I wish I had known …
Tips from former Part C and Part B/619 Coordinators and Data Managers
Compiled by: Margo Smith
We talked with a few of our DaSy TA experts and found out what they wished they had known when they were starting out as Part C/619 Coordinators and Data Managers. These DaSy technical assistance providers are here to help and shared their thoughts on starting out with success.
“I wish I had known that the data that’s required isn’t necessarily the data that’s most valuable. I wish I had known how expensive data is so I could have been more proactive. It’s cheaper to invest in good data than to make decisions based on bad data. … A data system that is not tied to other systems is not really a system, it’s just a thing.”
~Lisa Backer, DaSy TA Provider and former supervisor of (and former) Part C Data Manager and of Part C and Part B/619 Coordinators in Minnesota
“Breathe. Recognize you are not going to get done everything that you want to get done. … In the first two years you are in a learning mode to figure out the cycle and the system that you are in. After you are able to manage for a couple years, you can begin to bite off more. Also: Learn to get along with your colleagues no matter what!”
~Bruce Bull, DaSy TA Provider and former Part C and Part B Data Manager in Oregon
“Get someone who you know to be your mentor. Always, always have someone you can call, someone who did this before, to be your go-to person or mentor. Even after 13 years in my role, … I’d always call my mentor for clarification and problem solving. She was my go-to person to help me sort through complex issues and what needed to happen to address these issues.”
~Anne Lucas, DaSy TA Provider with Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and former Part C Coordinator in Virginia
“Be humble and give yourself grace about what you don’t know. The scope of early intervention and early childhood special education data is huge and tangled, and it will take time to suss out. However, as a brand new 619 data team member, I wish I had had a crash course on the Part C world – its policies, people, data systems, reporting requirements, and connections to 619. There is so much potential to harness fragmented data in this space. Take some time to get to know your extended work family.”
~Nicholas Ortiz, DaSy TA Provider with SRI and former 619 Child Outcomes Data Manager in Colorado
Margo Smith is a DaSy consultant providing communications and other support for DaSy TA products. She has a background in journalism, data visualization, and data use in early childhood care and education TA.
Published February 2022.