Terminology Shift - From EC LDS to ECIDS
You will notice a change in language from reference to an Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (EC LDS) to an Early Childhood Integrated Data System (ECIDS) within these web pages. This shift in terminology occurred during 2014-15, to describe the Early Childhood (EC) system which is being built in Wisconsin. Throughout the historical web page (WI ECIDS History: Feasibility Study (2011-2012)) you will see EC LDS used to describe the system which was being recommended for a build effort in Wisconsin. You will see a shift in terminology take place from EC LDS to ECIDS within the other web pages.
The terminology EC LDS was used nationally across states prior to 2014. There is an effort underway within each state to link data from Early Childhood through K-12, through post-secondary education and into workforce data. This is a longitudinal view of aggregated and de-identified data, commonly referred to as P-20W data or an SLDS (Statewide Longitudinal Data System).
Early childhood data has the greatest number of programs which hold data typically within each state. In Wisconsin this is certainly true, with approximately 37 programs across three state agencies holding early childhood data (The Department of Children and Families, The Department of Public Instruction, and the Department of Health Services).
As the build of a state level system to hold aggregated and de-identified data specific to Early Childhood programs was undertaken by various states, it was soon realized that although someday the data could be linked as the starting point for a P-20W state system, the name EC LDS was somewhat confusing as the emphasis on "Longitudinal" was premature, in the context of the "big picture" of a mature P-20W (or SLDS) state system. However, most state Early Childhood Integrated Data Systems are, in and of themselves, longitudinal in nature. The WI ECIDS has been built to accommodate longitudinal research within the context of Early Childhood (EC) data only.
The effort to build the EC system in each state is a tremendous effort of associating EC programs' data for the distinct, although de-identified, children involved. Therefore the terminology "Integrated" was much more accurate, as the ECIDS stands on its own for the benefit of each state’s youngest children, even if never linked to a P-20W (or SLDS) system. Hence the national migration away from the terminology of "EC LDS" to the terminology of "ECIDS".
Resource: See the National View on this topic: What Is An Early Childhood Integrated Data System?