Policy Strategies & Innovations Link copied!

Innovation Name Innovation Type Innovation Subtype Features at a Glance Strategy Summary
Chicago Early Childhood Integrated Data System (CECIDS) Infrastructure Systems Data Systems

Early Childhood Integrated Data System

In 2022, the Northern Illinois University Research & Data Collaborative launched the Chicago Early Childhood Integrated Data System(CECIDS), which is governed by the City of Chicago. The system functions as a cloud-based data hub and data visualization tool for demographic, program, and individual data related to 52 specific early childhood questions and use cases. CECIDS is governed by multiple agencies and organizations (e.g., City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Chicago Public Schools, and Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, and others) and shares state and city data across multiple stakeholders (e.g., City of Chicago: Mayor’s Office, Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, Illinois Action for Children, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois State Board of Education, and others) for public use. CECIDS hosts a data dashboard and data visualization tool with demographic and program eligibility and services data.

The system is funded by philanthropic donations, the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois.

Learn more/source: Chicago Early Childhood Integrated Data System
Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship Workforce Professional Learning

Scholarship covers 100% of tuition plus $250 in books per course

In 2018, through a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), Harry S. Truman College, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and the Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS), Chicago created the Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship (CELWS) initiative. CELWS empowers the early learning workforce to take courses and earn a credential, degree, endorsement or licensure to work with young children (birth through pre-K) and families in Chicago programs. The scholarship covers 100% of tuition, plus up to $250 in books per course, but it functions as a “last dollar” scholarship in that it covers everything that students’ federal grants and other scholarships do not. The scholarship is open to any Chicago resident who wants to enter the early childhood workforce. Parents of children enrolled in a Chicago program and recent high-school graduates are encouraged to apply, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are eligible. CELWS recipients must commit to working in a Chicago early learning program (including CPS Pre-K and Head Start/Early Head Start/PFA/PI funded community-based programs) for a minimum of three years after completing the degree or approved academic program.

Learn more: Chicago Early Learning Workforce Scholarship


Chicago Early Learning. (n.d.). Workforce Scholarship.

Social Impact Bonds Dedicated Funding Streams Social Impact Bonds

Initiative funded through $17 million in social impact bonds

In 2014, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the City of Chicago partnered with the Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund, the Northern Trust Company, and the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation to launch the Chicago Child-Parent Center Pay for Success Initiative funded by a Pay-for-Success contract. The contract allowed the City to expand high-quality pre-K services to more than 2,600 low-income 4-year-olds across eight schools. The funding partners provided nearly $17 million in upfront capital and included a 4-year service delivery term, and a 17-year evaluation and repayment term. In a pay-for-success model, lenders provide the upfront capital necessary to operate a program that produces long term avoided costs to the government. The government then uses those savings to repay the lenders.

Learn More: Urban Institute
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Demographics Link copied!

City population

2,665,039 Source U.S. Census, 2022

Persons under 5 years old

5.90% Source U.S. Census, 2021

Poverty levels: Children 0-8 below 200% poverty

46% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Median family income among households with children

$72,300.00 Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Unemployment rate

5.30% Source U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Children under age 6 with all available parents in the labor force

62% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

Children living in households with a high housing cost burden

37% Source KIDS COUNT, 2021

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Additional data coming soon!