Our Team

abbie-raikes.jpg Abbie Raikes, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor & Director of Global Early Childhood Development
Headshot photo of Marcus Waldman Marcus Waldman, EdD
Research Assistant Professor
katelyn-hepworth.png Katelyn Hepworth, MA
Child Health Research Manager

Our Story 

We believe data can help improve the lives of young children. Kidsights Data offers insight into an area not previously explored — tracking population level development data from birth to age 5 in communities, cities, and states.

The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinates the Global Scales for Early Development (GSED), a global initiative to gather population-data on child development for children from birth to age 3. Our team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) worked to support this effort and conducted the testing of the new GSED measure in the United States.

Our team then worked with the items for preschool children from the National Survey of Children’s Health National Outcomes Measure to make a new scale — for children from birth to age 5. There was additional support from funders and stakeholders to explore the possibility of linking the GSED to existing measures to create a "birth to 5" scale. Our team at UNMC expanded the collaboration to include the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau and Child Trends to test the possibility of linking the GSED with the National Outcome Measure of Healthy and Ready to Learn, a measure of school readiness for children from 3–5 years of age.

The "birth to 5" scale, now the Kidsights Measurement Tool, was tested and validated in Nebraska from 2020 to 2022. We appreciate the contributions from these partnerships to create a scale that provides important data on the development of children from birth to age 5 in the United States.