Office of Integrated Data for Evidence and Action

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Data Systems

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia’s Office of Integrated Data for Evidence and Action was created in 2022 to host the city’s integrated data systemIntegrated Data System: An integrated data system links individual level data across multiple services and agencies for a larger purpose, including early childhood programs. Source: University of Pennsylvania. (2021) (2010). The system collects, stores, links administrative records on demographic, program, individual data on social services across multiple city programs (e.g., birth records, health records, foster care, pre-K, early intervention) and agencies (e.g., Education, Early Childhood, Housing). The private individual-level data is matched and deidentified using an internal matching system. The data system is used internally for policymaking and research in the city and has strong ties to Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Office of Integrated Data for Evidence and Action was created by Mayor James Kenney’s Executive Order 2-22. But the city’s integrated data system—formerly known as both CARES and KIDS—had existed since 2002, funded by seed grants from William Penn Foundation and by a collaboration among the City of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania.

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 Philadelphia

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  • The city population is 1,576,251
  • The percentage of children under age 5 is 6.40%
  • The median family income among households with children is $47,000