Validity of four measures of child care quality in a national sample of centers in Ecuador

PLoS One. 2019 Feb 14;14(2):e0209987. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209987. eCollection 2019.


This paper assesses the psychometric properties of four child care quality instruments administered in 404 child care centers in Ecuador: the Classroom Assessment Scoring System for Toddlers, the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised Edition, the Child Care Infant/Toddler Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment, and the Missouri Infant/Toddler Responsive Caregiving Checklist. We examined their internal consistency, tested the underlying subscale structure by means of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), verified construct validity by testing associations with quality-related factors (e.g., child-caregiver ratio), and checked concurrent validity of the instruments' total scores. We found high internal consistency of the instruments at the full scale level and moderate to high at the subscale/domain level. CFA showed high factor loadings, but goodness of fit statistics were low. Construct validity results varied from low to very low depending on the quality-related factor, and concurrent validity from low to very high depending on the instruments compared. This validity exercise provides useful information for policy-makers and researchers interested in using these instruments in the Ecuadorian context or elsewhere in the region. The findings will also inform future research and development of affordable and culturally-appropriate tools for monitoring process quality in child care centers in Latin American countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Child Care* / methods
  • Child Health
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ecuador
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Psychometrics / methods*

Grants and funding

Data collection was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Dr Florencia Lopez-Boo and Marta Dormal are employed by the IDB; the other authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose. The funder (IDB) provided support in the form of salaries for authors [FLB, MD], but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of these authors are articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDB, its Board of Directors, or the countries they represent.