Knowledge and insights to transform children's lives.

Data Informed Futures (formerly TECCS) is a national initiative of UCLA’s Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities. We offer unique, neighborhood-level data and mapping about children’s well-being– throughout the course of their lives – that reveal geographic patterns of disparity and resilience. This holistic data about distinct communities, along with our team’s expert coaching and facilitation of a national learning network, enables community leaders and partners to advocate for meaningful changes that improve children’s health and well-being.


Photograph of three children laying in a multi-colored ballpit.

From measuring the present to predicting the future.

Children’s experiences from early childhood into adolescence have a long-lasting influence on children, shaping their ability to succeed in school, and in life. Scientific research over the past three decades confirms that children who start school healthy and well-prepared are more likely to thrive and are less likely to develop behavioral, health, and academic problems.

Children also experience important cognitive, social and emotional changes in middle childhood that establish their identity and set the stage for development in adolescence and adulthood. A good start for children today means better jobs, a healthy economy, and fewer problems tomorrow. For communities, the challenge is how. It starts with shining a light on children’s wellbeing.

Our Vision

Every community has the data, tools and support they need to make informed decisions to remedy local inequities, realign resources and remove barriers, so that every child can reach their full potential.

Our Mission

Our mission is to partner with communities to better measure, understand and rectify geographic and social inequities, and support these communities in making meaningful changes to improve children’s lifelong health, development and well-being.

Data Informed Future’s Core Principles

DIF considers all aspects of a child’s well-being including their physical health, social and emotional development and their cognitive and communication skills. Also, DIF does not look at one challenge in isolation, but takes into account the many factors (positive and negative) affecting early childhood, including those that relate to their family, school, community and broader policy environments. By understanding the complex realities of children’s’ lives, and by developing comprehensive solutions to support children and families, the DIF approach helps communities to ensure all children will be better able to meet their potential.

Though important, DIF is not focused on the individual child or an individual program. Rather, DIF aims to help ALL children and families in the community receive the attention and services that they need, with particular attention on those children most in need, so that they receive necessary and additional supports.

DIF helps communities work to break down silos and develop collaborative solutions with a shared vision, common agenda, and coordinated action among all of the players influencing early childhood development—from health and education to housing and public safety. The DIF platform is also being used at a local level to compliment a variety of existing state and national early childhood efforts including Promise Neighborhoods, Project Launch, the Social Innovation and the Maternal and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.

By working to remove barriers to healthy development and helping to put children on a better trajectory as early as possible, DIF communities are focused on raising a generation that will contribute positively to society.

DIF hosts a platform for shared learning across communities through regular meetings. For communities ready for a more structured and intensive approach, DIF helps partnering communities build an ongoing culture of learning through a structured process that allows communities to create and test new ideas and then put in place real-time feedback loops that can then inform a new and ongoing cycle of innovation and improvement.

Taking knowledge and turning it into action.

DIF offers coaching and tools to support partner communities in strengthen local coalitions and utilize population level data to assess the health, development and well-being of children during key developmental stages of their development. We help partner communities turn that data into actionable information through the use of detailed maps and data dashboards to inform planning and improvements in their community for all children. We also provide guidance to communities in convening key local players at all levels (from parents, to providers, to policymakers) and from all sectors (health, education, government, social services, etc.) to help focus and align their combined efforts to ensure that children in their community can reach their full potential.

In addition to the tools and coaching, we host a community-to-community learning network to enable partners can spread their innovations and learn from each other’s best practices quickly in order to implement effective, scalable and sustainable solutions.

Knowledge to Action

Assessing well-being and community context across the nation.

Since 2009, the Futures Team has partnered with over 90 communities in 18 states using the Early Development Index (EDI). The National Neighborhood Equity 

Where We Are

Empowering communities for over 24 years.

Data Informed Futures is continuing to expand the use of the EDI and, as a result, is now the largest, population-based effort that provides holistic child development data available at a neighborhood level of aggregation. With over 500,000 EDI records from 85 communities in 18 states participating in this effort, the EDI has helped to guide local participation in variety of national initiatives including Project LAUNCH, Promise Neighborhoods, StriveTogether, the Child Care Development Block Grant and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. The EDI have also been integrated into a number of state or local level initiatives such as Excel by five in Mississippi, County level efforts with First 5 in California, and the Texas Home Visiting grant.

EDI results have been used to catalyze actions at the local level by helping to build stronger partnerships and shared accountability for children, by conducting data driven and collective planning and action and by monitoring and evaluating population level outcomes for children over time. As a measure established during the kindergarten year, EDI results have been used by a variety of stakeholders focused on the early years to look back and reflect on how to improve conditions before children enter school and by the k-12 education sector to look forward and identify new ways to support students as they progress through school. These efforts have taken place at a variety of levels (e.g. state, county, city, etc.) with a variety of partners including parents, service providers and policymakers, and across a variety of sectors including health, family support and education.  Below is a list of the types of ways that communities in the US are using EDI to bring about improved conditions for children. 

  • Hidalgo & Willacy Counties, TX shared EDI at state legislative briefings to urge legislators to invest more in early childhood
  • Spartanburg Academic Movement, SC has used EDI to establish countywide benchmarks that identify goals to improve the % of children on track over the next three years overall and especially focus on an equity goal in the top 10 most vulnerable census tracts. 
  • Pasadena, CA - used EDI to create an updated city level early childhood policy which then created an Office of the Young Child and master plan.


  • El Monte, CA - El Monte Promise Foundation's Cradle to College Initiative was focusing on a Roadmap to College to provide a guide from families from kinder through 8th grade. A great victory was that when the EDI was shared, the collaborative added a complimentary piece, the 0-5 Roadmap which will have developmental milestones connected to EDI.
  • San Antonio, TX – The United Way of Bexar County has used the EDI at its Annual Kids Day in the Park to guide enrichment activities for each participating CBO and vendor and engage parents around the EDI results for their neighborhood.
  •  Hartford, CT – EDI used as the anchor for community grants to support parent advisory groups to develop local action plans for each of their Family Resource Centers.
  • Ector TX, EDI informed the placement of little libraries in neighborhood showing the most need in the language and cognitive development domain.
  • Washington DC - EDI has served as a shared cross-sector measure for school readiness in the District’s Early Childhood Education systems model and has been used to support the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) Plan and Preschool Development Grant.
  • Oakland Unified School District, CA - EDI used to identify the locations for additional preschool classrooms.
  • Fresno Unified School District, CA - The EDI data was used to identify areas in the community to increase play and learning groups for informal care providers and to support the area of focus for the professional development trainings for Early Learning Educators.
  • Los Angeles Unified School District and Santa Monica Malibu Unified School district have engaged pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade teachers in using EDI to improve curriculum, inform professional development and identify improved school transition and alignment practices between Pre-K and kindergarten.
  • Bexar County, TX – The largest school district looked at the physical health and wellbeing data over time to determine location of new healthcare clinic. The same district also used the subdomain data on physical health to increase the fine and gross motor skills labs at several campuses.
  • Mountain View School District, CA - Used EDI to inform annual district level plan submitted to state (LCAP).