Many states are building systems and structures to integrate their early care and education data. Combining data from different programs and agencies that serve young children allows policymakers and program decision makers to better answer critical questions about the needs of families in their communities, as well as questions about services and programs. Building the data system or developing a process to link existing data is an important first step. However, after the data are integrated, they must still be analyzed and interpreted to improve programs, services, and policies.
To spur use of these data in decision making related to policy and practice, the Annie E. Casey Foundation funded KIDS COUNT state organizations in Mississippi, Minnesota, and Rhode Island as they worked to access and use integrated early childhood data. This state spotlight focuses on recent work in Minnesota, where state agency leaders and the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota are working together to use and share early care and education data.
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