Impact of Data-Related Efforts Funded by the North Carolina Preschool Development Grant Birth to Age 5

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodDec 15 2023

Guided by the North Carolina Birth-5 Early Childhood Education Strategic Plan, North Carolina’s Preschool Development Grant Birth to Age 5 (PDG B-5) supports children, families, and educators by funding a wide range of activities. One goal of the PDG B-5 focuses on strengthening North Carolina’s early care and education mixed delivery system (ECE system). One of the objectives under this goal is to improve early childhood data systems to facilitate the state’s ability to measure progress toward its goals and to assist policymakers in ECE program planning and coordination. To address this objective, the state funded several activities focused on improving data systems and data usage to support the ECE system.

The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) contracted with Child Trends to evaluate the PDG B-5. As part of this effort, Child Trends conducted a deep dive evaluation to learn more about data-related efforts funded by PDG B-5. Activities focused on data-related efforts included:

  • Enhancing and expanding the North Carolina Early Childhood Integrated Data System (NC ECIDS)
  • Increasing participation in NCCARE360 (a statewide coordinated care network that electronically connects families with identified needs to community resources)
  • Supporting NC Pre-K programs with Teaching Strategies® (a digital platform for sending information about children’s experiences in NC Pre-K to their future kindergarten teachers)
  • Implementing the Local Data-Informed Strategic Planning activity, which built local capacity within the state to use early childhood data for strategic planning
  • Convening the NC Early Childhood Data Advisory Council, which provides strategic direction around improving the use and quality of early childhood data

Child Trends conducted interviews and surveys with individuals who were administering state data systems (“administrators”) and with individuals engaged in PDG B-5 funded data-related efforts (“data partners”). This brief[1] describes the extent to which administrators and data partners are aware of PDG B-5 funded data-related efforts, how they use data to measure progress and support program planning, and what data are still needed to improve ECE systems. We also highlight challenges with PDG B-5 funded data-related efforts, opportunities for growth, and recommendations to improve the sustainability of data systems.


[1] A Data Deep Dive report was prepared for internal use for DCDEE. This overview highlights the findings from the full report.


Suggested citation

Richards, D., Gerson, C.S., & Diamond, Z. (2023). Impact of data-related efforts funded by the North Carolina Preschool Development Grant Birth to Age 5. Child Trends. DOI: 10.56417/2706s8288e