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The ECLS-K:2024 is happening now!

Did you receive a letter about participating in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS)? Do you have questions about participating?

Click here for more information.


The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) program provides important information about children's knowledge, skills, and development from birth through elementary school. For more than 20 years, the ECLS program has helped educators, families, researchers, and policymakers improve children's educational experiences.

The ECLS program includes four longitudinal studies that examine child development, school readiness, and early school experiences. The birth cohort of the ECLS-B is a sample of children born in 2001 followed from birth through kindergarten entry. The kindergarten class of 1998-99 cohort is a sample of children followed from kindergarten through the eighth grade. The kindergarten class of 2010-11 cohort is a sample of children followed from kindergarten through the fifth grade. The newest ECLS program study, the ECLS-K:2024, will follow the kindergarten class of 2023-24 through the fifth grade.

The ECLS program is conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Department's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), has a mandate from Congress and is authorized by law to collect statistical data on the condition and progress of education in the United States, including conducting longitudinal data collections like the ECLS program studies. Parents, educators, and policymakers can use information collected through the ECLS program to improve students' educational experiences. The program also provides data to analyze the relationships among a wide range of family, school, community, and individual factors with children's development, early learning, and performance in school.

ECLS-K:2011 Update

Restricted-use and public-use files containing data from all rounds of data collection, that is kindergarten through fifth grade, for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011) are now available. Please note that while the ECLS-K:2011 was designed to allow for cross-cohort comparisons with the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–99 (ECLS-K), the direct child cognitive assessment scores available on these files are not directly comparable to scores from the ECLS-K. Child assessment scores designed specifically for comparisons between the ECLS-K and ECLS-K:2011 cohorts are currently in development, with an anticipated release date to be determined. It is appropriate to use data from the current data file release to compare the two cohorts in other ways, for example to look at differences in demographic characteristics or the home, school, and classroom experiences of the two groups.