Authors: Jennifer K. Duer and Jade Jenkins
As a result of a patchwork policy approach, many early childhood education programs combine funding from multiple streams coined as a “blended funding” model. However, little is known about how blended funding models relate to adherence to high-quality early childhood standards. The current study utilizes national survey data (NSECE: 2012) to first identify the prevalence of blended funding models and California Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) data to describe the relation between blended funding models and program quality. Using regression analyses, the results suggest an overall positive association between the blended funding models and program quality measured by CLASS, ECERS, and QRIS scores. The findings call for recognition that early education programs often blend funding from Head Start, state Pre-K, and additional streams, and identify the positive relation between blended funding models and adherence to high-quality standards.