Pre-K Data Equity Framework
For decades, policy efforts expanded access to and improved the quality of pre-K for 3- and 4-year-old children. However, due to the fragmented system that oversees publicly funded pre-K, the field lacks cohesive data to inform policy efforts to strengthen and expand pre-K in an equitable and inclusive way. Comprehensive data are critical to understand the accessibility, quality, and impact of pre-K, especially for children and families who experience systemic and historical barriers to accessing high-quality pre-K programs. A unifying data framework can bring the field together around common questions about pre-K, and around ways to answer these questions with data in a consistent, equity-centered way.
The Early Childhood Data Collaborative at Child Trends, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is leading the development of a Pre-K Data Equity Framework (Framework) that will provide this kind of unity and consistency in the field.
The framework will help federal, state, territory, Tribal, and local leaders:
- Answer key questions about their pre-K systems, and specifically about populations that have been marginalized by racism and systemic inequities.
- Establish standardized and consistent ways to collect, manage, and use data that address issues related to equity in pre-K.
- Assess data gaps and integration needs to support the use of pre-K data.
- Identify clear action steps for creating a more equitable pre-K system based on the data they collect and the questions they are answering.
The Framework is being designed for publicly funded pre-K programs that serve 3- and 4-year-old children to support the development of language, literacy, math, and social skills prior to school entry. These programs include state-funded, locally funded, and Tribal pre-K and Head Start programs. We acknowledge that many children attend private pre-K programs; while these programs are not the primary focus, the Framework components are applicable for use in these settings as well.
- A list of essential questions to guide pre-K data system design and inform data strategies to promote the creation and ongoing improvement of equitable pre-K programs
- A set of common metrics to answer essential policy questions on accessibility, quality, and measuring progress and outcomes
- Data standards to ensure data quality and alignment
- A planning guide for stakeholders to support implementation of the framework in states
Over the next two years, the Framework will be developed and informed via:
- Continuous input from a national consortium representing a range of experts to support development of the framework
- A survey of pre-K administrators about their states’ capacity to implement the framework
- Engagement of educators/practitioners, families, policymakers, and community leaders to inform, learn from, and support the field around the need, development, and use of the framework
The final framework is slated for public release in Fall 2023.
If you have questions or would like to learn more, please email the project team at [email protected] and someone will be in touch. For project updates and resources, please sign up to receive the ECDC Newsletter.
Albert Wat, senior policy director, Alliance for Early Success
Caroline Ebanks, early childhood team lead, National Center for Education Research (NCER), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), United Stated Department of Education
Christina Weiland, associate professor, School of Education, University of Michigan
Christine Alvarado, chief innovation officer, East Coast Migrant Head Start Project
Cindia Velasco, director of constituency services – education, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)
Iheoma Iruka, founding director, Equity Research Action Coalition; faculty fellow, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Karin Garver, early childhood education policy specialist, National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)
Lea Austin, director, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE), Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), University of California, Berkeley
Lee Turney, president, National Indian Head Start Directors Association (NIHSDA); early childhood development director, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Mandy Sorge, executive director, National Association of State Leaders in Early Education
Michele Sarche, associate professor, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Colorado
Misty Moody, assistant commissioner of early learning, Tennessee Department of Education
Priscilla Hodge, operations and fiscal policy analyst, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Rachel Anderson, director, Policy and Research Strategy, Data Quality Campaign (DQC)
Richard Gonzales, director of interagency and special initiatives, Office of Child Care, Department of Health & Human Services/Administration for Children and Families (HHS/ACF)
Shantel Meek, professor of practice and founding director, The Children’s Equity Project, T. Denny School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University
Steven Hicks, assistant state superintendent for the Division of Early Childhood Development, Maryland State Department of Education
Susan Adams, deputy commissioner for Georgia Pre-K and instructional support, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
Tonia Durden, clinical associate professor, Birth through Five program coordinator, Georgia State University
Tony Ruggiero, education analyst, AEM Corporation
Victoria Jones, senior director of data, National Head Start Association
Additional publications will be posted here throughout the project.
This project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The development of the framework does not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Principal investigators: Dale Richards, Carlise King
Project director: Joy Thompson
Consortium team: Van-Kim Bui Lin, Silvana Esposito Hackett, Ja’Chelle Ball
Survey team: Sara Amadon, Gabriella Guerra, Emily Maxfield, Kara Ulmen
Engagement team: Elizabeth Jordan, Meg Bredeson
Race equity lead: Porsche Boddicker-Young