Administrative data as children's well-being indicators: The South Carolina Data Bridge Project

Osnat Lavenda, Beverly Hunter, McInerney Noelle, Leigh Bolick, Catherine Haselden, Diana Tester, Herman Knopf, Yoonsook Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Administrative data are data regularly collected by organizations for monitoring and documentation purposes. They usually represent entire populations; they are timely; and have direct influence on their sources which are mostly governmental agencies. We argue in this paper that administrative data can and should be used as indicators of children's well-being as they constitute an existing body of knowledge that has the potential to form and influence policy. Such use of administrative data as of child well-being indicators is demonstrated by the South Carolina Data Bridge Project, initiated with a child care research capacity grant awarded in 2007 by the Office of Planning, Research and Families (OPRE) to study the impact of Child Care and Development Fund on the quality of care available to and utilized by low-income working parents and at-risk families. The project's goal was achieved by linking different sources of child care administrative data to create analytic data cubes that allow the examination of quality of care provided to children and factors contributing to it. This project indicates the importance of administrative data and their potential impact on well-informed decision making and policy change to improve children and families' well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-451
Number of pages13
JournalChild Indicators Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Administrative data
  • Analytic cube
  • Child indicators
  • Children's well-being

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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