University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

FAQs About Data Updates on IECAM

Published: July 25, 2023

Facts about IECAM's data updates; what to expect and when.

Why doesn't IECAM have real time or current year data?

IECAM frequently gets asked why the most recent data on the website are from one or two years ago. This is because IECAM's data updates are dependent on data sources or U.S. Census Bureau release schedules.

Then once IECAM gets the data, the updates go through a cleaning process before they are added to the IECAM database. The IECAM data team cleans the data by checking for accuracy and consistency of variables, metrics, and geographic regions. They also add geographic information to the data so IECAM can create maps and tools for users such as our early care and education services map

When is IECAM data updated?

IECAM works closely with state agencies to update early care and education data. Generally, IECAM requests data near the end of the year (after the school year is completed) and updates the database as the information is received and processed. For example, when state agencies submitted data for the 2021-2022 school year, the IECAM team processed and then updated most of the database by early 2023.

IECAM updates demographic data (population, race, poverty levels, etc.) using yearly U.S. Census releases. Because these data are usually released at the end of the following year, and because IECAM processes the data for a variety of geographic areas below the state level, it can be a year and a half before IECAM receives and processes the data. For example, 2021 demographic data wasn’t available until the spring of 2023. 

Does IECAM have a data availability chart I can download?

IECAM provides data availability charts for your convenience. For additional data questions, IECAM users can reach out via our contact form, chat box, or email

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