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ECDW Community  

The ECDW Community initiative, produced with support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, is a series of podcasts and blogs designed to help states and organizations navigate common challenges and adopt strong, resilient approaches to early childhood data use. Guests representing federal, state, and national nonprofit organizations will discuss the history and evolution of ECID systems in the U.S., share professional experiences, and provide targeted, real-world advice for those navigating one of the most challenging periods in American history.


Data Systems 

Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) – CEDS is an education data management initiative whose purpose is to streamline the understanding of data within and across P-20W institutions and sectors. The initiative includes tools to help education stakeholders understand and use education data, and a community of education stakeholders who discuss the uses of CEDS.

DaSy Data System Framework - The purpose of the DaSy framework is to assist Part C and Section 619 programs in developing and enhancing high-quality state data systems and in improving the quality of their IDEA data

Data De-identification: An Overview of Basic Terms - IDEA Early Childhood Data De-identification Glossary - This 2014 document assists early intervention service programs and providers and preschool special education programs and agencies in maintaining compliance with privacy and confidentiality requirements under IDEA and FERPA.

ECIDS Toolkit - The SLDS Early Childhood Integrated Data System Toolkit was designed for use by any state regardless of where it is in the process of developing an ECIDS. The Toolkit has seven components: (1) Purpose and Vision, (2) Planning and Management, (3) Stakeholder Engagement, (4) Data Governance, (5) System Design, (6) Data Use, and (7) Sustainability.

Data Use 

HHS Project: Building Capacity to Use Linked Early Childhood Data -  The goal of the project is to build the capacity of early care and education programs to use linked administrative data for program improvement and research purposes.

National Forum on Education Statistics Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers – A State Education Agency Perspective - This document recommends a set of “core” practices, operations, and templates that can be adopted and adapted by SEAs as they consider how to respond to requests for data about the education enterprise, including data maintained in longitudinal data systems. 

DaSy Data Visualization Toolkit - This toolkit is to help state Part C and Part B staff in particular effectively create and present data visuals. 

National Policy

Federal Investment in Early Childhood Data Systems (2021) - This brief provides a comprehensive overview of funding (past, present, and potential) available to states for early childhood data systems, including the new federal funding which includes or has allowances for early childhood data systems, pending legislation, previous federal investment, and existing federal funding with allowances for data systems support.

The Integration of Early Childhood Data: State Profiles and a Report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education - This report helps states refine their capacity to use existing administrative data from early childhood (EC) programs to improve services for young children and families. 

Other Tools and Resources

Data Story Activity Guide - Learning from data is not easy. Developing data stories can support data use among stakeholders at the state and local levels. This resource is intended to support stakeholders working in small groups to develop data stories requiring integrated early childhood data, but can support planning for the use of other types of data as well. The goal of this activity is to engage stakeholders and build a shared understanding of data needs and uses through facilitated conversations.

Community Profiles: Getting Started, Guidelines and Tools for Developing Early Childhood Community Profiles - Many states use—or are planning to use—community profiles to provide information to the public and interested stakeholders about early childhood programs and services in specific geographic areas. This guide offers an overview of the types of data frequently included in early childhood community profiles and how those data can be presented to inform key audiences. It also introduces the CEDS Early Childhood Profiles Connection, which contains data elements and analysis recommendations for creating an early childhood community profile.

Early Childhood Data Systems: Putting Data to Work - Faced with rising demand for information about early childhood programs, states need to find tools and strategies to monitor the progress of and to identify high-quality early childhood programs. In response, REL Mid-Atlantic convened a regional workgroup for state personnel who work with the systems containing early childhood data. The workgroup provides a forum for regular peer exchange of ideas and strategies for collecting, analyzing, and using state data. This summary presents the lessons learned and topics discussed in the workgroup meetings in 2013.

Leveraging Early Childhood Data for Better Decision Making - This article, from the January 2018 issue of National Association of State Boards of Education magazine NASBE Standard, outlines how states can build its technical, analytic, and organizational capacity create a coherent strategy to connect early education policy and programs.

Pennsylvania’s Early Childhood Data Systems: History, Uses & Opportunities - This report provides a comprehensive summary of Pennsylvania’s efforts to develop and integrate early childhood data systems. There is evidence that Pennsylvania’s data systems have created efficiencies and cost savings, and have enabled quality improvements in ways that otherwise would not have been possible.


Privacy & Confidentiality

PTAC Data Governance Checklist - This checklist is to assist stakeholder organizations, such as state and local educational agencies, with establishing and maintaining a successful data governance program to help ensure the individual privacy and confidentiality of education records. 

Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Security Best Practices Toolkit - This toolkit was designed to help education stakeholders, such as state and local educational agencies, and other parties responsible for safeguarding student records, to improve protection of student records in their care. 

PTAC Transparency Best Practices for Schools and Districts - This document assists elementary and secondary schools and local educational agencies in achieving greater transparency with respect to their data practices.