December 20, 2016
Recently, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services [HHS] and Education [ED] released a report that explored how states used integrated data from early childhood programs to improve their services. Oregon is one of the states highlighted for its development of an expanded registry for the early learning workforce.
Before this expanded workforce registry was launched in 2012, Oregon did not have reliable basic demographic data on the early childhood workforce, such as how many people worked in early childhood programs, what jobs they held, their education level, how much training they received, their race, gender, ethnicity and primary language, etc.
Today, Oregon’s integrated workforce database electronically links professional qualification and training data (from individual workforce members) with licensing data (from child care facilities in Oregon) in order to provide a better demographic profile of the early childhood workforce. Although this data is not presently connected to data on children on families, it is being compared to other data sources, such as US Census data, in order to better inform program and policy decisions.
This expanded workforce registry is just one way Oregon has made efforts to improve the quality of the data it has gathers. Oregon Department of Education has also received three different grants from ED to help it implement a statewide longitudinal data system that will track student progress from the early childhood years until a student starts their career. Families receiving EI/ECSE services know better than most that there are many different early childhood programs and services that may impact their child. Having integrated data across these programs and ultimately linked to the rest of their child’s educational careers will help better coordinate services and evaluate outcomes for the child.
For those “data wonks” out there who want to see the data and learn more about Oregon’s expanded workforce registry and its efforts to improve outcomes for young children, check out the following data report published on the Oregon Early Learning Workforce.