I2D2 – Iowa’s Integrated Data System for Decision Making

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Data Systems


Since 2018, Iowa State University of Science and Technology has hosted I2D2 (Iowa’s Integrated Data System for Decision Making), the state’s early childhood integrated data system,An early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS) “collects, integrates, maintains, stores, and reports information from early childhood programs across multiple agencies.”
Source: Institute of Education Sciences. (n.d.).
in partnership with multiple state agencies (e.g., Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Human Rights, Department of Workforce Development, Department of Economic Development, Department of Management, and Head Start Grantees). The system functions as a multifaceted data transfer platform, data management platform, and data analytics platform. It links program and deidentified individual data related to children and families, including vital records (birth and death records); DAISEY home visiting records; Child Care Assistance records; public education PK-12 enrollment, attendance, achievement, and special education records; and Head Start enrollment. Approved users can access the data for specific projects under a memorandum of agreement. I2D2 also offers a data visualization dashboard, IA Data Drive” for public use.

I2D2 was authorized under Iowa Code Chapter 256i, which instituted the Iowa Early Childhood Initiative. It is funded through individual grants and contracts that support specific projects. The system has received grants from Iowa State University, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, and other funders. State funding and funding from the Preschool Development Grant (2019) have also supported the effort.

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 Iowa

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

Visit the Iowa Profile Here
  • The state population is 3,200,517
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 74%
  • The rural percentage is 36.8%