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Frequently Used Data Sources for Needs Assessments

This list of online resources was gathered from ECI stakeholders in 2019 and 2020 as part of the statewide strategic planning process. These resources are commonly used by local community leaders, ECI Directors, program coordinators, and other stakeholders to understand the needs of local communities to inform strategic planning and the local level. It includes programmatic data from state agencies and departments, as well as nationally collected data about population level characteristics and needs. Descriptions of each source and available data are included in this preliminary review.



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EARLY CHILDHOOD IOWA Results Accountability Workgroup: Data Resources to Inform Community Planning


The American Community Survey is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about our nation and its people. The information from the survey generates data that help determined how more than $675 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. ACS helps provide the nation with more information on jobs and occupations, educational attainment, veterans, whether people own or rent their homes and many additional topics. The release of 2019 American Community Survey data will be exclusively released on the Census Bureau’s new data platform.

Annie E. Casey Foundation 
Iowa 2020 Report 

Annie E. Casey Foundation uses data to describe how children across the United States were faring before the coronavirus pandemic began. The Annie E. Casey Foundation advances practices and policies that improve the lives of children, young people and families. This year’s publication provides the annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. Policy makers, researchers and advocates use the information to help shape their work and build a stronger future for children, families, and communities. 

Iowa Department of Education

The Iowa Department of Education works to ensure all students are ready for college and career training and receive the postsecondary support they need to succeed.  They provide oversight to the state education system which includes public elementary, nonpublic schools that receive state accreditation, area education agencies, and teacher preparation programs. 

Iowa Resource & Referral (CCR&R): 

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) provides resources, education, and advocacy to support quality child care. Child Care Resource & Referral is a program to support quality child care throughout the state of Iowa. CCR&R is available to assist families in selecting child care providers who best meet the needs of a child and their family. Child Care Consultants provide on-site consultation to licensed preschools, centers, nonregistered home providers and Child Development Home providers.

Prevent Child Abuse Iowa 
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa’s mission is to empower community prevention efforts to provide safe and happy childhoods through collaboration with diverse partners, leading to a better future for Iowa. They focus on prevention of maltreatment, rather than treatment, which research proves is a more effective use of resources to help children reach their full potential as adults. The three main focuses are Advocacy, Awareness and Assistance. Child abuse is preventable. 

Iowa Department of Human Services Child Welfare Data and Report 

Iowa Department of Human Services is a state agency of Iowa. Their goal is to help Iowans achieve healthy, safe, stable, and self-sufficient lives through the programs and services provided. With a strong focus on customers using the services provided by the Department of Human Services, they are able to promote meaningful connections to family and community. 

Iowa Works 

Iowa Works has a vision of creating, enabling, and sustaining the most future ready workforce in the nation. Iowa Works is partnered with Iowa Workforce Development, a state agency committed to providing employment services for individual job seekers. Iowa Works maintains a statewide delivery system consisting of 15 regional, 4 satellite, and 8 expansion offices to provide services to Iowa’s in communities demonstrating need. Information and data in the Employers Database tool is not gathered or developed from the Unemployment Insurance files of Iowa Workforce Development, this information comes from the national Info group “Data Axle.”

The State Library Data Center of Iowa 

The State Data Center of Iowa is the liaison to the U.S. Census Bureau for the state data center program, business and industry data center program, the federal-state cooperative programs for population estimates and projections. They also provide demographic information about your community. The State Data center is an advocate for policies to improve census data about Iowa with the mission to increase the availability of census data in Iowa and to help people use it.  

Department of Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a state law enforcement agency of Iowa which protects Iowans and those who visit the state. DPS has divisions of Criminal Investigation, Intelligence and Fusion, Narcotics Enforcement, State Fire Marshal, and Administrative Services. DPS provides a variety of statistics and indicators covering the entire state. 

Iowa Department of Public Health 

The Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal serves as a centralized source for public health data resulting in improved public health decision making, healthier Iowans in healthier communities, increased opportunities for funding and better use of time and resources. The Iowa Public Health Tracking program was initiated from a grant awarded to the Division of Environmental Health. The initiative is supported by the CDC and has been carried out in 22 other states. 


I-Smile is a statewide program that connects children and families with dental, medical, and community resources to ensure a lifetime of health and wellness. Legislators recognized the importance of early and routine dental care for Iowa’s most vulnerable children and sought assurance that those children be provided with dental screenings and preventive, diagnostic, treatment, and emergency services as identifies in the oral health standards under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program.