Local government leaders, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders in Harris County are eager to support the parents and young children of Harris County but lack the data and evidence that can anchor policymaking and philanthropic efforts. We partnered with many organizations and leaders to design a multi-dimensional, holistic primary data collection effort to answer these critical questions.
- Policy question: What are the most significant assets, needs, and barriers facing low-income families of young children in Harris County? How are young children in Harris County developing?
- Methodology: TPL consulted national experts and other local governments to design (1) a comprehensive interview instrument to gather caregiver perspectives on the needs of their young children and (2) to gather a population-level measure of early childhood development through the CREDI instrument. We gained access to public libraries, WIC clinics, and the birth certificate agency to directly engage with hundreds of high-need families across the county and recruited and trained over a dozen interviewers (all members of the communities we sought to engage) to speak with parents.
- Results and impact: While COVID-19 disrupted this data collection effort, we completed nearly 50 interviews and created an infrastructure to reinitiate it when the public health conditions improve.