The New Mexico Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS): An Overview of the Project

Executive Summary

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) had a grand vision: Give every child in New Mexico an equal opportunity for success by building an integrated data system that would enable policymakers to make informed decisions about early childhood programs and policies.

 In partnership with eScholar, led by NMPED, and funded by a Race to the Top –Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant, such an integrated data system became possible. In 2017, NMPED implemented the Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS), created in genuine collaboration among NMPED; Child, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD); and the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH).

By partnering with eScholar, the leading provider of longitudinal data warehouses to education, NMPED created an integrated data system that allows data to flow into a single repository. The ECIDS project also provided a unique identifier for every child in the system, which while protecting each child’s data, enables accurate data analysis. With ECIDS, New Mexico now has a system that promotes accountability, tracks early learner outcomes, and analyzes efficacy of early learning programs.

This case study will provide an overview of the project milestones and learning experiences of the ECIDS development and implementation.

Getting Better Answers Through ECIDS

In October 2015, the State of New Mexico issued a request for proposal for the ECIDS, which had the following stated goals:

1) Expand and align data systems across agencies;
2) Inform early childhood policy and outcomes;
3) Support an early childhood workforce development plan;
4) Create a data warehouse and reporting mechanisms to make policy decisions and;
5) Track the efficacy of early learning programs as evidenced by the longitudinal tracking of child outcomes.

 After a competitive evaluation, eScholar was awarded the contract for this project in February 2016. The ECIDS project team, including eScholar, held its project kick-off in March 2016. While PED led the effort, all three agencies were involved in the system design. From the beginning, the team envisioned a cross agency system that was able to scale up both horizontally and vertically, as well as be searchable by families to find appropriate early learning programs. The system needed to provide answers to complex questions which would require data from multiple agencies.

Through the RTT-LC grant, New Mexico, in partnership with eScholar, designed a “system of systems” for the purpose of leveraging data for informed strategic and day-to-day decision making at the child, parent, teacher, administration, and agency levels. To learn more about the questions answered and accomplishments achieved by the New Mexico ECIDS project, click here to download the full case study.

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