Launched in 2021 by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, Connecticut’s ECE Reporter is an integrated data systemAn early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS) “collects, integrates, maintains, stores, and reports information from early childhood programs across multiple agencies.” Source: Institue of Education Sciences. (n.d.) for internal use that replaced the state’s former Early Childhood Information System. The system acts as a warehouse of demographic, program, and individual data collected from state-funded early childhood programs. All program- and child-level data is private and accessible only to administrators from the Office of Early Childhood; program- and child-level data for individual programs is also accessible to the lead administrator at each program. Other agencies may receive aggregate, deidentified informationDe-identified: De-identified data describes records that have a re-identification code and have enough personally identifiable information removed or obscured so that the remaining information does not identify an individual and there is no reasonable basis to believe that the information can be used to identify an individual. The re-identification code may allow the recipient to match information received from the same source. Source: U.S. Department of Education, which may be linked to the Department of Education’s statewide longitudinal data systems (e.g., Connecticut P-20). The data is used for program payment, public funding, reporting, and research on early care and education.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about ELS@H Findings
Strong infrastructure and systems – including governance structures and data systems – are key aspects of high-quality early education and care. And research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality early education within a mixed-delivery system; strengthening infrastructure and systems is one important way states and cities can take action to address these needs and accomplish these goals.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) that connect to the need for more robust infrastructure and systems, including data systems:
- Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
- But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
- No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
- We have learned a great deal from this groundbreaking, large-scale study. Nevertheless, there is still much to learn about what children, families, and educators need, and about what “works” – for whom and under what circumstances – across all the diverse settings where young children learn and grow.