DC Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Data Systems

Washington, DC

The Washington, DC, Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s DC Statewide Longitudinal Education Data SystemA P-20 longitudinal data system (LDS) “integrates unit-level, high-quality student, staff, and program data that are linked across entities and over time” and spans sectors from multiple early childhood programs to higher education or beyond. Source: Institute of Education Sciences. (n.d.). includes public and private early learning programs. The system functions as a warehouse of data that provides demographic, program, and individual data across agencies, spanning early childhood to the workforce. The individual data is deidentified with a unique identifier. The system provides public and private portals for data.

The system is funded by federal Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (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.
Learn More about ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Washington, DC

Context matters. Visit the Washington, DC profile page to learn more about its demographics, political landscape, early education programs, early education workforce, and funding sources and streams.

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  • The state population is 671,803
  • The number of children age 0-4 is 40,759
  • The median family income among households with children is $108,492.00