Using Data Processes and Systems Thinking to Drive Impactful, Sustainable Systems Improvement Cohort

The application due date has been extended to June 22, 2023!

Watch the June 2, Informational Webinar to learn more about this exciting opportunity!

Passcode: 5if1m1Ct

Key Dates
  • June 22, 2023: Application due
  • June 30, 2023: Virtual kickoff meeting 8:00 am HT/11:00 am PT/1:00 pm CT/2:00 pm ET

Part C and Part B 619 Coordinators, Data Managers, and staff:

The DaSy Center in partnership with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA), and the Waters Center For Systems Thinking are offering an opportunity for 3-5 states to participate in the Using Data Processes and Systems Thinking to Drive Impactful, Sustainable Systems Improvement cohort. This cohort will focus on improving states’ ability to collect, report, analyze and use data to support state systems change efforts and will build on previous state systems change work (such as the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)).

The cohort will focus on data for decision making using a system thinking framework and approach. State participants will develop data-driven systems thinking capacity to lead impactful, sustainable change in their IDEA Part C Early Intervention (EI) and Part B 619 early childhood special education (ECSE) programs.

Why would a State want to participate?

The early childhood programs under IDEA collect and use data for accountability and program improvement purposes. States have the opportunity to leverage the power of their data for wide scale and impactful systems change. Additionally, State EI and ECSE programs are challenged by complex and thorny issues (such as scaling up evidence-based practices statewide, participating in early care and education (ECE) initiatives, child find, and Part C to Part B preschool transition) that require systems infrastructure and local implementation solutions. States participating in the Data and Systems Thinking cohort will begin to tackle a State identified complex issue using a system thinking approach where data are collected and used to identify potential leverage points and solutions. This is a unique opportunity to connect with other states, use your data for good, become systems thinkers, and sustain efforts that improve outcomes for children and families.

Cohort Goals

This state cohort intends to build the capacity of participants to create impactful change by

  • effectively using data to inform and drive decision-making
  • applying data to systems thinking and the Habits of a System Thinker
  • participating and learning from other states; and
  • using data in conjunction with the tools for systems thinking to inform improvement activities related to equitable access, experiences, and outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families.

Participants will gain skills that develop:

  • A deep understanding of data systems and the use of data for program improvement.
  • A shared language that generates dialogue and new insights that help identify and address root causes of barriers to change.
  • Opportunities to apply data systems processes and systems thinking language, Habits of a System Thinker, and tools to specific scenarios relevant to IDEA early childhood programs, policies, procedures, and practices.
  • Opportunities to use data as evidence of systems change.

State Commitment

This cohort will take place from June 2023 – August 2024. Participating states will commit to:

  • Convening a State Data and Systems Thinking Team that includes the IDEA Part C and/or Part B Section 619 coordinator, IDEA Part C and/or Part B data manager (or other data leader), and other relevant staff. State teams may focus on either EI or ECSE or focus on a joint EI/ECSE project.
  • Attending Virtual Systems Thinking Cross-State Calls for cohort states. The 90-minute kick-off cross-state call is scheduled for June 30th, 8:00 am HT/11:00 am PT/1:00 pm CT/2:00 pm ET Eastern Time. Remaining cross-state calls will be held every other month.
  • Participating in coaching and TA support calls between individual states and DaSy, ECTA, and Waters’ staff provided on the months when cross-state calls are not held.
  • Attending two in-person cohort meetings. DaSy will support travel for up to 5 participants from each state to attend each of these 2-day meetings. The first is anticipated to take place in August 2023 and the second in January 2024.
  • Developing a Data and Systems Thinking TA plan that addresses individual state needs and articulates the coaching and TA the state will engage in with DaSy, ECTA, and Waters’ TA staff.

Application Requirements

  • States must complete an application and submit electronically, using the link below, no later than the end of the day on June 22, 2023.
  • The application should be submitted by the Part C or Part B 619 coordinator on behalf of the state team or their designee.

Apply for this Cohort

TA staff are available to help you complete the application. Contact Jennifer Tschantz,, or Cindy Weigel,


Published May 2023.