NDS: The National Data System for Child Care

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The National Data System (NDS) for child care has been the cornerstone of the data services Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) offers to Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies. NDS is Web-based information management software designed by CCAoA’s CCR&R members to assist them in performing their critical role. As an online referral tracking system, NDS has enabled CCR&Rs to collect, report, and distribute complete and accurate information in an efficient, meaningful, and cost-effective manner.

As technology advanced and the needs of the CCR&R field grew, CCAoA created a framework to address these developments and meet the ever-changing needs of our field. As a result, CCAoA developed the “Suite of Data Services.”

What is CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services?

CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services is a variety of integrated, user-friendly applications and services that facilitate the work of CCR&Rs. All applications and services are available through a single point of access. The applications and services include:

NDS Related

  • National Data System for child care (NDS) – Generates child care referrals and reports, and manages provider, client, and community data
  • Online Referral Module (replaces the Internet Mask Module (IMM)) – A new Online Referral Module giving agencies more flexibility with configuring fields, including an option to translate the online referral into other languages.
  • Online Provider Services (OPS) – Allows providers to review and update their NDS data online. This application also allows agencies to upload files, forms, training calendars, and other pertinent information for providers to access online.
  • Child Care Online (CCO) – Provides a “virtual” tour of child care programs, complete with pictures and descriptions, to help customers learn more about a particular child care provider.
  • Quality Indicators (QI) – Provides an easy to understand profile to parents to highlight and outline the quality areas of a care facility.
  • Kids Matter App – Provides data export for the iPhone application.

Training Tracking and Technical Assistance Management

  • Training Tracking (TT) – Manages, tracks, and reports on community-based trainings for child care providers.
  • Training Portal – (for trainers/trainees) Provides early care and learning professionals with web-based access to their records.
  • Online Training Calendar (OTC) – Provides the ability to create local, regional, and statewide training calendars, and allows training participants to register for trainings online via TTAM.

Still in Development

  • The ability for child care providers to update their provider profiles on a mobile device.
  • Integration of NDS with external data systems through single sign-on technology.
  • Expansion of the NDS application protocol interface (API) to increase data sharing and reporting capabilities.
  • Expedite market rate survey data collection, analysis, and reporting through import/export utilities.

How Can I Access CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services?

To gain access to CCAoA’s Suite of Data Service, agencies must:

  • Be a current Child Care Aware® of America CCR&R member or non-CCR&R member.
    CCR&R members are Child Care Resource and Referral agencies or State Network organizations.
    Non-CCR&R members are nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
  • Submit an executed CCAoA Suite of Data Services License Agreement and payment.
    Click here to obtain more information on how to become a member.

Note: To take advantage of all the applications and services available through CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services, agency databases must be hosted at Child Care Aware® of America.


What Does CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services License Agreement Include?

CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services License Agreement requires an annual fee plus hosting and storage fees for CCR&Rs to gain initial access to all of the services available under CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services. These fees entitle you to:

  1. Unlimited, basic technical support.
  2. Access for five (5) concurrent or simultaneous users across all applications.
  3. Annual upgrades for all applications.

Note: Advanced technical support and additional concurrent users can be purchased for a fee.


What Does CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services Cost?

For a minimal annual fee, plus hosting and storage costs, your CCR&R can begin utilizing all of the available features of CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services. See the detailed pricing schedule for more information.


Where Can I Find More Information?

For more information about CCAoA’s Suite of Data Services and how this service can advance your CCR&R, contact the Data Services Help Desk at 1 (866) 789-7590 or NDSHelpDesk@usa.childcareaware.org. The CCAoA Data Services Help Desk will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday to provide you with information and demonstrations of these applications and services.

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