By Michelle Thomas, MSW, TCC Senior Policy Advisor and Client Engagement Manager

The federal Health and Human Services Agency (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Care (OCC) oversee the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).  Over $8 billion is distributed amongst all 50 states and 6 US territories.  The objective of these grants is to support low-income working families by promoting access to affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs. 

OCC requires that each state and territory provide reporting (ACF-800–Annual Aggregate Child Care Data Report and ACF-801—Monthly Child Care Data Report) through a standardized electronic data collection process.  OCC compiles this data and publishes it to their publicly accessible website at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/ccdf-statistics.

Using the CODE Methodology (Heurich, 2020), state early care and education policy makers can analyze this data to find the best ways to run high quality child care programs.

The CODE methodology consists of four steps:

  1. Collect the Data.

a. Determine the data source.

b. Review the data source footnotes and qualifiers.

2. Organize the Data.

a. Decide hypothesis vs. data exploration project.

b. Determine data storage approach.

c. Transform the data.

3. Distill the Data.

a. Define the data problem type.

b. Join the data.

4. Express the Data.

a. Select analysis type.

b. Use analytics tool.

c. Write analysis narrative.

This type of analysis can be very valuable as state government agencies research how grant funding helps to improve high quality child care programs in their communities.

REFERENCES

Heurich, Kyle (2020, September 3). Technology research and use of data analytics. Module 1.1.    

     Purdue University.

Heurich, Kyle (2020, October 1). Technology research and use of data analytics.  Module 1.5. 

     Purdue University. 

To find out more about TCC’s work in the early childhood field please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/early-childhood.

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