Our Mission & Vision

Our Mission

To be California’s source of actionable data and research on education, economic,
and health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities; to expand access to
tools and services to navigate the education to employment pipeline.

Our Vision

The California Cradle-to-Career Data System connects individuals and organizations with trusted information and resources, providing insights into critical milestones in the pipeline from early care to K–12 to higher education, skills training, and employment. The data system empowers individuals to reach their full potential and fosters evidence-based decision-making to help California build a more equitable future.

Smiling father holding a small child on his hip and a toddler on his shoulders.
Three young girls sitting side by side.


Legislation passed in 2019 called for the establishment of a statewide, longitudinal data system for California. Over the course of 2020 and the first half of 2021, more than 200 people from 15 state agencies and many educational institutions, research and policy organizations, and community groups worked together to design a blueprint for the California Cradle-to-Career Data System.

The extensive planning process, which was facilitated by WestEd, included multiple subcommittees that considered various aspects of data system development, including technology and security, legal frameworks, data definitions, and community engagement. A workgroup composed of entities that will provide information and state agencies with expertise in data considered the findings of these subcommittees and advice from two advisory groups made up of community members. Governor Newsom and the Legislature approved funding for the California Cradle-to-Career Data System in its 2021-22 budget. The data system is housed within and is implemented by the Government Operations Agency.

Read the recommendations from the planning process:

Young woman with backpack on her shoulder smiles.

What is the California Cradle-to-Career Data System?

The California Cradle-to-Career Data System will provide data-informed tools to help students reach their college and career goals and deliver information on education and workforce outcomes. This user-friendly system will include resources focused on early learning through K-12 and higher education, as well as on the financial aid and social services that help students reach their goals.

Elementary school teacher greeting his students at the door. Male teacher welcoming his class with a high five outside their classroom.

Why is it being built?

  • California’s information on early education, K-12 schools, colleges, social services, and employment is separate and disconnected. 
  • It is difficult to share information to support planning and transitions for students. 
  • It is not possible to explore the outcomes of Californians–from early childhood through adulthood–and the factors that help shape their outcomes, all in one place.
  • Actionable information needs to be in the hands of communities and families.

Who is it for?

Our tools will be designed to help a wide range of users find the most relevant information and use it to create better outcomes for students.

Students and Families:

  • Explore key information to help plan for, apply to, and pay for college. 
  • Streamline the college and financial aid application process.
  • Monitor the status of college and financial aid applications.


  • Streamline college and financial aid application review. 
  • Monitor students’ college planning and application progress to support targeted interventions.
  • Develop action plans based on data about learning, supportive services, and employment.

Advocates and Researchers

  • Analyze data collected from multiple sources to shape policy and advance educational equity.

Indigenous Navajo Teenager girl learning from an experienced worker all about metal work
The location is University of California, Los Angeles. Two Asian female students are walking in the foreground. A larger group of students are walking in the background.
A girl with down syndrome is in a classroom with her teacher, she is drawing something

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