First collect the data

Opinion: Editorials

Article by Wednesday Journal /

From Day One it has been clear that the Collaboration for Early Childhood was attempting to build something brand new. When the Oak Park-based nonprofit made its first annual presentation last week to its local government funders, it was obvious what a complex and nuanced mechanism of data collection the collaboration was crafting.

With a goal of finding, connecting and offering service to local families of very young children who may need added social and educational boosts during those first years, the collaboration is balancing many demands. We all understand that early services to kids with challenges is potentially life changing for the children, families and, mid- to long-term, the community. We also recognize the essential need for privacy in collecting and making use of such data. And we know that having the necessary services available to these families in the proper scale is a new challenge.

The representatives of the local taxing bodies — Oak Park village government, District 97 and District 200 — were rightly impressed by the progress to date, respectful of the intense challenges the data gathering presents.

In towns known for bold, this effort is a humdinger.

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