Policy Resource

Vermont's Data Reporting System Helps Build Bright Futures for Their Infants and Toddlers

Feb 9, 2016

Building Bright Futures (BBF), the governance structure for Vermont's early childhood system, leverages the capacity of Vermonts communities to improve child and family well-being.

BBF serves as a conduit between 12 regional councils and the state by connecting resources, convening stakeholders, communicating information, and promoting early childhood system improvements to better outcomes for all Vermont children.

Part of BBFs governance function includes acquiring and reporting data on key indicators of well-being for infants, toddlers, and their families, such as early prenatal care and low birth weight rates. To accomplish this, BBF sponsors Vermont Insights, a web-based early childhood data reporting system. Vermont Insights is a data hub for current early childhood data systems as well as a place to house integrated prenatal to grade 12 data in the future. It also includes economic, housing, transportation, environmental, and public safety data from related public, nonprofit, and private data sources.

Data elements specific to infants and toddlers are intentionally included when analyzing questions of child well-being. For instance, data collected to answer the policy question, Are our young children achieving optimal health and development? includes infant“toddler data elements ranging from early prenatal care rates and low birth weight to developmental screening and high-quality early childhood experiences. Data elements are collected through data-sharing agreements (ensuring that individual-level data is protected and kept confidential) with governmental and nongovernmental organizations at the national, state, and local levels; they are also acquired through public datasets such as the Census Bureau. Vermont’s long-term vision is to integrate and use these data to track child, family, and community well-being; stimulate dialogue and learning; and inform policy and investments so that childrens health, development, and learning flourish.

This description of Vermont’s work is highlighted in ZERO TO THREE’s publication A Place to Get Started: Innovation in Infant and Toddler State Policies. Read the full brief at http://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy.

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