Posted by Michelle Thomas, TCC Senior Policy Advisor

Early childhood policy makers collaborate with stakeholders and make decisions every day that we hope will have a positive outcome and lasting impact for young children.   A child’s learning is much more complex than a vertical chart of classroom achievement from year to year.  Supporting a child’s social and emotional growth along with increasing family engagement is critical to getting the outcomes we want for young children.

Bringing together data from the spectrum of early childhood programs is necessary to give policy makers the information required to make smart investments and to drive positive outcomes for young children.  For instance, sharing data from early childhood programs such as licensed childcare, child care subsidy, Head Start, Early Head Start, pre-K, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), home visiting and early intervention can build a comprehensive picture of the systems and supports that families receive.

We struggle with where to begin and we fret about the obstacles of sharing data across programs and systems. We hear all of the buzz words and ask ourselves:  Do we need to share data, link data, integrate systems or do we need to do some combination of all of these things?

Fortunately, leaders in our field have developed resources to make the process easier for you. The free resources listed below can help you plan and implement an approach that can get your State’s data to work for you and the children and families you serve.

TCC combines nearly 20 years of technology, process, and subject matter expertise to provide a comprehensive Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS).  Our solution can manage your State’s system of early childhood programming and inform your daily decisions about the children, programs and workforce that you are dedicated to serving.

Michelle Thomas, MSW, Senior Policy Advisor for TCC has 20 years of experience in early childhood policy.  She is the former Indiana State Child Care Administrator, where she oversaw the CCDF subsidy program, child care licensing and QRIS.  Ms. Thomas also provided technical assistance to the Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge states.

Dawn Downer, Project Manager for TCC has 20 years of experience in early childhood, special education and early childhood policy.  She is the former Indiana Early Intervention Director.  Ms. Downer also served as the Chief of Staff for the Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Services, providing leadership and oversight to Medicaid Waiver programs and Vocational Rehabilitation and currently serves on her local School Board of Education.

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