SC Agencies Collaborate on Early Childhood Data Website

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

The South Carolina Department of Education in consultation with numerous state agencies, non-profits, and child advocacy groups has unveiled, a comprehensive early childhood website and data collection system that will serve as an important tool for parents, educators, policymakers, and the general public to use when determining whether programs for young children are fulfilling their promise.

"The education and well-being of our youngest learners is paramount to the future success of our state," said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

"By providing parents and policy makers with the hard data on programs and measures of progress, we can hold ourselves accountable and make strides for continuous improvement."

The website and Early Childhood Development Collection System were finalized in the fall of 2017 and allows anyone to see state and county level information regarding the status of early childhood efforts. Data reported includes demographics, poverty, mental health, child mortality, education and academic achievement, quality ratings of early childhood providers, as well as data on support service programs such as Women, Infant and Children Supplemental Nutrition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The goal of the website and collaborative reporting measures is to facilitate discussions as to how South Carolina can continue to improve opportunities for its youngest citizens.

“Every South Carolinian should have the opportunity to pursue the career of their choice. It is important to remember, though, that career paths truly begin even before kindergarten," said Representative Rita Allison, Chair of the House Education and Public Works Committee.

"The South Carolina Department of Education along with the Office of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs and the partnering agencies have taken a critical first step in utilizing data to drive early childhood policy discussions at both the state and local levels. This project is proof that state government can work together to help improve the lives of our youngest learners."

The ECDCS combines data from the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, the South Carolina Office of Head Start, the South Carolina Office of First Steps, the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs,the South Carolina Commission on Minority Affairs as well as Children’s Trust, United Way of the Midlands, and the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children.