ND Department of Health and Human Services’ Early Childhood Section

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Data Systems

North Dakota

In 2021, North Dakota enacted HB 1416, which merges offices and programs encompassing child care, preschool and pre-K, home visiting, early intervention and professional development into the Department of Health and Human Services’ Early Childhood Section. According to Kagan and Gomez (2015) consolidating early childhood programs under one agency can decrease duplication of services.

North Dakota Department of Human Services (2021). Introducing the New Early Childhood Division. 

North Dakota Legislative Assembly (2021). HB 1416. Summaries of Fiscal Year 2023 Enacted Budgets

Bipartisan Policy Center (2023). Integrated Efficient Early Care and Education Systems

Kagan, L. and Gomez, R. (Eds.). (2015) Early Childhood Governance: Choices and Consequences. Teachers College Press.

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 North Dakota

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

Visit the North Dakota Profile here
  • The state population is 779,261
  • The number of children age 0-4 is 51,390
  • The rural percentage is 39.0%