Database Needs for Early Learning Programs Essay
The Outcomes and Targets for the recently passed Families and Education Levy are very high. At the heart of the levy Is accountability and using data in timely ways to Improve annual outcomes. In the realm of Early Learning the dollars will double and the number of children and professional staff served will Increase dramatically. The need for reliable, accessible data is great.
An HAS IT web based data system (LENIS) was created in 2006 for the previous levy. It was deployed in the summer of 2007 and began to be used in the 2007-2008 school year. Hosted by the state of Washington, it is accessible to each agency under contract with the city through a city purchased computer and digital certificate. Help desk support and training are also provided by the city. In 2009 the state ESCAPE program substantially changed Its enrollment form. LENIS no longer matches the data elements required by the state.
It was decided, because the change came so late In the year, that It was not feasible to make the changes In LENIS. For the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years the data has been out of sync with enrolment forms for ESCAPE. LENIS was designed in 2005 with the hope of having a single early learning data base for ESCAPE, Step Ahead, and Child Care Subsidy. This proved to be unfeasible given the time constraints and limited resources available to accomplish the task. Children are entered into multiple data bases that do not connect with each other, but all ESCAPE children are also in LENIS.
In 2010 Creative Curriculum substantially change the child assessment tool, such that in the final year of the levy 2010-2011 the child assessment data is no longer uploaded Into LENIS. Again it was decided not to reconfigure LENIS to match the hanged In the assessments because of time and cost, until the new levy passed. The OFF monthly report drives the immediate need for data. Each month OFF requires a data set of demographics, attendance and assessment data be delivered on the last day month following the month reported.
In the MOA each year between OFF and HAS the data elements are negotiated. The data reporting required for early learning in 2010-2011 is on pages 5- 8 of this report. These will still form a substantial part of the required data, but there will be additional items and number of records will increase substantially. Further, each year an analysis is completed by the data and evaluation strategic advisor In August/September for the previous school year. The data is used to help managers and education specialists to Improve the performance of the agencies In the next school year.
This process begins by creating a large data set of assessments matched to each child who has been served. The early vision was that the data or analyzed. LENIS is capable of containing the demographic data (although it no longer matches the data collected for ESCAPE families) for each child, the agency, site and classroom data, and the SEERS assessment. It can no longer upload the Embedded Child Profile Assessment data, the PAID- 4 child data, nor any data about professional development. All of this data must be managed separately in Excel spreadsheets and appended to the download from LENIS.
Increased needs for data and new data elements The new levy includes six components of which are three are new and three are expanded: ; Professional Development Family Engagement and Outreach ; Preschool Kindergarten Transition ; Home Visiting Program ; Health and Mental Health Support for Children.