In December 2019, 3Si completed an assessment of the City of Chicago’s broader needs for an early learning data system. Chicago’s data needs include a core operational early learning system and a composite of data sources and technologies that capture information on early childhood services for the city’s publicly-administered early learning programs. Key stakeholders participating in this effort included the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Family and Support Services, Chicago Public Schools, the McCormick Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, and Thrive Chicago.
First, 3Si assessed Chicago’s current and future data needs. Next, 3Si performed a technology assessment of Chicago’s current data system and two alternative data systems to determine which system(s) would be a best fit. We also analyzed how Chicago could expand and enhance its reporting and analytic capabilities, and recommended a strategic framework to adopt and build new technology, capabilities, and capacity to improve in this area.
Chicago now has actionable steps to improve its use of data to drive decision-making and increase access to and quality of early childhood education. The City of Chicago and its key stakeholders continue to engage 3Si as it transitions from planning to implementation and enacts these steps.