In early childhood education, we are far behind other educational disciplines in having comprehensive data to catalyze collective action and make smarter, more equitable policy decisions. That lack of data makes it more challenging to identify where inequities exist and how best to address them. And yet tens of millions of dollars each year are allocated based on fragments of disconnected data – corresponding to a funding source rather than children’s experiences and outcomes. Millions in private funding are left on the table because we’re hard-pressed to describe, using system-wide data, which solutions best address root problems. Lawmakers struggle to find entry points at anything beyond programmatic levels. Providers operate in fragmented fiefdoms because they have no way of understanding how they’re performing in relation to others serving similar populations. Communities don’t know how to act collectively because they lack neighborhood-level data that translates an incoherent, complex system into understandable and solvable problems. Most importantly, 72% of children in Chicago do not meet the criteria for school readiness when they arrive in Kindergarten. 


A real-time, comprehensive, citywide, cloud-based data ‘hub’ that integrates state and local early childhood data to answer a wide range of questions at the provider, neighborhood, and citywide levels.


CECIDS is designed to ultimately answer the 52 use cases that span from operational data needs to longitudinal research identified by an external advisory group of early childhood experts at the city and state levels. Those use cases include:

  • Are we preparing children for Kindergarten?
  • What is the geographical distribution of services by program type? Where are there access deserts?
  • What is the quality level of each agency, site, and classroom?
  • What are the qualifications and/or characteristics of EC professionals working in programs?
  • Are we meeting the needs of priority populations (e.g., students with disabilities, English Language Learners)



Request for Proposal: In partnership with Mayor’s Office, McCormick & Crown launched a national RFP to identify a strategic technology partner to conduct an assessment of the city’s data technology for early childhood.


Assessment: Assessed current & potential future state of Chicago’s EC Data Infrastructure


Stakeholder Engagement: Documented over 50 uses cases, deployed the foundational data model, and began developing the first analytics outputs


Developed prototype integrated data “hub” in partnership with DFSS & CPS


Expanded to include more partners, officially launched a new shared governance structure for CECIDS, and deployed first two data tools: Citywide Views and Operational Dashboards


Continue expanding to more CECIDS audiences, including adding public views and data request capacity


Adding more data sources to CECIDS, including more metrics on quality and children’s outcomes

Share your feedback, report bugs, or request additional information about CECIDS.org