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Non-Tech Report  April 1, 2020

Using Data to Support a Comprehensive System of Early Learning and Care in California

An early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS) provides policymakers and educators with actionable information about how families are accessing and utilizing early learning and care services.

SRI Authors Missy M. Coffey, Carolina Zamora



Coffey, M., Zamora, C., & Nguyen, J. (2020). Using data to support a comprehensive system of early learning and care in California. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.


Early learning and care systems are housed in various agencies making it challenging for families and policymakers to assess the relationships between programs. Early childhood integrated data systems (ECIDS) offer policymakers and agencies with information so that they can make informed decisions about programs. This brief informs Californians about the value of an ECIDS and its alignment to the state’s new “cradle-to-career” data system initiative.

With support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, SRI studied lessons learned from other states’ early childhood integrated data systems (ECIDS)initiatives and analyzed the legislative opportunities in California to draft a public brief aimed to engage future stakeholders. In 2019, the California legislature approved a bill (S.B.75) which established a priority for a “cradle-to-career” data system. This initiative can be leveraged towards coordinating early learning and care systems for the youngest Californians and their families. Continuous stakeholder engagement is crucial for making an ECIDS that is useful. This brief offers national ECIDS examples and incorporates resources to learn about the system and how to become engaged in California’s initiative.

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