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Administrative Data as Children’s Well-Being Indicators: The South Carolina Data Bridge Project

Abstract

Administrative data are data regularly collected by organizations for monitoring and documentation purposes. They usually represent entire populations; they are timely; and have direct influence on their sources which are mostly governmental agencies. We argue in this paper that administrative data can and should be used as indicators of children’s well-being as they constitute an existing body of knowledge that has the potential to form and influence policy. Such use of administrative data as of child well-being indicators is demonstrated by the South Carolina Data Bridge Project, initiated with a child care research capacity grant awarded in 2007 by the Office of Planning, Research and Families (OPRE) to study the impact of Child Care and Development Fund on the quality of care available to and utilized by low-income working parents and at-risk families. The project’s goal was achieved by linking different sources of child care administrative data to create analytic data cubes that allow the examination of quality of care provided to children and factors contributing to it. This project indicates the importance of administrative data and their potential impact on well-informed decision making and policy change to improve children and families’ well-being.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    At Level A, the Environment Rating Scales (ITERS, ECERS, and SACERS), internationally known assessment tools (Warash et al. 2005), are used as the classroom assessment with wrap-around mandatory standards. The ERS tools are electronic and the data system is maintained by Branagh Information Group. At the intermediate level, Level B, a state-developed tool with mandatory standards and classroom assessments for 0–2, 3–5, and 6–12 year old children is used (U.S. Department of Social Services 2010).

  2. 2.

    At Level A, the Environment Rating Scales (ITERS, ECERS, and SACERS), internationally known assessment tools (Warash et al. 2005), are used as the classroom assessment with wrap-around mandatory standards. The ERS tools are electronic and the data system is maintained by Branagh Information Group. At the intermediate level, Level B, a state-developed tool with mandatory standards and classroom assessments for 0–2, 3–5, and 6–12 year old children is used (U.S. Department of Social Services 2010).

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Correspondence to Osnat Lavenda.

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Lavenda, O., Hunter, B., Noelle, M. et al. Administrative Data as Children’s Well-Being Indicators: The South Carolina Data Bridge Project. Child Ind Res 4, 439–451 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-010-9096-9

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Keywords

  • Administrative data
  • Child indicators
  • Children’s well-being
  • Analytic cube