Finding all the early childhood data needed for grant applications, presentations, or meetings 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.
Step 1: Get Program Data
Use IECAM’s online database to get the most recent 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.
Step 2: Get Population and Poverty Data
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.
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 also use additional demographic data to supplement descriptions of your area.
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 your 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, visit our Collaboration Resources page.