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Tools to support states in effective data collection and analysis that answer policy questions important for the ECE field using a set of common data elements.

Find Data Elements


Reporting Requirements

INQUIRE Data Toolkit

The Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium (INQUIRE), funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families, is a community of researchers working to identify issues and exchange resources related to the research and evaluation of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and other quality initiatives. INQUIRE researchers participate in one or more working groups tasked with developing resources on topics related to QRIS such as validation of quality standards and ratings, the use of observational quality measures in QRIS, and quality improvement.

The INQUIRE Data Work Group was convened to address a request from QRIS stakeholders for information on building an effective data infrastructure to support QRIS data-related activities including monitoring, continuous program improvement, reporting, validation, and evaluation. 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.

About the INQUIRE Data Elements

The INQUIRE Data Elements provides detailed information on how to collect and structure the data elements in a database such that the recommended analysis from the Linkage Questions can be performed as described. The data elements are organized by Level (Child, Family, Practitioner, Classroom/Group, Program Site, Organization, System) and by Category (e.g. Identification, Demographics, Education, Licensing/Accreditation, Quality Improvement). Data elements that meet reporting or data collection requirements are noted as such and you can search for those elements under Reporting Requirements.

How-to Search for Data Elements

To search for a data element or a group of data elements, select the Level, Category, and/or Reporting Requirements of interest. Your results will display the element name, category, definition, fields (FIELD NAME), variable type, the options for the element(s), and the reporting or data collection requirements it is connected to. The elements can also be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet by clicking on the blue button on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.