University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

IECAM for FY24 ISBE Grant Applicants

Instructions on using IECAM to find grant-related data

Finding all the early childhood data needed for grant applications can be intimidating. For this reason, IECAM has put together this three-step guide on how to gather the data and information you need to describe your community’s early childhood landscape and needs.

female working with numbers on her computer

Step 1: Get Program Data

Use IECAM’s online database to get the most recent (FY22) capacity and/or funded enrollment data for your selected early childhood services and programs. This data is available on a variety of different regional levels. Data from previous years can also be found using the database search.

Use the Illinois Head Start Data Dashboard to check out what Head Start or Early Head Start programs serve children in your area. Click on the bottom left icon (Program Service Area & Contacts) and then your county on the map to see grantees in your county and information for contacting programs to confirm the number of slots served as well as waiting list information.

Step 2: Get Population and Poverty Data

Use our online database to get data on the overall population of children and the number of children by various poverty levels and ages in a selected area or areas (such as school districts or zip codes).

Make sure to get data for all the geographic regions represented in your service area. These may include counties, municipalities, zip codes/ZCTAs, unit school districts, elementary school districts, townships, state and/or federal legislative districts, and ISBE and/or IDHS regions. You may need to complete separate searches for different types of geographic regions (counties, municipalities, school districts, etc.) to get a full picture of your community or service area.

Note that the U.S. Census Bureau releases its final and complete data for a given year between one and two years (depending on the geographic region) after the current year. Therefore, data from 2021 is the most current data available.

Birth rate data can be found on our Birth Rates page.

Step 3: Get Additional Demographic Data

You can use our online database to get more demographic data on race/ethnicity, number of limited English-speaking households, and children in working families (living arrangement and parents’ employment status). 

You can use additional demographic data to supplement descriptions of your area. 

You can also visit our Establishing Community Context for Early Childhood Decision-Making for data resources to understand local economic and social conditions experienced by Illinois young children and their families.

In Addition

You can call and/or meet with your local early childhood partners (e.g., Head Start, PFA, PI, child care providers) to help you describe the current landscape of early care and education in your area not covered by IECAM data, such as current enrollment numbers.

You can also call and/or meet with community partners that support and contribute to child and family well-being, including physical and mental health services, housing providers, and homeless shelters, to help you describe actual or potential collaborations to better serve children in your area.

For more information about the request for proposals, check out the ISBE webpage, which includes a number of documents on how to apply, forms needed, and examples of applications. You can also refer to ISBE’s FY 24 ECBG Priority List of Preschool Deserts.

For questions about this NOFO/RFP, contact the Early Childhood Department at (217) 524-4835 or The application deadline has been extended to 4 p.m. June 30, 2023.

The Birth to Five Illinois Regional Team is available throughout the application window to assist applicants with accessing and understanding data, connecting applicants to grant-writing support where possible, and assisting community-based providers, such as family child care homes, with identifying opportunities for collaboration and partners to apply for funding.