Photograph of five children laying on the grass smiling at the camera.

Equity from the Start 

A New Brief from the Data Informed Futures Team

Equity from the start of life means that every child, regardless of their circumstances, should have an equal opportunity to thrive from the very beginning of their life. It is based on the understanding that early life experiences, starting from in-utero, play a foundational role in shaping an individual’s lifelong health, cognitive development, and overall well-being. It is rooted in the belief that when all children are given an equitable start, not only do they individually benefit, but society at large reaps the rewards of healthier, more educated, and more resilient citizens. It also underscores the recognition that systemic inequalities (like those based on race, gender, or socioeconomic status) manifest very early in life, and addressing them from the start is both a matter of justice and a strategic approach to ensuring societal well-being.

This new brief from the Data Informed Futures team outlines how staff and faculty at the Center partner with communities to adopt and implement the Whole Child Equity Measurement and Learning System comprised of the Childhood Equity Questionnaire, Early Development Instrument, Middle Years Development Instrument, and the National Neighborhood Equity Index

Learn about Data Informed Futures' Measurement Tools

Examples from the Field

Within the brief, we highlight how five communities - Anaheim, El Monte, Mountain View, Pasadena, and Pomona use these population-level measures on children's wellbeing to build new partnerships, conduct data-driven planning and action, monitor and evaluate systems, and create new innovations that allow all children to thrive in school and in life. Our team also created a video in partnership with Excel by Eight that tells the story of how the State of Arkansas now collects data using the Early Development Instrument across the entire state.

More Examples from the Field

Download the Brief 

The Equity from the Start brief is available to download using the link below. 

Download Equity from the Start

About Data Informed Futures

An initiative of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities, Data Informed Futures (previously TECCS) offers unique, neighborhood-level data and mapping – throughout the course of a child’s life – that reveal geographic patterns of disparity and resilience. Since 2012, Data Informed Futures has helped over 90 different local communities in more than 18 states.

Our new, integrated suite of linked data tools provides a comprehensive picture and understanding of children’s development and well-being from pre-K through middle school. This data, along with our support and coaching, enable community leaders and partners to conceive, “sell” and implement meaningful changes that improve children’s health and well-being. To learn more about our work and impact, please visit