WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA, www.naccrra.org) today announces the release of a nationally standardized child care data collection tool that is the first of its kind. The release of these standardized fields is a major step toward the development of a national standardized data set of information that is collected locally on a regular basis. The data will be used to identify national child care trends that inform parents, planners, providers, and policy decision-makers.
"The data will be coming right from the communities," according to NACCRRA Executive Director, Yasmina Vinci. "Child care resource and referral agencies have a long history of collecting accurate, valid and consistent child care information on the local level to assist families and providers. Today, as a result of technological advances and consensus building efforts we will be able to collect, share, report and analyze community-level child care information on a national basis and in real-time."
Gwen Morgan, Founding Director of the Center for Career Development in Early Care and Education at Wheelock College agrees, "This is a huge leap forward. The general public and the policy-makers have no regularly reported indicators on which to draw conclusions and take action steps in early care and education for young children and their families. States cannot compare their data with one another. Until now we have not been able to consistently assess our efforts over the long term. We have been collecting revealing snapshots of data to describe bits and pieces of the picture. This data collection tool, used by a nationwide network of community-based consumer-related agencies and by state policy-makers and researchers, will allow us to understand the big picture so changes in childhood care and education can be planned and a strong information infrastructure for national research and ongoing statistics can be built."
The implementation of these standard data fields is made possible through NACCRRAware, the newest and most powerful information management system for the child care resource and referral field. Built by and for child care resource and referral agencies, NACCRRAware's web-based tools supply the technological capacity to collect, share, analyze and report real-time, locally rich data for the National Standardized Child Care Data Set.
About NACCRRA NACCRRA is a membership organization of almost 700 community-based child care resource and referral (CCR&R) programs from every state in the United States, some provinces in Canada, and in Great Britain. It was organized in 1984 and incorporated in 1987. Its two-fold mission is to promote the growth and development of quality resource and referral services, and to exercise national leadership to build a diverse, quality child care system with parental choice and equal access for all families. NACCRRA's other initiatives and services include Learning Options™ online distance learning, CCR&R publications, and a national annual symposium.
About Child Care Resource & Referral Programs Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) programs operate in most urban and rural communities. The work of CCR&Rs centers on information through child care referrals, consumer education, provider training, technical assistance, advocacy, work with employers and efforts to build the supply of care. CCR&Rs have daily contacts with families and child care programs and providers. Thus, NACCRRA and its member organizations constitute an information network with unique and unprecedented reach in compiling and transferring information. The network is uniquely positioned for the collection, exchange, mediation, analysis and dissemination of information and knowledge at local, state and national levels. Community-based CCR&R programs, providing objective, accurate and up-to-date information and expert consultation, are a trusted resource for families, providers and communities.