INQUIRE Data Toolkit

Published: January 30, 2014
Child Care
Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project, 2005-2018 | Learn more about this project

The INQUIRE Toolkit grows out of the growing awareness of the importance of collecting data related to early care and education.  The Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium (INQUIRE) Data Work Group was convened to address a request from stakeholders for information on building an effective data infrastructure to support activities including monitoring, continuous program improvement, reporting, validation and evaluation in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and other quality initiatives. The INQUIRE Data Toolkit was designed to provide tools to support effective data collection and the use of data to answer important policy and reporting questions through the use of common data elements.

The Toolkit contains two components: a Linkages Guide and a Dictionary of Common Data Elements.  The Toolkit also provides the following steps for use:

  1. Identify questions in this document that are a priority for your state/locality.
  2. Review the list of data elements in the Dictionary and compare it to data collected in your state/locality to identify what data are and are not being collected.
  3. Develop and implement a plan to collect data elements that are not being collected that are needed to address high priority questions or reporting needs.
  4. Perform the suggested or alternative analysis using the recommended data elements.
  5. Use the results of the analysis to answer questions of interest and to help you develop additional questions.