Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type


Program or Major

Human Development and Family Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kimberly Nesbitt

Second Advisor

Lisa Ranfos

Third Advisor

Tyler Jamison


Quality in early childhood care and education is increasingly being monitored through state-run Quality Rating/Recognition and Improvement Systems (QRISs), however, the design of these systems is under-researched. This study explores the alignment of two observation tools used in a QRIS to assess the quality of infant and toddler care and education – the Teaching Pyramid Infant-Toddler Observation Scale (TPITOS), and the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale, 3rd edition (ITERS-3). These two tools are central to the two pathways for center-based care providers in New Hampshire’s QRIS, which are designed to be equivalent but different methods for measuring quality. In this study, simultaneous TPITOS and ITERS-3 observations were conducted in 10 infant and toddler classrooms in New Hampshire. Quality ratings, according to the QRIS, were determined from scores on each of the tools. A regression analysis indicates a positive association between scores on the two tools, but an analysis of the quality ratings shows that New Hampshire’s QRIS lacks ecological validity. Recommendations for policy and research are provided.