University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Introducing the Illinois Early Childhood Data Hub

Published: June 3, 2024

The Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM) at the University of Illinois is leading the development of an Early Childhood Data Hub, which will serve as a comprehensive interactive tool for researchers, ECE administrators, state agencies, advocates, and other stakeholders in Illinois to access and work with early childhood program and demographic data. The Data Hub will feature state-of-the-art technology that will let users interact with integrated datasets from state agencies that weren’t available before on a single platform.

The Early Childhood Participation Dataset (ECPDS) is a critical component of this project. It integrates data from all major early childhood programs in Illinois, allowing for more clarity of the services children receive over time. IECAM is partnering with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago to prepare these datasets.

Using data from the ECPDS, part of the Illinois Longitudinal Data System (ILDS), the new Data Hub will enable users to get detailed, current data on the number of children in various state early childhood programs (e.g., PFA, Head Start, early intervention, home visiting) as well as some characteristics of those children, such as poverty level and race/ethnicity. The ILDS ensures these data are kept safe and secure, allowing access to data without exposing any of the children's or families' identifiable information.

The Illinois Early Childhood Data Hub represents a step forward in early childhood data management. By integrating previously siloed datasets and leveraging cutting-edge technology, the Data Hub will help stakeholders make more informed decisions, advocate for effective policies, and ultimately improve outcomes for children across Illinois.

As we work toward the launch of the new Data Hub, the IECAM and ILDS teams, as well as the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Human Services, are excited to share this video to introduce the Data Hub.  

The Data Hub design and the video have been created with support from the Center for Early Learning Funding Equity at Northern Illinois University.

Stay tuned for more updates.