Development & Communications Director

Chicago Early Childhood Integrated Data System

Chicago communities need complete and accurate early childhood data in order to maximize and equitably allocate resources to support the city’s children and their families. Launched in 2022, the Chicago Early Childhood Integrated Data System (CECIDS) is integrating data across systems and programs to enable the creation of more timely and actionable data analyses and products that serve families, program administrators, funders, advocates, and policymakers. CECIDS brings greater visibility into the needs and experiences of all 175,000 children from birth through age five in Chicago. The first of its kind in Chicago, CECIDS is a leading exemplar in integrated data systems in Illinois and nationwide.

Our Role

CECIDS is creating comprehensive stewardship of child outcomes through public/private governance, a critical factor as the success of CECIDS requires a continued focus on the collective benefit to and broad participation from all entities responsible for administering early childhood data. Representatives from the city, state, direct service providers, nonprofits, communities, and philanthropy are being given a voice in governance to ensure CECIDS meets the needs of Chicago’s citizens. EdSystems led the design of the governance structure and initial implementation. 

CECIDS employs a modern technology stack that facilitates secure and timely analysis of integrated Chicago early childhood data. EdSystems led a team from the NIU Research and Data Collaborative and Third Sector Intelligence (3Si) in developing CECIDS in the Microsoft Azure Government cloud, which offers top-of-the-line security, flexibility, scalability, cost efficiency, and powerful analytical tools. Broadly, leveraging more modern technology allows CECIDS to create comprehensive, dynamic data and data products that can inform better decision-making among early childhood stakeholders.

CECIDS’ initial launch focused on two key data products:

  1. Citywide Views
    To better understand service gaps, CECIDS will release citywide views that will provide early childhood stakeholders, including caregivers, with a detailed picture of service delivery and the population of children served across neighborhoods, communities, and regions. Views will help answer questions about the availability of high-quality programs for specific priority populations.
  2. Operational Dashboards
    To support the improvement of program quality, operational dashboards will show program managers timely, accurate and ongoing feedback on the performance of programs in relation to citywide quality standards.

In 2023, EdSystems handed off management of the CECIDS project to our sister NIU center, the Center for Early Learning Funding Equity. Moving forward, CECIDS will incorporate other data products and resources identified through the governance system, including support for authorized researchers to access and utilize data in the system.

Data Governors

CECIDS Stakeholders

Project Resources

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