Illinois Risk and Reach Report

Illinois Risk and Reach Report

Process

The combined expertise of three institutions — Erikson Institute, Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM) of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children — provided the technical skills to compile the data and analysis into the Report.

The Illinois Risk and Reach Report presents a set of curated data indicators representing risk factors that undermine optimal child development and compares them to the reach of publicly funded programs and services that support early childhood well-being. This analysis is conducted at the county level with the intention of understanding the extent to which programs and services for young children and their families are reaching communities in need of support.

Risk is defined through three domains of child well-being — family stability, health, and early care and education. The group of 15 selected Risk Indicators are available at the county level and updated annually thereby enabling the tracking of emerging trends. For Reach, 17 indicators were selected, representing public programs or services that support positive outcomes for children.

RISK MAPS

County-level data is provided in table format and visualized onto a map with light to darker shades of blue representing Low, Low-Moderate, High-Moderate and High Risk Levels. An Overall Risk map assigns each county to an Overall Risk Level based on their average score across the individual Risk Indicators.

REACH MAPS

All Reach data are illustrated with yellow dots and superimposed onto the Overall Risk map. The dots vary in size to represent different levels of Reach. The smallest dot represents Low Reach, while the largest dot represents the highest Reach. Percent ranges vary with each map.

PROCESS

The combined expertise of three institutions — Erikson Institute, Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM) of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children — provided the technical skills to compile the data and analysis into the Report.

IECAM collected, cleaned, geocoded, and analyzed all data, as well as produced maps and tables. The Fiscal Policy Center specifically collected, categorized, and analyzed fiscal data for the Report. Erikson facilitated the process for defining Risk, setting the parameters, ensuring data quality control, and providing lead authorship in the narrative drafting of the Report and led the dissemination strategy.

Throughout the course of report development, Erikson managed a multi-tiered feedback structure. Erikson convened an Advisory Council of more than 40 members representing key public and private stakeholders to collect and distill feedback on the operational definitions of Risk, data selection, data analysis, report development, and dissemination strategy. In addition to the Advisory Council, Erikson convened regular meetings with early childhood advocates in the field, Erikson’s Early Childhood Leadership Fellow alumni, committees of the Illinois Early Learning Council (Executive Committee and Data, Research and Evaluation Subcommittee), and the Illinois State BUILD Team.