Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (ICEAM)

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Data Systems


Since 2006, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) have coordinated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to host the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM). The Early Childhood Asset Map is a data visualization toolData Visualization Tool: A data visualization tool that makes aggregate data related to early childhood education programs and services available for public view. that provides demographic and program data on early childhood programs (e.g., licensed settings, Preschool For All, Head Start, and more), health factors, socioeconomic factors, and geographic regions related to services for children from birth to five. The tool is for public use and has begun to support the state’s data integration initiatives.

IECAM was developed after the state’s Early Learning Council called for a web-based tool to support decision making. The IECAM is funded through the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Human Services.

Other sources:
Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (2023), EC Learning IL

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 Illinois

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

Visit the Illinois Profile Here
  • The state population is 12,582,032
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 70%
  • The rural percentage is 13.1%