Early Childhood Data in Action: Stories from the Field


Detailed Description

Early childhood data can help states and communities identify needs, track improvements, and spread and scale successes. Too often though, data collection, reporting and evaluation can seem like an endless and overwhelming task. Helping states and communities use data in a meaningful way represents a powerful opportunity for early childhood systems improvement efforts.
That's why we're excited to share the Early Childhood Data in Action case studies, which show how three communities are leveraging data as catalysts for early childhood improvement. These communities have used data to align stakeholders around a common goal, support quality improvement and make critical decisions on resource allocation. Click in and you'll learn how:

  • Indianola, MS organized their community around a collective goal and increased kindergarten readiness by nearly 25 percent
  • By putting family-needs first, Ventura County, CA used data to improve the quality of the services and supports they offer families
  • Philadelphia, PA's integrated data system helped them identify children in high-risk neighborhoods most in need of pre-kindergarten support
  • Read their stories and discover what works so you can bring those same strategies to your state or community.


Type of Story


Data, Improvement, Early Childhood, Community, Kindergarten Readiness


  • Education

  • Family and social support

  • System change: Policy transformation

  • System change: Capability development

  • System change: Data and/or measurement transformation

  • Health System Transformation Oasis

  • System change: Public health transformation

  • Effective

  • Equitable

  • Health-promoting

  • Population-centered

  • Proactive

  • Transparent

  • Vigilant

  • Safe

  • In partnership

  • Individual/family

  • Network

  • Organization

  • Childcare

  • Faith community

  • Home

  • Social services

  • Early childhood 0-5

Geographic Context
  • Urban/large city

  • Suburban

  • Rural

Geographic Unit
  • Neighborhood

  • City/Town

  • County

  • Portfolio 1 (Improving mental/physical health with patients or workforce)

    This portfolio supports health care organizations focused on improving the physical and/or mental health of individuals for whom they feel directly responsible (e.g., patients and/or employees).

Action Areas
  • Partnerships with people with lived experience

    ​​​​​​Patients, family members, and community residents can be one of the best resources because they experience what you are trying to improve, firsthand. Partnering can include everything from engaging them in identifying, prioritizing, and participating in improvement efforts within the care site to serving as champions in community-wide improvement efforts.

  • Data

    ​​​​​​Resources to help data collection by health care organizations in relation to population health, including cost and quality data on physical and mental health, number of ED visits, readmissions, demographics, and social determinant data supplemented by community partners. Community-level data should be stratified and used to identify and address inequities, and data should be shared across the community.

  • Behavioral health integration

    Resources to help a strategy involving integrating behavioral health care into primary care through co-location or collaborative agreements. Integration boosts remission and recovery rates for patients with behavioral health issues.

  • Care management

    Resources to help a set of activities that help improve patient care and reduce  medical services by “enhancing coordination of care, eliminate duplication, and helping patients and caregivers more effectively manage health conditions” as stated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  

  • Social determinants screening/referrals

    ​​​​​​Resources to help implement a type of internal assessment used by healthcare organizations to consistently screen for and address the social and spiritual drivers of health and wellbeing for a defined population, with a goal of ultimately connecting patients with community resources. Social drivers of population health include socioeconomic factors such as food, housing, education, transportation, and income, and social connectedness. Spiritual drivers include all factors that contribute to a sense of purpose, meaning, self-worth, hope, and resilience.

  • Community partnerships

    Resources to support partnering with local social-service agencies, faith communities, housing organizations, and other community-based organizations that have experience with addressing defined social and spiritual drivers.

  • Community benefit

    ​​​​​​Resources to help nonprofit hospitals obtain tax-exempt status by investing in community and population health, in range of services and activities that address the cause and impact of health-related needs.

Words to Describe