September 7, 2018

What’s New with the BAS? – 2nd Edition

by Teri Talan, Senior Policy Advisor



Welcome to this self-paced session regarding updates to the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care. In 2009, the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care, commonly referred to as the BAS, was published. Since that time, this reliable and valid tool has been used to measure and improve business and professional practices in family child care programs all across the country. Now, a second edition of the BAS has been published. This second edition includes refinements to support the reliable use of the instrument and to reflect current best practices in family child care.

After extensive use by providers, coaches, and technical assistance specialists across the country, there was a growing need to update the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care. Over the years, Additional Notes have been available to supplement the BAS and provide clarification on how to interpret and rate indicators in the book. The majority of these supplemental notes have now been incorporated into the book.

There was also a need to update the national norms for the BAS. The original reliability and validity study was conducted with only 83 family child care providers from Florida, Tennessee, California, and Illinois. Nine years later, we had highly reliable data on a much larger sample. This data, used to develop new national norms, were also used to refine indicators to better represent current practices in the field. Let’s take a closer look at the results of the study.

The 2018 study used data gathered by certified BAS assessors from across the country. A total of 439 BAS assessments were conducted in 22 states resulting in new national norms. The overall average BAS item score was 3.59. For anyone interested in learning more about the results of the study, details can be found in the back of the 2nd edition.

There were 10 refinements made to the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care. Let’s explore each one in detail:

  1. Notes for the BAS items reorganized and expanded
  2. Additional Notes incorporated into notes or scale pages
  3. Consistency in terminology addressed
  4. Questions to guide assessment removed
  5. Item titles revised to better describe content
  6. “Parent” language replaced with “family” language
  7. Greater emphasis placed on family support and engagement
  8. Technology practices that support family communication valued
  9. Provider’s scope of responsibility defined
  10. Provider’s role as leader recognized

The first refinement was to reorganize and expand the Notes for all of the BAS items to increase understanding and facilitate greater consistency in rating and scoring. Let’s go to Item 6, Risk Management, to take a closer look at how this refinement has been incorporated throughout the BAS.

One of the first things you will notice on this page is that policies that need to be verified are organized in a user-friendly format with checkboxes to assist in noting whether or not risk management procedures include specific information.

In addition, the Notes have been expanded to include information that creates greater clarity about the item. For example, the note following the second asterisk was taken from the Additional Notes and put into the text of the book, making the book more user-friendly.

The second refinement is also related to the Notes page. Overtime, the expansive Additional Notes available to assessors, coaches, and technical assistance specialists, created a knowledge gap between those supporting quality improvement efforts and the family child care providers conducting self-assessments. This second edition of the BAS incorporates the Additional Notes into the Notes or Scale pages and closes that gap.

The third refinement relates to greater consistency in terminology. For an example of this, let’s look at two items. First, in Item 1. Qualifications and Professional Development Indicator 7.5 reads: The provider plays an active or leadership role in a formal network of providers or a family child care association. In item 9, Marketing and Community Relations, Indicator 5.4 reads: The provider plays an active role in at least one organization in the community and Indicator 7.4 reads: The provider plays a leadership role in at least one organization in the community. Notice the terms active role and leadership role used in both Items 1 and 9. These terms are then similarly defined within the Notes section for Items 1 and 9. This consistency of language helps to promote accuracy in rating indicators and scoring items of the BAS.

The fourth refinement is that the questions to guide assessment were removed from the Notes pages. Feedback from those using the BAS suggested that the questions were not being used in the way they were originally intended. By removing the Questions column there was room to expand the Notes. This decision promotes ease of use as well as consistent BAS information being available to providers, assessors, and coaches.

The fifth refinement has to do with the Item titles. Three Item titles, Items 7, 8, and 9 were changed to better reflect the content contained in the indicator language.

The sixth refinement is an easy one to explain and comprehend. Everywhere the word “parent” is found in the first edition, the word “family” is found in the second edition. Let’s look at Item 7 to see an example. This change reflects a more inclusive stance in recognition of the fact that many people who are not parents are the ones responsible for raising young children.

The seventh refinement concerns Item 8. Family Support and Engagement. This item has been renamed and revised to put greater emphasis on family support and engagement. Family engagement—often a strength of FCC providers—has been linked in research to positive outcomes for young children. Family engagement is more than offering support to families, such as sharing information about community resources or sharing information on supports that may reduce child care costs. Family engagement is about real collaboration (based on mutual trust and respect) between the provider and families on how to promote children’s learning, development, and well-being. Take a look at Indicators 5.2 and 7.2. These indicators now read: The provider meets individually (in-person, video chat, or phone) with families …to discuss their children’s progress and mutually set goals. So, providers at these individual meetings need to ask families about their specific goals for their children and incorporate these goals into future planning in support of children’s growth.

Now let’s take a look at the third strand and how it builds a rubric of increasing quality regarding family engagement. At 3.3, the provider facilitates at least two events a year for families to build community. At 5.3, families participate in a routine program activity such as reading a book or helping with a cooking project. At 7.3, families participate in an at-home learning activity that the provider makes available such as a lending library of books, activities, games or puzzles.  The intent is for families and children to work together at home—extending the learning introduced in the family child care program.

The eighth refinement has to do with valuing technology practices that support family communication.  These practices are seen in Items 8, Indicators 5.2 and 7.2. Meeting individually with families to discuss children’s progress and mutually set goals is highly valued. However, providers often struggle to implement individual meetings.  The second edition now validates the use of technology as an acceptable way to facilitate individual meetings with families. Video Chat, Skype, FaceTime, and even old-fashioned phone calls are all effective ways to communicate with busy families and engage them in their children’s development. Item 7. Provider–Family Communication is another example of this refinement. Indicator 7.4 is about the various methods of communication the provider uses with families. Let’s look at the Note following the fourth asterisk found on the Notes page. The majority of the methods of communication listed are technology-based, including: website, e-mail, phone call, text message, and social media.

The ninth refinement of the BAS defines the scope of responsibility for the provider in the Glossary of Terms. A provider is defined as “The person responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating the family child care program.”

The tenth refinement of the Business Administration Scale for Family Child Care recognizes the provider’s role as a leader. Leadership and advocacy are included within the examples of business or management training in Item 1. Qualification and Professional Development. To achieve the highest score of a 7, the provider must play a leadership role in both Item 1, Qualifications and Professional Development and Item 9, Marketing and Community Relations. The relevant indicators highlight that providers who embrace family child care as a career and have honed their skills as a family child care provider,  demonstrate leadership in professional and community organizations.

Over the past nine years invaluable information has been gathered from family child care providers and certified BAS assessors across the country. In fact, their feedback was the genesis of the refinements as outlined. We think you’ll agree these refinements have made the tool a stronger measure of business and professional practice in family child care as well as more user-friendly. Please note that this presentation provides an overview of the major refinements made to the BAS. There are additional, small changes within each item. For those who are using the BAS for research projects, and have already collected the pre-data, you should use the same edition to collect the post-data. Please contact Teachers College Press if you will need additional copies of the first edition.

If you have any questions about the BAS please contact us at