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Putting young children on disaster maps: The challenges of child care data integration

Elizabeth F. Shores, MAPH, Jamie Heath, BA, Erin Barbaro, MA, Michael C. Barbaro, MA, Cathy Grace, EdD


Objective: To determine the capacity for and degree of data sharing, for the purpose of emergency preparedness of the child care sector, among child care agencies and between child care agencies and emergency management agencies in 12 states.
Design: Survey of federal and state child care agencies; evaluations of federal and state datasets; analysis of hurricane and earthquake risk areas; analysis of US Census Bureau data on population aged 0-4 years in counties.
Setting: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas.
Subjects, Participants: Not applicable.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measures: Feasibility of merging five or more early childhood services datasets from each state.
Results: Little data sharing occurs within or between the two sectors in the 12 states under study, putting at least 2 million children under school age at risk of being overlooked in disaster response and effectively excluding the child care sector from state recovery plans.
Conclusions: Improved data sharing among agencies within the child care sector and between the child care sector and the emergency management sector is crucial to mitigate the risks for children aged 0-4 and to include them among vulnerable populations that receive top priority in first response, as well as to include the child care sector in economic redevelopment after major disasters.


early childhood services, child care, Head Start, family child care homes, license-exempt child care, prekindergarten, early childhood emergency preparedness

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