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Penn GSE Team Launches National Early Childhood Community-Building Blog and Podcast Series, ECDataWorks Community

By Bridget Goldhahn 

ECDataWorks Community is a new multimedia initiative, from ECDataWorks at Penn GSE, featuring some of the nation’s leading voices in the early childhood data community.

PHILADELPHIA, PA. (August 17, 2020) — The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education announced today the launch of ECDataWorks Community, a repository of podcast and blog discussions dedicated to advancing early childhood policy and programs through the strategic use of integrated data systems. 

Curated by CPRE’s ECDataWorks project team and its state partners, the ECDataWorks Community will feature partner-created blogs and podcasts covering a wide range of early childhood integrated data systems (ECIDS) topics — common challenges faced by ECIDS managers and staff, navigating organizational change, promoting stakeholder engagement, organizational design, shared leadership among state agencies, and much more.

The blog and podcast series, produced in partnership with the Heising-Simons Foundation, is designed to help states and stakeholders (from all career stages) understand and respond to some of the most persistent challenges facing the field, to adopt strong, resilient approaches to drive the ECIDS field forward.

"In recent years, America has seen a renaissance in early childhood data use," said Phil Sirinides, principal investigator for ECDataWorks and director of the Institute of State and Regional Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg. "The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has cast that work in a new light. Never before have we seen a clearer need to understand where our children are, how they’re faring at home and in their communities, and what supports they need to grow, thrive, and succeed in the coming years."

"Whether you’re new to the ECIDS field and learning the ropes or an organizational leader seeking new approaches to long-standing challenges, we believe this series will offer you a valuable opportunity to learn, share, and help drive the early childhood data field forward," said Missy Coffey, co-principal investigator for ECDataWorks and director of early childhood technical assistance with SRI International.

In its inaugural podcast, The History and Evolution of Early Childhood Integrated Data Systems, CPRE Senior Researcher Philip Sirinides (Penn State University – Harrisburg) and Missy Coffey (SRI International) dive into the history of state-led ECIDS in the United States. Guests on this podcast include Richard Gonzales, Preschool Development Grant project manager with the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families; Albert Wat, senior policy director with the Alliance for Early Success; and Tate Gould, former senior program officer for the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program.

Accompanying its podcasts, the ECDataWorks Community also includes a blog section — a place where state partners and experts can share their personal experiences in the ECIDS field and offer some important lessons-learned for states, organizations, and other early childhood stakeholders working to improve their own systems.

ECDataWorks Community is a new multimedia initiative, from ECDataWorks and Heising-Simons Foundation, featuring some of the nation’s leading voices in the early childhood data community. Podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and anywhere else podcasts are found. Blogs and podcasts are available by visiting


About the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) and ECDataWorks

CPRE is a leading hub for innovative and collaborative research that transforms education policy and practice through knowledge. Our nationwide consortium of experts is committed to the advancement of educational policy and practice through rigorous research and evidence-based resources, designed to improve student achievement and move education forward. Visit for more information about our projects and research.

The ECDataWorks initiative was created in 2016  to help states accomplish their early childhood practice and policy goals through innovative use of integrated early childhood data. ECDataWorks collaborates with states to help attain their early childhood education goals through the innovative use of integrated data. To this end, the ECDataWorks project team uses the following strategies:

  • Provides comprehensive assistance to states to identify unmet analytic data needs
  • Examines why gaps in early childhood data use exist, what the major elements of the gaps are, and what specific strategies might help close the gaps in a practical manner
  • Creates innovative tools to support advanced analytics
  • Empirically identifies characteristics of effective and sustainable data use
  • Recommends strategies for building organizational analytic capacity

To learn more about ECDataWorks visit or follow ECDataWorks on Twitter @ECDataWorks.


University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE)
Penn GSE is one of the nation’s premier research education schools and is currently ranked #2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. No other education school enjoys a university environment as supportive of practical knowledge-building as the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania. The School is notably entrepreneurial, launching innovative degree programs for practicing professionals and unique partnerships with local educators, and the first-ever business plan competition devoted exclusively to educational products and programs. More at:

Media Contact: 

Bridget Goldhahn, CPRE Communications Director | 610-322-9832

Jeff Frantz, Senior Associate Director of Communications | 215-898-3269

Consortium for Policy Research in Education

University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
3440 Market Street, Suite 560
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: 215.573.0700
Fax: 215.573.7914


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