Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Early Childhood Data Sources By Topic

Most recent additions to this page:

This page provides links to national and state-by-state data, policies and initiatives related to early childhood care and education. Resources that are specific to one topic are organized by topic. However, a number of the resources include information on state policies and laws that cover multiple topics. Those are placed together in the last section, entitled State Policies, Laws and Budgets - Multiple Topics. See also, our topical Web page on National/Federal Early Childhood Initiatives.

Abuse and Neglect/Child Welfare

WWW: Child Maltreatment 2012: Annual Data Report on Child Abuse and Neglect

(December 2013) Children's Bureau

Provides national and state statistics on topics that include reports of abuse and neglect, child characteristics, fatalities, perpetrators, and services provided to children and families. See also, past Child Maltreatment reports.

WWW: Changing the Course for Infants and Toddlers: A Survey of State Child Welfare Policies and Initiatives

(September 2013) ZERO TO THREE and Child Trends

This report summarizing findings from a 2013 survey of state child welfare agencies finds that few states differentiate services or timelines for infants and toddlers from those for older children and relatively few have implemented promising approaches to meeting the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers.

WWW: Child Welfare State Statutes Database

(updated regularly) Child Welfare Information Gateway

This database allows you to search state statutes for issues related to child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption. It provides summaries of state statutes (and full text, in some cases).

WWW: State Laws Series: Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

(2011) Child Welfare Information Gateway

Provides State laws that define the conduct, acts, and omissions that constitute child abuse or neglect that must be reported to child protective agencies. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.

WWW: State Child Welfare Policy Database

(various dates, this database was launched in 2009) Child Trends

Provides state-by-state policy information on a range of child welfare topics.


State of the States Policy Snapshot: State Early Childhood Assessment Policies

(March 2014) CEELO

This brief is based primarily on secondary analysis of data collected in the State of Preschool Yearbook and presents a snapshot of responses from the states to questions about child assessment.

WWW: State Pre-K Assessment Policies: Issues and Status

(February 2012) Educational Testing Service

Examines current approaches states are using to assess children enrolled in Pre-K programs, some of the challenges of assessing young children's learning, and suggested sound practices for states to consider implementing. Includes a summary chart of assessment practices used by the states on page 14.

WWW: Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Program

(updated periodically) NASHP

NASHP and the Commonwealth Fund's ABCD program work to strengthen primary health care systems that support the healthy development of young children, ages 0-3. Since 2007, the ABCD Screening Academy has worked with states to increase the use of a developmental screening tool during well-child care visits and improve the identification of children with or at risk for developmental delays. This Web site provides information about state specific ABCD program resources and activities.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

WWW: Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years - Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010

(March 2014) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network

This report finds that for 2010, the overall prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) among the ADDM sites was one in 68 children aged 8 years. This is approximately 30% higher than previous estimates. It finds that: ASD is almost five times more common among boys than girls; white children are more likely to be identified with ASD than black or Hispanic children; most children with ASD are not diagnosed until after age 4; and almost half of children identified with ASD have average or above average intellectual ability compared to a third of children a decade ago. See also - 10 Things to Know About New Autism Data, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For past prevalence estimates, see CDC's Autism Data & Statistics Web page.

WWW: Autism Legislation Database

(updated regularly) NCSL

This database provides information about autism legislation introduced in the 50 states and the District of Columbia from the 2008 legislative session to present.

WWW: Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Publications Analysis Report: The Global Landscape of Autism Research

(2012) IACC

This inaugural report describes several key aspects of and trends related to ASD research publications, which can be used to inform planning and strategic funding decisions for future autism research. The report also includes information on where ASD research is being conducted, which funders are sponsoring the published work, and the extent of collaboration between countries and research institutions.

PDF: Autism Spectrum Disorders: State Part C and Part B Initiatives to Serve a Growing Population

(April 2009) Project Forum

Summarizes findings from a survey of IDEA Part C and Part B program staff related to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the areas of professional development, technical assistance, early identification efforts and direct services.

Child Care

Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

(Updated regularly) Funded by OCC and OPRE

This Website provides scholarly research, policy briefs, government reports, data, and instruments on child care and early education from a wide range of disciplines and sources, including multiple federal agencies. It includes interactive tools that allow users to refine their searches, download full text documents, build customized tables on state policies, compare state demographics, and analyze research data online.

Child Care in America: 2014 State Fact Sheets.

(June 2014) Child Care Aware of America

WWW: State by State Fact Sheets: Child Care Assistance Policies 2013

(January 2014) National Women's Law Center

This state-by-state review examines the impact of five factors that determine the affordability, accessibility, and quality of child care assistance in each state: income eligibility, waiting lists for assistance, copayments required of parents receiving assistance, reimbursement rates for child care providers, and eligibility for parents searching for a job.

WWW: Parents and the High Cost of Child Care 2013

(November 2013) Child Care Aware of America

Provides state-by-state data on child care costs for infants, 4-year-old children and school-age children in child care centers and family child care homes across the country. Also compares the cost of child care to other family expenses, household income, and college tuition.

This annual report provides data on: family characteristics related to the need for child care, the use of child care, the supply of child care, the cost of child care, the child care workforce, and services provided by Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&Rs).

WWW: "In the States" Interactive Map

(updated regularly) Child Care Aware of America

The WWW: interactive map includes information about child care licensing in each state, a link to the state page from Child Care Aware of America's reports reviewing child care center and family child care home policies in every state, and a link to Child Care Aware of America's latest one-page fact sheet with child care information related to the demographics in the state, the price of child care, and other data related to child care.

Better for Babies: A Study of State Infant and Toddler Child Care Policies

(August 2013) CLASP

This report presents data from a state survey of child care subsidy, licensing, and quality enhancement policies. Findings shows that states are struggling to provide quality child care that families can afford.

WWW: Unaccounted For: A National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disasters

(2013) Save the Children

The 2013 edition of this annual report finds that although progress has been made, more than half the states continue to fall short on preparedness.

WWW: Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements

(updated regularly) U.S. Census Bureau

This series of reports dating back to 1985 describes the number and characteristics of children in different types of child care arrangements in the United States. Additional information about child care costs and historical data are also presented to provide a fuller picture of trends in child care usage across the country.

WWW: Early Childhood Program Participation, From the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012

(2013) National Center for Education Statistics

This report presents findings from the Early Childhood Program Participation Survey of the WWW: National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012 (NHES:2012). The Early Childhood Program Participation Survey collected data on children's participation in relative care, nonrelative care, and center-based care arrangements. It also collected information from parents about the main reason for choosing care, what factors were important to parents when choosing a care arrangement, and parents' participation in various learning activities with their children.

WWW: We CAN Do Better: 2013 Update - Ranking of State Child Care Center Regulation and Oversight

(2013) Child Care Aware of America

This is the fourth report in a series beginning in 2007 that scores and ranks the states, including the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense (DoD), on 11 program requirements and four oversight benchmarks for child care centers. State rankings show only modest improvements since 2011. The average score in 2013 was 61 percent (92 out of a possible 150 points).

PDF: The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables: Key Cross-State Variations in CCDF Policies as of October 1, 2011

(2012) Urban Institute and OPRE

Includes a compilation of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) state plans for 2011-2012 and provides detailed information on state policies concerning child care subsidies.

PDF: State Child Care Policies for Limited English Proficient Families

(October 2012) CLASP

Highlights activities and policies targeted toward limited English proficient (LEP) and immigrant families in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) state plans for FFY 2012-2013.

PDF: Background Checks: It is Time to Protect Children in Child Care

(July 2012) Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA)

This report provides state-by-state background check requirements for child care providers.

WWW: Leaving Children to Chance: NACCRRA's Ranking of State Standards and Oversight of Small Family Child Care Homes: 2012 Update

(2012) NACCRRA

Assesses state policies for small family child care homes, where up to six children are cared for in the home of the provider for compensation.

Early Childhood Advisory Councils

WWW: Early Childhood State Advisory Councils: Status Report

(April 2013) HHS, ACF

Highlights examples of the progress states have made across the seven required State Advisory Council grant activities and provides individual state and territory profiles.

WWW: State Profiles of Early Childhood Advisory Councils

(2011) NGA Center, in partnership with the HHS

As part of the Improving Head Start Act of 2007, states were mandated to create Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECACs) to develop coordinated systems of early childhood education and care. These state profiles provides an overview of each ECAC receiving federal funds, its administering agency, history, membership, activities, priorities, and communication strategies. The information is based on a review of state grant applications and updates from council leadership in April 2011. See also, State Early Childhood Advisory Councils: An Overview of Implementation across the States (December 2011).

WWW: Vision to Practice: Setting a New Course for Early Childhood Governance

(2011) Goffin Strategy Group

During recent years there has been an increasing focus on reducing the fragmentation, uneven quality, and inequity that characterize early childhood programs and services. Governance is a key component of this work and plays an essential role in building early childhood systems that are comprehensive and coordinated across multiple agencies. This report examines efforts to build governance into comprehensive early childhood systems.

WWW: The Next Step in Systems-Building Early Childhood Advisory Councils and Federal Efforts to Promote Policy Alignment in Early Childhood

(November 2009) New America Foundation

Provides an update on state Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECACs) as of November 2009, describes federal initiatives in early childhood systems building, a "sobering" history of collaboration, the use of federal stimulus funding and a snapshot of where states stand in developing their ECACs.

WWW: State Advisory Councils

(various dates) HHS ACF

Provides links to information about state advisory councils (SACs), including: Fact Sheet, Contacts list, Awards List, October 6, 2010 SAC webinar, and State Advisory Council Applications.

Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS)

WWW: State ECCS Plans

(various dates) ECCS Initiative

The State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Initiative, supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, provides grants to help states plan, develop, and implement collaborations and partnerships to support families and communities in their development of children who are healthy and ready to learn at school entry. This page provides links to state ECCS plans.

WWW: Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS): State Summaries

(based on information from FY 2005 and 2006) NCCP

Provides summaries of the states' Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Initiatives supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, based on information from FY 2005 and 2006.

Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI)

WWW: Annual Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Data

(updated annually) CDC

Provides national and state data from the CDC EHDI Hearing Screening and Follow-up Survey. See also, information about EHDI State Programs.

Early Learning Standards/Guidelines

See also, our topical Web page on Early Learning Standards/Guidelines

WWW: State/Territory Early Learning Guidelines

(April 2014) National Center on Child Care Quality

This document provides an overview of the implementation of early learning guidelines (ELGs), a count of State/Territory ELGs by age group, and current Web links to all State ELGs. It shows that all 56 States and Territories have developed ELGs for preschool children, and virtually all have ELGs for infants and toddlers. Currently, 16 States have ELGs for children birth to 5 years in one document, and many are in the process of revising their ELGs. With the development of the Common Core State Standards, there appears to be a trend among States to revise their ELGs and work to align them across age groups.

CEELO State-by-State Map

(April 2014) CEELO

This state-by-state map provides information on each state's early learning guidelines, program standards for early childhood education, teacher and family guidance documents related to the standards, and links to each state's office(s) of early learning.

PDF: The State of Preschool 2012 - Statewide Early Learning Standards (scan down to pages 186-191)

(2013) NIEER

Pages 186-191 of NIEER's 2012 State Preschool Yearbook contain the following data from the states on their early learning standards: Name of early learning standards document; Web address of early learning standards document; Year standards adopted; Year standards last revised; Alignment with the Common Core State Standards for early grades; and Domains addressed in the standards.

WWW: Dual Language Learners in State Early Learning Guidelines and Standards

(March 2012) OHS, National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

This resource includes an at-a-glance table that provides a snapshot of where Dual Language Learners (DLLs) are referenced in state and territory guidelines, standards, and supporting documents, as well as a table that includes portions of text referring to dual language learners from the guidelines or standards.

PDF: Infant/Toddler Early Learning Guidelines Fact Sheet

(2010) National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative

Provides information on the various ways States and Territories represent infants and toddlers in their early learning guidelines.

Head Start/Early Head Start

WWW: 2012 Head Start State Profiles/Interactive Map and National Head Start PIR Profile for 2012

(state and national profiles updated March 2014) CLASP

This resource provides state-by-state data on all Head Start programs in each state: Early Head Start, Head Start preschool, and Migrant/Seasonal Head Start. The profiles include information on Head Start participants, families, staff, and programs. All Head Start grantees are required to submit Program Information Report (PIR) data to the federal government on an annual basis. Access Head Start state profiles from previous years on this In the States map from CLASP.

WWW: Report to Congress on Dual Language Learners in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

(2013) HHS, ACF

Describes the characteristics, services received, and well-being of Head Start/Early Head Start children and families who speak a language other than English at home.

PDF: Child Outcomes and Classroom Quality in FACES 2009

(2012) OPRE

Provides a portrait of children who entered Head Start for the first time in fall 2009 and completed a year in the program in spring 2010. Data are drawn from the 2009 cohort of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a periodic, longitudinal study of program performance.

PDF: Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk

(September 2012) CLASP and ZERO TO THREE

Highlights current state initiatives to expand and enhance Early Head Start (EHS) services for at-risk infants, toddlers, and their families.

WWW: Head Start / Early Head Start Research Reports and Projects

(various dates) Office of Head Start, HHS

Provides links to recent federally-funded Head Start and Early Head Start research reports and projects.

WWW: Head Start Program Fact Sheets

(updated annually) Office of Head Start, HHS

Provides key data on Head Start programs, appropriations, staff qualifications, the characteristics of children and families enrolled in Head Start and the services they receive. Includes some Early Head Start program data.

Health/Children with Special Health Care Needs

WWW: National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH)

(most recent data is from 2011/12, posted March 20, 2013) Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health

Collects national, state, and regional data on multiple aspects of children's lives, including physical and mental health status, access to quality health care, and information on the children's families, neighborhoods and social context.

WWW: Child Health USA

(updated annually) HRSA

This annual report provides graphical and textual summaries on the health status and service needs of America's children, covering over 50 health-related indicators.

WWW: National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN)

(most recent data is from 2009/10) Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health

Collects national, state, and regional data on the health and functional status of children with special health care needs in the U.S., including data on their physical, emotional and behavioral health, critical information on access to quality health care, care coordination of services, access to a medical home, transition services for youth, and the impact of chronic condition(s) on children's families.

WWW: Medical Home and Patient-Centered Care Map

(2013) National Academy of State Health Policy

Features state efforts to advance medical homes for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) participants.

WWW: Medical Home State Data

(most recent data is from 2009-2010) Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health & APA

Provides quick access to data on how children in each state experience receiving care within a medical home.

WWW: Medical Home Initiatives & Resources by State

(various dates) NCMHI

The NCMHI is a cooperative agreement between the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is housed in the AAP Division of Children with Special Needs. This Web page provides state-by-state information on medical home initiatives and resources.

WWW: The National Children's Study

(updated regularly) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH

The National Children's Study is examining the effects of the environment, including factors such as air, water, diet, sound, family dynamics, community and cultural influences, and genetics on the growth, development, and health of children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21 years.

See also, Indicators of Child Well-Being and Mental Health


WWW: America's Youngest Outcasts 2010: State Report Card on Child Homelessness

(2011) NCFH

Provides comprehensive state-by-state data on the status of homeless children in America.

IDEA– Part C (Infants and Toddlers)

Part C SPP/APR 2012 Indicator Analyses

(2009 - present) U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Editor)

These reports provide national summaries of data reported on states' State Performance Plans/Annual Performance Reports (SPP/APRs) for young children and families who receive services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

WWW: IDEA Data - Part C Tables and Notes

(updated annually) DAC

Provides public access to data reported annually by states under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Includes state-by-state, rank-ordered, and historic trend data.

WWW: Part C Updates

(2002-2011) NECTAC

Contains state and federal information about program administration, state policies and implementation practices related to the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities - Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

WWW: Promoting Social-Emotional Wellbeing in Early Intervention Services: A Fifty-state View

(2009) NCCP

Summarizes findings from a study done to determine how states are leveraging different policy choices to support the integration of social-emotional developmental strategies into Part C early intervention services. Part C coordinators from forty-eight states' participated in the study.

PDF: State Efforts to Meet the Early Childhood Transition Requirements of IDEA

(April 2009) Project Forum, NECTAC and NECTC

Highlights policies and practices adopted by six states (FL, IN, KY, NH, NM and WV) to meet the early childhood transition requirements of IDEA.

WWW: National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS) - Final Report

(2007) OSEP

This 10-year longitudinal study (1997-2007) followed a nationally representative sample of 3,338 children and their families who began early intervention services in 1997-1998 through their experiences in early intervention and into early elementary school. Findings from the study provide information about the characteristics of children and families receiving early intervention services, the services they receive, and the outcomes they experience.

IDEA– Section 619 (Preschool)

Part B SPP/APR 2012 Indicator Analyses

(2009 - present) U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Editor)

These reports provide national summaries of data reported on states' State Performance Plans/Annual Performance Reports (SPP/APRs) for young children and families who receive services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

WWW: IDEA Data - Part B Tables and Notes

(updated annually) DAC

Provides public access to data reported annually by states under Part B (including Section 619, the Preschool Grants Program) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Includes state-by-state, rank-ordered, and historic trend data.

WWW: Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS)

(2003-2010) OSEP

This study followed a nationally representative sample of 3,104 children with disabilities who were 3 through 5 years of age in 2003-04. Findings provide information on the characteristics of children receiving preschool special education, the services they receive, their transitions across educational levels, and their performance over time on assessments of academic and adaptive skills. PEELS data collection began in fall 2003 and was repeated in winter 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. PEELS data can be accessed through the Data Analysis System (DAS), which allows users to select variables to generate weighted frequencies and crosstabs as well as standard errors. See also, reports from PEELS.

Section 619 Profile

(2002-2012) NECTAC

Contains information on state policies, programs, and practices under the Preschool Grants Program - Part B, Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

PDF: State Efforts to Meet the Early Childhood Transition Requirements of IDEA

(April 2009) Project Forum, NECTAC and NECTC

Highlights policies and practices adopted by six states (FL, IN, KY, NH, NM and WV) to meet the early childhood transition requirements of IDEA.

Indicators of Child Well-Being

WWW: 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book

(July 2014) Annie E. Casey Foundation

This annual report tracks the well-being of America's children state-by-state. It includes 16 indicators of child well-being organized across four domains: (1) economic well-being, (2) education, (3) health and (4) family and community. It features National and state profiles, state rankings, and an interactive KIDS COUNT Data Wheel.

World Family Map 2014: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-Being Outcomes

(2014) Child Trends

The World Family Map Project identifies and tracks family factors affecting child and family well-being across 60 countries, focusing on 16 specific indicators selected by an expert group because of their known relationships to child outcomes in the research literature.


(March 2014) Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy (ICYFP) at Brandeis University

This interactive online tool provides state-by-state data on child wellbeing and equity in the U.S. by race and ethnicity. The site allows users to create customized profiles, rankings, and maps. It also features a neighborhood-level child opportunity index, developed in partnership with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.

WWW: The State of America's Children 2014

(January 2014) Children's Defense Fund

This annual report on the well-being of children provides data on child population, poverty, family structure and income, housing, child nutrition, early childhood, education, and more.

WWW: America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2013

(July 2013) Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

Provides updates on the well-being of children and families in the United States across a range of domains, including family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

WWW: 2013 Child Well-Being Index (CWI)

(December 2013) Foundation for Child Development

The Child Well-Being Index has beeen released annually since 1975 to document trends in children's well-being. It is based on a composite of 28 key indicators of well-being that are grouped into seven quality-of-life/well-being domains.

WWW: America's Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends

(2010) National Council of La Raza and the Population Reference Bureau

This data book provides a comprehensive overview of current national and state-level data and trends for Latino children relative to non-Hispanic White and Black children. It documents both regional variations and changing trends since the year 2000.

See also, Health/CSHCN and Mental Health


WWW: Online Kindergarten Database

(updated March 2014) Education Commission of the States (ECS)

Provides state policy information on the 50 states and DC, including: whether a Child Must Attend Kindergarten, Kindergarten Entrance Age, Compulsory School Age, Kindergarten Readiness Assessments, Curriculum, Minimum Required Days/Hours for Kindergarten, Kindergarten Standards - General Info, and Teacher/Student Ratios. See also, Kindergarten: What States are Doing, which provides reports that examine key components of each state's kindergarten policy for all 50 states.

WWW: Full-day Kindergarten: Indicators on Children and Youth

(August 2013) Child Trends DataBank

This report looks at trends in the percentage and demographics of children enrolled in full-day kindergarten programs in the U.S. over the past 35 years.

PDF: Inequalities at the Starting Line: State Kindergarten Policies

(March 2013) Education Commission of the States (ECS)

This review of kindergarten policies across all 50 states finds that significant diversity exists in state kindergarten policies across and within states. The report raises questions about the implications of having such diverse policies and the potential impact on children's future educational success. See also, the related report PDF: Kindergarten Policy Characteristics (March 2013).

WWW: Full-Day Kindergarten in the States

(February 2013) Children's Defense Fund

Provides a snap shot of the status of full-day kindergarten in America. A thorough review of literature and state statutes was conducted, as well as research correspondence and calls with states' department of education staff for clarification.

WWW: First-Time Kindergartners in 2010-11: First Findings From the Kindergarten Rounds of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011)

(July 2012) NCES

Provides a snapshot of 3.5 million kindergartners who were attending kindergarten in the U.S. for the first time in the 2010-11 school year.

Low Income

WWW: Early Childhood State Profiles

(updated June 2014) NCCP

These state profiles provide a comprehensive view of state policies in the areas that affect the health and well-being of young children in low-income families.

WWW: The Young Child Risk Calculator

(Updated June 2014) NCCP

This online tool shows users how many children under age six in each state are experiencing serious risks to their development. The tool allows users to select from three age groups (0-3, 3-5, and 0-6), three economic risk factors (extreme poverty, poverty, low-income) and other risk factors known to affect children's development.

WWW: Child Poverty in the U.S.: What New Census Data Tell Us About Our Youngest Children

(September 2013) CLASP

Highlights recently released 2012 U.S. Census poverty data and looks at what it means for young children. In 2012, over 16 million children in the U.S. (22%) were living in poverty (income under $19,090 for a family of three) and nearly half of children under age 6 lived in low-income families (incomes under 200 percent of the poverty threshold).

WWW: Basic Facts About Low-income Children, 2011: Children Under Age 3

(January 2013) NCCP

WWW: Basic Facts About Low-income Children, 2011: Children Under Age 6

(January 2013) NCCP

These fact sheets describe the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of young children and their families - highlighting important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their less disadvantaged peers.

WWW: Who are America's Poor Children? Examining Health Disparities by Race and Ethnicity

(July 2011) NCCP

This report looks at health disparities among poor children by race and ethnicity across the following six domains: family composition and poverty, food insecurity, environmental conditions, health insurance coverage, access to healthcare services, and health outcomes.

WWW: Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009

(2010) U.S. Census Bureau

Provides data showing that the child poverty rate increased from 19 percent to almost 21 percent in 2009 and suggesting that more babies than ever before were born into poor families. The number and percentage of children living in deep poverty also increased. Research links poverty with a number of negative outcomes for children, including lower academic achievement, higher school drop-out rates, and increased health, behavioral, and emotional problems.

WWW: Low-income Children in the United States National and State Trend Data, 1998-2008

(November 2009) NCCP

Provides national and 50-state data on the characteristics of low-income children over the past decade.

WWW: 50-State Policy Wizard

(various dates) NCCP

Creates custom tables with information about state and federal policies that assist low-income families and children.

Mental Health

Mental Health Surveillance Among Children — United States, 2005–2011

(2013) MMWR 62 (Suppl 2)

This report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) summarizes information about ongoing federal surveillance systems that can provide estimates of the prevalence of mental disorders and indicators of mental health among children living in the United States and presents estimates of childhood mental disorders and indicators from these systems during 2005–2011. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (6.8%) was the most prevalent parent-reported current diagnosis among children aged 3–17 years, followed by behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%), anxiety (3.0%), depression (2.1%), and autism spectrum disorders (1.1%).

WWW: Promoting Social-Emotional Wellbeing in Early Intervention Services: A Fifty-state View

(2009) NCCP

Summarizes findings from a study done to determine how states are leveraging different policy choices to support the integration of social-emotional developmental strategies into Part C early intervention services. Part C coordinators from forty-eight states' participated in the study.

WWW: Unclaimed Children Revisited: The Status of Children's Mental Health Policy in the United States

(November 2008) NCCP

Updates a 1982 report on mental health services in the U.S. for children with mental health problems, those at risk, and their families. Most chapters include data related to early childhood mental health services. For example, in Chapter 3, see the section entitled "Services and Supports for Young Children", Table 3: "States' Initiatives to Expand Early Childhood Mental Health" and Figure 2: "Scope of Funding for Early Childhood Mental Health Initiatives."

Professional Development

What Do We Know About Principal Preparation, Licensure Requirements, and Professional Development for School Leaders?

(July 2014) CEELO

This review of states' principal licensure requirements finds that although preschool classrooms are often part of primary schools, early childhood content is not a required element of principal preparation or professional development for principals in most states. Very few states have any formal requirement for early childhood content in licensure for principals responsible for early education programs.

State Personnel Standards Database

(2014) Early Childhood Personnel Center

A searchable database of all personnel standards for professional disciplines serving infants and young children (age birth to five) and their families.

WWW: Coaching and Quality Assistance in Quality Rating Improvement Systems: Approaches Used by TA Providers to Improve Quality in and Education Programs and Home-based Settings

(January 2012) NCCP

Presents findings from an interview study of administrators overseeing statewide QRISs that investigated features of the professional development and on-site technical assistance available to center-based staff and home-based providers who participate in states' Quality Rating Improvement Systems.

WWW: Early Childhood Workforce Systems Initiative: Database of State Policies

(updated regularly) NAEYC

A database of state policies that support the effective implementation of a state system of professional development for the early childhood workforce. Organized by the the following six policy areas: professional standards, career pathways, articulation, advisory structure, data and financing.

Public Pre-K

WWW: The State of Preschool 2013

(May 2014) NIEER

This annual Yearbook has tracked state-by-state data and described national trends for enrollment in, quality of, and spending on state-funded preschool since 2002.

PDF: State Pre-K Funding: 2012-13 School Year

(April 2013) Education Commission of the States

This analysis of policies across all 50 states shows that state expenditures on pre-K programs serving 4-year-old children increased by 3.6% in 2012-13. Of the 40 states that provide funding for pre-K, 23 states plus the District of Columbia increased their funding levels, eight kept levels the same, and eight states made cuts.

WWW: Pre-K Now

(2011) Pew Charitable Trusts

This 10-year campaign by the Pew Charitable Trusts was meant to advance high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all three- and four-year-olds. Its final report, Transforming Public Education: Pathway to a Pre-K-12 Future (September 2011), provides data on improvements in both access to and quality of state-funded early learning programs during the past decade and challenges the nation's policy makers to transform public education by moving away from the current K-12 system to pre-K-12.

Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)

See also, our topical Web page on QRIS

WWW: QRIS Resource Guide: State Information

(updated May 2014) National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement

Provides a summary of the status of each state's work to implement or develop a QRIS, or other large-scale quality improvement initiative.

WWW: Quality Rating and Improvement System National Learning Network (QRIS NLN)

(updated regularly) BUILD Initiative and Smart Start National Technical Assistance Center

Provides a variety of resources for states interested in developing or improving their QRIS, including QRIS State Contacts & Map and a library of State Resources and Profiles that contains training guides, forms, and TA materials developed by individual states for their QRIS.

WWW: Practices for Promoting Young Children's Learning in QRIS Standards

(September 2012) NCCP

Provides an examination of the strength of supports for children's early learning in Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) standards based on an analysis of QRIS standards in 23 states.

PDF: QRIS in Statutes and Regulations

(March 2012) National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement

This document provides an overview of how Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRISs) are embedded into policy at the state level through statute and regulation.

WWW: Coaching and Quality Assistance in Quality Rating Improvement Systems: Approaches Used by TA Providers to Improve Quality in Early Care and Education Programs and Home-based Settings

(January 2012) NCCP

Presents findings from an interview study of administrators overseeing statewide QRISs that investigated features of the professional development and on-site technical assistance available to center-based staff and home-based providers who participate in states' Quality Rating Improvement Systems.

PDF: Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS): Inclusion of Infant/Toddler Quality Indicators

(2010) National Infant & Toddler Child Care Initiative

Summarizes the results of a review of 22 Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) to identify those that include quality indicators specific to infants and toddlers.

PDF: The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment: Compendium of Quality Rating Systems and Evaluations

(2010) Child Trends and Mathematica Policy Research

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services commissioned this compendium profiling 26 child care Quality Rating Systems. It includes a descriptive, comparative analysis of key elements of QRS obtained by examining the 26 QRS nationwide, as well as individual profiles of each QRS across the country. There is a section on provisions for children with special needs starting on page 153. This information has also been gathered in Quality Indicators of Inclusive Early Childhood Programs/Practices: A Compilation of Selected Resources (September 2010). See Provisions for children with special needs in QRS (excerpts from the Compendium of Quality Rating Systems and Evaluations.)

School Readiness

See also, our topical Web page on School Readiness

WWW: Early School Readiness

(2012) Child Trends

This report looks at children's competence in four cognitive and early literacy school readiness skills and examines trends using data from the National Center for Education Statistics' National Household Education Surveys (NHES):

PDF: A Review of School Readiness Practices in the States: Early Learning Guidelines and Assessments

(2010) Child Trends

This research brief summarized the findings from a study that examined approaches to school readiness assessments in all 50 states and DC, identifying 7 states that utilize assessments in order to monitor statewide levels of school readiness. The authors also provide key policy considerations for developing and utilizing school readiness assessments at the state level.

WWW: State Approaches to School Readiness Assessment

(updated August 2010) NCSL

Looks at how states assess school readiness and how readiness information is used within the states. Appendix A has a state-by-state list of state approaches.

State Accountability and Monitoring Systems

2013 State of States' Early Childhood Data Systems

(February 2014) ECDC

This report provides findings from a survey of 50 states and the District of Columbia, assessing the coordination of their early childhood data systems. The survey focused on three key aspects of state data systems:

  1. Do states have the ability to securely link child level data across early care and education (ECE) programs and to other state data systems, including K-12, health, and social services?
  2. Do states collect developmental screening, assessment, and kindergarten entry data to examine children's developmental status and service needs?
  3. Do states have an ECE data governance structure designated to support the development and use of a coordinated longitudinal ECE data system?

State of the States Policy Snapshot: State Pre-K Monitoring and Evaluation Policies

(November 2013) CEELO

This policy brief discusses why evaluation and monitoring systems are important for quality early education. It provides secondary analyses of state responses to survey questions related to the data they collect to monitor and evaluate pre-k program quality. The data was originally gathered by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) during surveys of state preschool programs conducted in 2006 and 2012.

IDEA Part C and Part B 619 State Data Systems: Current Status and Future Priorities

(2013) DaSy Center

This report provides national and state-by-state information on ten features of IDEA Part C and Part B 619 data systems. A related State of the States series of interactive maps is also available.

WWW: Data for Action 2013: The Data Quality Campaign's Ninth Annual Analysis of State Education Data Systems

(2013) DQC

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC) provides support to states for building longitudinal data systems that can follow student progress from early childhood through 12th grade and into postsecondary education. This report shows the progress states are making toward building and using robust longitudinal data systems for continuous improvement. A number of the DQC's 10 Essential Elements of a State Longitudinal Data System include items related to early childhood programs.

PDF: Developing Coordinated Longitudinal Early Childhood Data Systems: Trends and Opportunities in Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Applications

(September 2012) ECDC

This brief analyzes plans to build or enhance early learning data systems in the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge applications of 30 states that addressed this priority. It highlights a number of trends among states in the development of integrated state early learning data systems.

PDF: A Study of States' Monitoring and Improvement Practices Under the IDEA

(2010) IES

This report provides a description of the nature and scope of states' IDEA Part B and Part C monitoring systems. Data on 20 states' monitoring systems in 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 were collected during two site visits.

WWW: Building and Using Coordinated State and Education Data Systems: A Framework for States

(2010) ECDC

This paper discusses why states should build longitudinal data systems for early care and education, describes the ten fundamentals of a coordinated system with state examples, and provides guidance on how to ensure appropriate access to data, which includes building the capacity for stakeholders to use data for continuous improvement. See also, a related brochure - Getting Started: 10 Fundamentals of Coordinated State and Education Data Systems (2010).

State Policies, Laws and Budgets - Multiple Topics

WWW: 2013 State Baby Facts

(August 2013) ZERO TO THREE

State factsheets presenting information about the status of infants, toddlers, and their families across the country.

WWW: Baby Matters: A Gateway to State Policies and Initiatives

(updated regularly) ZERO TO THREE

A database of state policies and initiatives on topics that impact infants, toddlers and their families.

Children's Budget 2014

(June 2014) First Focus, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

This annual guide provides an analysis of all federally funded programs that are meant to enhance the well-being of children across the country and how their appropriations levels have changed over the past five years.

WWW: Child Care and Early Education 2011 Legislative Action

(2012), NCSL

This report shows that despite economic challenges and reduced resources, states generally were able to maintain funding for early childhood services during the 2011 legislative session. In all, 37 states enacted new legislation to address an array of child care and early learning issues. The report provides an overview and analysis of these enacted state legislative actions.

WWW: Early Care and Education State Legislation Database

(updated regularly) NCSL

A searchable database of state legislation on issues related to child care and child care financing, early childhood services, prekindergarten, professional development, home visiting, infants and toddlers, and financing early education. It can be searched by state, topic, status, primary sponsor, bill number or keyword.

WWW: In the States

(updated regularly) CLASP

Includes data on: Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) participation; Head Start and Early Head Start participation; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) expenditures; young child demographics and more. See also, CLASP's DataFinder tool, which allows users to create and download custom tables that present a national picture, a state picture or a comparative look at states and communities.

Kids' Share: Analyzing Federal Expenditures on Children

(updated annually) Urban Institute

This series of annual reports examines trends in federal and state spending and tax expenditures on children - the kids' share of public spending.

WWW: State and Education Public Policy Developments for Fiscal Year 2012

(2012) NAEYC

Highlights major state early care and education policy developments for fiscal year 2012, including: selected enacted legislation; new initiatives approved by the state executive branch; major funding increases, decreases, or level-funding; and additional significant fiscal or policy changes that impact early childhood education.

WWW: State Policy Initiatives to Improve Child Care for Infants and Toddlers

(updated regularly) CLASP

Provides examples of policy initiatives that states are undertaking to improve child care for infants and toddlers, including links to relevant legislation and regulations, a description of how the state developed and implemented the policy, and any cost data and evaluations or other data.

Links on this site are verified monthly. This page content was last updated on 07/29/2014 SG

Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

  • CB 8040
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
  • phone: 919.962.2001
  • fax: 919.966.7463
  • email:

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P120002 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

  • FPG Child Development Institute
  • OSEP's TA&D Network:IDEAs that Work