Data-informed policymaking is using information to help make decisions that guide services and supports for young children and their families. When informed by data, policymaking improves services and outcomes for young children and their families and helps make sure funding and resources are used equitably.
The Anita Zucker Center and our collaborators engage in generating and using policy-relevant data to support informed decisions about early childhood policymaking at local, state and national levels. With continuous support since 2016, our research focuses on helping early childhood leaders to (a) identify important questions, (b) collect and use data to answer those questions and (c) make decisions about how to enhance early childhood policies.
“The data provided by [the AZCEECS team] has brought more depth and a broader scope to the data we collect. Having this level of data allows us to make better informed decisions about the availability/accessibility and level of child care in our community. Additionally, the visual layers of data allow us to get a clearer picture of what the data altogether represents and invites further conversation about what additional data would be helpful to help in future decision making.”
Our work on data-informed policymaking has led to guidance at the local, state and national levels in the use of data to make decisions.
Engaging with Partners
Our partnerships with local, state and national agencies to help them use their data to answer important questions about policies.
Our project teams include students and other stakeholders interested in learning more effective ways to use data to inform policymaking. Through their active engagement in our work, these individuals are learning the soft-skills and the technical skills necessary to form and maintain the collaborative partnerships necessary to support data-informed policymaking.
Early childhood leaders have used our work to increase families’ access to early education and care by directing investment to specific areas in need.
“We have really appreciated the work that [the AZCEECS team] have done to overlay several pieces of data. It has really offered new perspectives for our coalition. ELC Flagler Volusia has been able to use [these] data to inform our discussions with community partners. Having a visual is a game changer! We have also been able to use this information to plan for future initiatives. I can’t wait to see more and have access to interactive maps!”
Did you know there are local and national resources to help families locate and access needed early education and care arrangements?
Pilot Study: Application of the Index of Child Care Access among five Early Learning Coalitions in Florida
Through this project the UF Childhood Needs Assessment Partnership endeavored to test the feasibility of applying the Index of Child Care Access in the state of Florida using only state administrative data.
Researchers studying the impact of early childhood education and care programs have confirmed that children and families who access truly high-quality services achieve positive outcomes that last a lifetime.