Created in 2011, Utah Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Early Childhood Integrated Data SystemAn 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.). functions to store and integrate data from the state’s early childhood programs, services, and systems. The system provides demographic, program, and individual data on a variety of services, including the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, Baby Watch Early Intervention Program, Child Care Subsidy, Head Start – Centro de la Familia de Utah, Vital Statistics Birth Registry, Vital Statistics Death Registry, Women Infants and Children. The system is governed by the ECIDS Data Policy Committee, which consists of members that have entered into a data-sharing agreement with DHHS (e.g., The Early Childhood Data Collaborative, Utah Head Start Association, Utah State Board of Education, Office of Home Visiting, etc.). The private individual level data is matched and deidentified Master Person Indices (MPIs) and every individual is given a unique identifier. Utah ECIDS helps to identify and evaluate long-term outcomes attributed to early childhood investments. The system also provides a “community assessment tool,” which was developed in partnership with ECDataWorks to equip local leaders with demographic and program information on early childhood Eligibility, Access, Services, and Impact.
The system is funded by Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant, Child Care Development Funds, Kellogg Foundation through UPenn’s ECDataWorks, Heising-Simons through Child Trend’s SHINE project and Utah Department of Education.
Zero to Three. (2018). The Utah Early Childhood Statewide Data Integration Project.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about 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.