10 Fundamentals

Fundamental 1: Unique statewide child identifier

A unique statewide child identifier is a single, non-duplicated number that is assigned to a child and remains with them throughout participation in ECE programs and services and across key databases. The child identifier remains consistent even if the child moves or enrolls in different services within a state. State policies need to ensure that the unique identifiers are secure and protected, and only certain stakeholders, like parents and teachers, have access to identifiable information.

A child identifier allows the state to track progress of each child over time, throughout the early childhood years and across programs and sites within the state. It improves the coordination and provision of services. And a unique child identifier alleviates redundant data entry on children participating in multiple ECE programs by allowing information about a single child to be linked across various data systems.