diversitydatakids.org: quality of life and diversity data on families
The Heller School For Social Policty And Management The Heller School For Social Policy and Management Brandeis University
The Policy section provides equity assessments of policies affecting child wellbeing and opportunity.

Policy Equity Assessment:

Bridging equity and effectiveness analysis

The diversitydatakids.org policy equity assessment is a unique, three-stage approach to gauging the effectiveness of social policies and programs in improving equity. The first stage, logic, examines the program’s history, goals and design, with attention to whether the program’s original conception and subsequent evolution address the needs of particularly vulnerable children and/or reduce inequities between subgroups of children. The second stage, capacity, considers the program’s ability to deliver services to all eligible children who could potentially benefit from it, and in a manner that is likely to produce positive outcomes across different subgroups of children and geographic locations (e.g., adequate quality and intensity of services). The third and final stage, research evidence, reviews empirical evidence on program impacts in light of the logic and capacity findings to draw conclusions about the program’s effectiveness in improving outcomes for all children and reducing inequities in child outcomes both within the program and at the population level. See below for further information about these three stages of the diversitydatakids.org policy equity assessment.

Select a program or policy area to review:

Head Start

Head Start is the largest federally-funded early education program in the United States. It provides free education and health services to economically disadvantaged preschoolers, toddlers and infants. The program is designed to increase access to early education for low-income children and is focused on improving child school readiness. Head Start also specifically targets services for especially vulnerable groups such as children with special needs and children of migrant farmworkers. The Head Start policy equity assessment explores the program’s effectiveness in serving eligible children, improving outcomes, targeting vulnerable subgroups, and reducing inequities in school readiness.

The Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees unpaid job-protected leave from work for eligible employees who need time off to care for a new child, a family member’s serious health condition, or an employee’s own serious illness. The policy is focused on promoting workers’ leave-taking (for specific family or medical reasons), employment stability and security, and work-family balance. While the FMLA is explicitly designed to minimize gender discrimination and promote equitable employment opportunities for men and women, it is not designed to target socioeconomically vulnerable workers, many of whom are racial/ethnic minorities. The FMLA policy equity assessment explores the law’s effectiveness in reaching U.S. working parents, improving leave-taking, employment and health outcomes, and reducing inequities in unpaid leave eligibility and affordability for vulnerable subgroups.

Coming Soon

The diversitydatakids.org policy equity assessment is designed to consider a broad set of policy areas and programs in domains that are important to children’s healthy development (e.g., housing, health, parental working conditions, schools, and neighborhoods). Policy equity assessments will be available soon that analyze programs that address child care and housing affordability.