developing and implementing an effective performance measurement system for this field, and to delineate some critical next steps for moving such an effort forward.

Of necessity, this report captures only some of the range and richness of the four days of discussion. The report is organized in three sections. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the workshops, summarizing the key issues addressed, the themes that emerged from discussions, and participants' ideas for next steps. Chapter 3 provides lessons learned from other policy domains that have implemented performance measures. Chapter 4 provides capsule summaries of selected presentations that detailed specific experiences with performance measurement and indicators at national and state levels. (Also see Assessment of Performance Measures for Public Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, National Research Council, 1997.) An appendix includes workshop agendas and participant lists.

Throughout the report, the terms “child care” and “early childhood programs” are used to encompass the variety of services provided, including care and early education (see Box 1-1). The term “early childhood field” includes child development experts, child care providers, early childhood

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