Posted by Michelle Thomas, TCC Senior Policy Advisor

TCC is launching our new early childhood data system in two states in 2018, as well as gearing up to start the first phase of a comprehensive Birth to Grade 12 system in another state. Because my role is to be “the client voice within our corporation,” I routinely reflect on lessons learned and review recommendations of many national publications.

I came across a recent publication, Leveraging Early Childhood Data for Better Decision Making, that highlighted a lesson I’ve seen states grapple with over and over. The authors (Philip Sirinides and Missy Coffey) note:

“State agencies have been building systems that include a set of technical features, believing that technical specifications will position them to answer an endless list of questions—answers that have no actionable use and lead only to more questions.

For years, states have worked to develop the technical infrastructure of the ECIDS, yet they struggle to demonstrate its effective use……. evidence-based decision making creates uncomfortable pressure on state agency staff who build the systems to discover uses for whatever data are available—putting the cart before the horse.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself! Sometimes we are so excited (or feel so much pressure) to finish a data system project, we jump right in without giving enough time for stakeholders to explain to the technical team WHY your state needs/wants the early childhood data system.

If you struggle explaining WHY you need the system, think about your vision, mission, goals and objectives – why are those items related to your data system project? Answering the WHY can help drive a more focused conversation about the data you need to collect and the reports that you will produce and analyze.

TCC Early Childhood Data Systems – Solutions that Work for States

Over the past 18 years, TCC has developed data solutions that support an array of early childhood programs, including: Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) subsidy program, child care licensing, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), pre-K management system, and professional development registry (PDR) systems.

We’ve taken our extensive experience and subject matter expertise to develop products that can be configured to meet any state need.

  • States use Ascend to manage the complex system of early childhood programming and better inform their short and long-term program, policy and investment decisions.
  • States use eXpedite as an off-line, mobile solution to capture licensing inspection and other early childhood data that may be collected onsite. Field data can be synched to Ascend or any back-end system in a matter of seconds.

To learn more about TCC’s Early Childhood Data Systems please visit our website or email Mike.Boyle


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