Wisconsin Early Childhood Integrated Data System

Infrastructure to Support Early Childhood Systems

  • Data Systems


The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, Department of Health Services (DHS) and Department of Public Instruction (DPI) have hosted the state’s Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS)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.). since 2017. The system fosters data-sharing agreements and a data-sharing process for the agencies’ demographic, program, and individual data on early childhood services, including child care subsidies, child support, birth records, early health records, maternal health, attendance, and enrollment. The system uses a matching system and encrypted file manager tool to upload deidentified data to an ECIDS portal for researchers’ and agencies’ projects and analyses. The Wisconsin ECIDS compliments the Department of Public Instruction’s WiseDash system, which contains deidentified individual data available by request.

The system is funded through a federal Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant.

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 Wisconsin

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

Visit the Wisconsin Profile Here
  • The state population is 5,892,539
  • The percentage of children under 6 with all available parents in the workforce is 73%
  • The rural percentage is 32.9%