180 Harbor Drive, Suite 112
CCFS Evaluation Team Director
Under Kriener-Althen's direction and leadership, the CCFS Evaluation Team has specialized in developing observational assessments that support children's development in early care and education programs; assessing the quality of environments and relationships in early care and education programs serving infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children for the purposes of evaluation and program quality improvement; and evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of services, practices, and policies designed to promote quality care in early childhood settings.
The core of Kriener-Althen's work at WestEd has been overseeing the development and field-testing of two observational assessment instruments — the PITC PARS and the DRDP:
- The Program for Infant/Toddler Care Program Assessment Rating Scale (PITC PARS) is an observational instrument designed to assess the quality of early care and education settings for infants and toddlers. The PITC PARS measures the extent to which care-giving practices, the care environment, program policies, and administrative structures promote responsive, relationship-based care for infants and toddlers. This instrument has demonstrated reliability and validity. Current activities include publishing the instrument, user's guide, and other supporting materials. Work has been underway since 2005 to develop the PreK PARS, an observational instrument for measuring quality in preschool programs. The PreK PARS is being developed to align with both the PITC PARS and the California Early Learning and Development System.
- The Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) is an observation-based assessment instrument for teachers to use to observe, document, and reflect on children's development and progress in an early care and education program or a before- and after-school program; to plan curricula for individual children and groups of children; and to guide continuous program improvement. The DRDP instruments are aligned with California's early learning and development foundations and have demonstrated reliability and validity. Current activities include supporting the California Department of Education, Child Development Division to publish the instruments; continuing development of the DRDP to align with the Preschool Learning Foundations, Volumes 2 and 3; and developing a new DRDP instrument to assess children's readiness to learn what is expected in kindergarten.
Prior to joining WestEd, Kriener-Althen was a member of the First 5 California Statewide Evaluation Team and led major facets of the evaluation including the Kindergarten Entry Profile data collection, the First 5 and School Readiness Initiative systems change surveys, and participation of First 5 LA School Readiness Initiative programs in statewide data collection efforts. She has also led a policy evaluation study of the Minnesota child support guidelines while at the University of Minnesota, evaluated parent-support programs while at the University of Tennessee, and conducted research on foster family satisfaction while at State Public Policy Group in Iowa.
Kriener-Althen received a BS in child, parent, and community service and an MS in social science from Iowa State University, and a PhD in family social science from the University of Minnesota.