The 10 Fundamentals

Fundamental 4: Ability to link child-level data with K-12 and other key data systems

Linking child-level data with K–12 and other key data systems allows policymakers to track the progress of children over time as well as better understand relationships among ECE programs and other child development programs and services. For example, linked data systems can provide two-way communications between ECE programs and K–12 so that ECE programs know how children progress in K–12 and K–12 programs can tailor instruction to meet individual children’s needs when they arrive at school.

Linking select and secure ECE data with other programs and services, like health and child welfare, allows policymakers to understand the relationship between ECE programs and other services that support child development, program administrators to improve the coordination of services with other providers, and the ECE workforce to target and improve services for individual children based on their access to other supports. Linked data systems also can help with referrals, such as the federal mandate in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to refer any child under age 3 who is involved in a substantiated case of abuse and neglect to Early Intervention services.