Make no mistake, 2020 has been a challenging year for the early childhood community. Thankfully, the new year is bringing with it the promise of mass vaccinations, and with this measure, an opportunity to take account of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Illinois families and children. In addition, there will also be time to take a long look at the underlying economic, social, and political vulnerabilities the pandemic has so effectively brought to our attention.
As we enter this new era, IECAM can provide the data needed to help communities recover and move ahead. To this end, in the near future we will be launching a new website interface, a community snapshot tool, and an updated Early Childhood Dashboard.
And yet even through the most challenging months of 2020, IECAM users were on our website accessing data and using our resources. In fact, more than 32,000 users checked in, 76% of whom were from Illinois. While almost every part of the website saw increased use, below is a countdown of the most popular resources/pages over the past 12 months, offering a glimpse of the interests and needs of the Illinois early childhood community during this difficult period.
10. COVID-19 related guides and information from state agencies, such as this resource guide from the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) and this IDPH Guidance for Illinois Schools
The ever-changing nature of the pandemic created demand for the most up-to-date information and guidance from the governor’s office and state agencies.
These charts can help visualize trends in the number of births statewide and by county over a 10-year period.
IECAM has been regularly updating this dashboard to track the progress of Illinois’ strategic goals and objectives. The dashboard offers data and topics never offered before, such as data on early childhood workforce credentials and Pyramid Model implementation.
This three-step guide helps users gather data and information to describe their community’s early childhood landscape and needs.
6. Quick Data Reports
IECAM is currently updating these quick reports in response to frequently asked questions about early care and education services in the state.
5. IECAM’s Maps and Visualizations section
Here, users can find maps and charts based on recent data related to a variety of early childhood and family topics.
These pages provide basic information about early childhood programs and the early childhood program data provided on IECAM.
3. The IECAM homepage
Many users start here to search for data, access maps and visualizations, and read articles, news and updates of interest to the Illinois early childhood community—and more.
2. IECAM’s online database search tool
The searchable database is the quickest and easiest way to access a considerable portion of the early childhood program and demographic data (for a wide variety of regions) on the IECAM website.
Our Illinois legislative district maps came in handy for many new users during this election year!