ECI Longitudinal Study (ECILS)

Lead Departments:

Iowa Departments of Management, Education, Public Health, and Human Services

Understanding the comprehensive sets of strengths, needs, and service utilization patterns of young children is a priority to inform Early Childhood Iowa collaborations. The purpose of this I2D2 study is to examine the patterns of family characteristics, child care and public service utilization, and child outcomes across developmental domains including health, education, and social well-being.

 It includes relevant data for children across the birth-to-five years and into elementary school to ask critical questions, such as:

  • Who are we serving in our systems?

  • Who are we missing?

  • What are unduplicated counts of children across our birth-to-five programs?

  • What are characteristics of children who receive multiple services?

  • What happens before and after service use?

  • Are we impacting the outcomes we seek to impact through our services?

Findings in Action

The ECILS included birth-to-five cohort study that identified disproportionate risks experienced by many children that can be identified at birth and which relate to poor outcomes in kindergarten. It also highlighted groups of children and families who were less likely to participate in formal preschool — a known supportive factor that could facilitate more vulnerable children being ready for successful school outcomes. It was used to conduct the 2019 comprehensive statewide needs assessment for Early Childhood Iowa, which subsequently informed development of the ECI Strategic Plan, We Are ECI. This work is guiding statewide efforts such as addressing the child care crisis, expanding family support and knowledge to access relevant services, and tackling workforce shortages.

Primary Investigators

Shannell Wagler

DOM Lead and Contract Director

Heather Rouse & Cassandra Dorius

ISU Analysis Lead

Community Advisory Group Members
  • Kelly Davydov, DHR/DOM Program Manager and Preschool Development Grant Director

  • Amanda Winslow, DOM ECI Systems Coordinator

  • Ryan Page, DHS Program Manager

  • Mary Breyfogle, DE Early Childhood Education Consultant

  • Rick Roghair, Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children

  • Tom Rendon, Iowa Head Start State Collaboration Office

  • Vital Statistics Birth Records (IDPH)

  • Kindergarten and Preschool Enrollment (IDOE)

  • Childcare Subsidy Receipt (IDHS)

  • Home visiting and family support program enrollment (IDPH, DOM, DHR)

  • Head Start Enrollment (Head Start Grantees)

This work has been supported by federal funding from the Administration for Children and Families Preschool Development Grant B-5 to the Iowa Department of Management, and by seed grants from Iowa State University and the College of Human Sciences to faculty investigators Heather Rouse and Cassandra Dorius.

Results and resources

Data Briefs

Iowa’s Child Care Shortage: It’s an Economic Issue. December 2020. Iowa’s Integrated Data System for Decision Making, Issue Brief #2:12.20.

Preschool Access: Fill in the Gaps. December 2020. Iowa’s Integrated Data System for Decision Making, Issue Brief #3:12.20.