• Early Learning Initiative

    What is Early Learning Insight (ELI)?

    In 2011, The Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Department of Services for Children Youth and Their Families, and Delaware Department of Health and Social Services collaborated to write and later receive the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.  It was through this grant and the work of Delaware's P-20 Council and Interagency Resource Management Council (IRMC) that the state has been able to develop and implement the Strategic Plan for a Comprehensive Early Childhood System.  Delaware’s Strategic Plan for a Comprehensive Early Childhood System is designed to ensure Delaware children have a healthy start; are provided with quality early childhood programs and professionals; have an effective and aligned early learning system birth through grade three; and that Delaware develop a system for sustainable improvement for early learning programs . [1]

    In order to ensure sustainable improvement within early learning, remove redundancy of data entry, streamline reporting of data, reduce costs, and ensure proper governance and management, The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) in conjunction with the Office of Early Learning (OLE) began researching how to effectively implement a framework for an Early Child Integrated Data System (ECIDS).  In 2012, this team began working with the U.S. Department of Education technical assistance providers from the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program and Race to the Top– Early Learning Challenge Grant Program to assess the State’s ECIDS Readiness.   Based on the report provided by this assessment, Delaware developed the project outline for an Early Child Integrated Data System (ECIDS) referred to as the Early Learning Insight (ELI).  

    ELI is Delaware’s early childhood integrated database system (ECIDS).  The vision behind ELI is to ensure sustainable improvement by providing stakeholders with the necessary information to enable children, particularly those at greatest risk, to succeed in school and in life. The experiences and environments of early childhood have a lasting impact on success in school and life. From a system perspective, ELI will provide longitudinal data to drive the research agenda of P-20 Council and the Interagency Resource Management Committee (IRMC), evaluate the relative effectiveness of early childhood programs, as well as inform resource allocation and strategic priorities within Delaware’s early childhood environment.  The capabilities of ELI’s reporting will provide longitudinal data, birth through school-age, to service providers, educators, managers and policy makers to help ensure that children state-wide  get the services they need, and that those services are provided through effective programs delivered by quality organizations with a workforce that is exceptionally well qualified to do the work at hand.  The ELI project will include the data elements needed to provide a complete picture of a student’s development  and services allowing educators to quickly implement individualized interventions and instructional techniques to promote good student outcomes.  

    In 2014, through the collaboration among State's departments and working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education, Delaware received a $1.5 million grant from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to build Phase I Early Learning Insight (ELI).  Within the last six months, ELI has transformed from a concept to a working dashboard portal for teacher use. Unfortunately, the information needed to drive decisions about the service needs of children remains fragmented across a myriad of Federal, state and local systems, funded with both public and private dollars, and administered by a number of organizations at all levels of government and in the private sector. The Phase II ELI addresses this problem connecting  and linking data across systems through a single integrated, longitudinal system of early childhood data and establishing a Data Management Committee to provide the governance needed to move the project forward.


    [1] See Delaware’s Strategic Plan for a Comprehensive Early Childhood System Goal 4 page 16 in the attachments

    What is the Purpose of Early Learning Insight?

    The purpose behind the Early Learning Insight (ELI) system is based on the knowledge that social and academic success is shaped long before students enter the elementary school classroom.  In support of the State's initiatives, and in collaboration with various early learning stakeholders, efforts have begun to develop and implement an early childhood integrated data system which may be used to:

    • Enable early childhood teachers and administrators to monitor the progress of individual children,
    • Use information from assessments to inform instruction and to monitor and improve services.
    • Help families support their children’s development and learning.
    • Inform policymakers about programs that are successful and what changes are needed.
    • Support research and evaluation leading to program and system-level improvements.

    Early Learning Data Management Committee

    In order to implement Early Learning Insight (ELI), collaboration, leadership, and governance are necessary. After a presentation to and approval by the Interagency Resource Management Committee, a Early Learning Data Management Committee was formed.

    This committee is responsible for :

    • Defining the scope of the project,
    • Working to ensure integration of data,
    • Development of an Implementation Plan for the growth of ELI over time,
    • And determining changes to the project over time.

    This webpage was designed to store the resources and references developed and utilized by the Committee for easy access and open communication.

    ELI Data Management Committee References

    January 13, 2015 Meeting Resources

    December 16, 2014 Meeting Resources

    December 8, 2014 Meeting Resources

Last Modified on December 27, 2017