ECLDS Newsletter: SLDS Grant Achievements |Tutorials | Report Updates | Events

Minnesota Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System
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An Overview of ECLDS Achievements with SLDS Grant Funding

For the last seven years, the Minnesota Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS) and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS) have grown with federal funds awarded by the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Grant Program. With the culmination of the last awarding period on March 31, 2022, we would like to highlight the accomplishments made possible by this program.

With SLDS-15 grant funding, Minnesota has:

  • Expanded data partnerships and linkages
  • Increased data literacy
  • Enabled new data linking processes
  • Improved data collection
  • Increased engagement among stakeholders
  • Increased information available to educators, policymakers, and other leaders at the local, regional, state, and national level

ECLDS Achievements

The SLDS grant funding made possible for ECLDS to develop and complete the following projects:

  1. GrEaT – Growing Evaluability Together: This project facilitated local use of ECLDS and built evaluation capacity. Over three years, staff from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) worked closely with a dozen district-based early childhood programs struggling with problems related to data use, information gathering, measurement, and/or efficiency. This work culminated with a toolkit that has served communities around the state and nation.
  2. Video tutorials: We produced a suite of six videos that both explained how to use the ECLDS and how early childhood services work. Recently, we expanded the collection of video tutorials with the help of our Regional Coaching Network.
  3. Survey on ECLDS website: This project developed a brief, yet informative, user survey so we better understand how ECLDS is being used. The survey is optional, and only pops up when a user clicks the Export to PDF button in a report.
  4. Expanded data: We incorporated more birth record data into our reports through added filter buttons and built new reports using MDE’s early childhood screening data. We also built secure reports for our Head Start agency partners.
  5. Census Data Tool: This project delivered a data tool that includes American Community Survey data in smaller age bands to help early childhood program administrators in their planning and evaluation.
  6. Family ecology pilot: We linked SLEDS OHE Postsecondary Completer data to ECLDS data in order to explore mom’s educational changes after giving birth.
  7. Economic analysis study: We produced a 20-page analysis that demonstrates the return on investment and economic value of the continued existence of ECLDS.

We are really proud of these accomplishments, and are grateful to our ECLDS partners who contributed to and supported the work.

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Navigate ECLDS with Confidence

Stop by the ECLDS's new Tutorial Videos page where you will find brief, informative clips to help you quickly and confidently navigate the ECLDS website and its related resources.

screenshot of Tutorial Videos webpage on ECLDS
Quickly learn how to use ECLDS reports and data tools to find information about children and their families in your community, according to school district, county, year, and other filtering options.
Explore Now
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Community Assessment Report
Under Construction

The ECLDS's Community Assessment report, once found in the Birth to Pre-K reports, has been removed from the site for repairs. Stakeholder feedback (thank you!) let us know there were some data issues, and we decided to take the report down so we can fully tend to its repair.

We anticipate returning the report to the ECLDS before the end of 2022. Thank you for your patience as we work to offer you the most accurate data we can.

In the meantime, there are many other reports and resources on the ECLDS that can be used for your community needs assessment:

  • The ECLDS Census Data Tool includes American Community Survey data in smaller age bands: 0-1 year, 2-3 years, 4-5 years, so you can learn more about babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in your county. 
  • ECLDS Maps can help you identify nearby community resources for family supports, as well as potential partnerships.
  • Visit the ECLDS Outreach and Training page to download useful resources, such as the ECFE Guidebook that walks you through six steps to completing your community needs assessment.
  • And, the ECLDS Other Resources page links you to related data resources, reports, and more.
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Share Your ECLDS Stories

How has ECLDS helped you in your work? We are collecting anecdotes, studies, press releases, photos whatever you have to share to help us better understand how ECLDS is being used and how it could grow to better meet your needs. Please share your stories by emailing us at

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Find Resources for Healing-Centered Practice

illustration of sad girl sitting on the floor and and a hand with an umbrella that protects her

Visit the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health's website to explore the new Trauma-Informed Toolkit. Resources include webinars, practical tools, podcasts, and online learning modules. Additional resources will be added as they are developed.

Visit Website
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Save the Dates for the 2022 Early Childhood Summit

Don't miss the upcoming Early Childhood Summit taking place on May 3 and 5, 2022. Plan to attend alongside colleagues representing school districts, Head Start programs, tribal agencies, child care providers, nonprofits, and more.

This year's summit will focus on information-sharing to strengthen family engagement, partnerships, and the early childhood workforce, with speakers and registration information to be announced in the coming months. Learn more about the inaugural 2021 Summit on MDE's website