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In late August, CDF hosted a 2 day institute (Data Driven Decisions: Separating Fact from Fiction in Building Early Care and Education Systems) which brought together early childhood teams from Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina to discuss ways to effectively develop their state’s early childhood data systems. This meeting was the first in a series of CDF sponsored events which will focus on the utilization of data to build early care and education systems for children birth through age 8.
The institute was the beginning of an on-going collaboration which aims to support the work of the state teams in designing early childhood data systems that guide decisions on resource allocation, advocacy issues, evaluation design, workforce development and parent/family engagement. Each state has been assigned a “coach”—an expert in the early childhood data field—who will provide monthly support and technical assistance to the state teams and other stakeholders over the course of the grant term (August 2010 – February 2011). CDF hopes that this program will provide a level of expertise which will assist states in building systems that can efficiently leverage federal, state and/or private funds.
The initial convening at Haley Farm offered participants a full agenda which included presentations and panel discussions from some of the leading experts in this burgeoning field. The event kicked off with broad discussions on the state of early childhood data collection across the country before moving into deeper analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing the teams at the state and local level.
As these teams move forward with their efforts to improve their early childhood data systems, the Children’s Defense Fund will keep you up to date with periodic state progress reports, notification of funding opportunities, early childhood data resources and events. Check this page frequently for more information and contact Rashanda Perryman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions about Children’s Defense Fund’s work around early childhood data systems.