child holding up card with the letter A
Impact Areas

Program Effectiveness

Our research on program and policy effectiveness empowers policymakers and administrators to create, propose, implement, and refine evidence-based policies that foster high-quality, equitable access to early education initiatives.

NIEER employs diverse research methodologies to comprehensively investigate programs, practices and policy effectiveness in early childhood education (ECE), thereby bolstering evidence-based policies and practices at the national, state, local, and program levels. For example, our longitudinal studies delve into children's developmental trajectories over time, yielding valuable insights into the enduring (or not) effects of ECE programs on cognitive and socio-emotional growth. Through rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental designs, including randomized control trials, NIEER has evaluated the efficacy of universal and targeted interventions, as well as programmatic approaches and curricular approaches. The institute's commitment to robust designs, mixed methods, comprehensive data collection efforts, and rigorous analyses, encompassing observations, child direct assessments, surveys, interviews, and focus groups, yield profound insights into program quality, equity and children's learning outcomes. NIEER's collaborative partnerships with varied stakeholders enrich its research endeavors by embracing diverse perspectives and expertise. Moreover, through comprehensive literature reviews and insightful meta-analyses, existing research is synthesized, facilitating the identification of trends and gaps within the field, and ultimately enhancing ECE programs' quality and impact. 

Access Our Research Library

The National Institute for Early Education Research's comprehensive research library serves as a valuable resource for educators, policymakers, researchers, and anyone interested in the field of early childhood education. The library is a repository of research reports, policy briefs, academic papers, and other publications related to early childhood education. Many of the resources in the NIEER Research Library are made available for free as downloadable PDFs or accessible through links.

children playing with building blocks

Learn More About Our Work

    Policy Landscapes

    NIEER's policy landscapes offer insights into early childhood education policies, enrollment, and nationwide funding. Advocates, policy-makers, and researchers rely on them to improve the quality and accessibility of early childhood education. 

    Research & Program Evaluation

    We evaluate nationwide early childhood programs, rigorously assessing impact. Data-driven evaluations span years, revealing strengths and weaknesses for targeted improvements. 

    NIEER Developed Tools

    NIEER has created numerous proprietary research tools that include assessments, surveys, cost calculators, and evaluations, used by researchers and educators to gather data, analyze information, and evaluate the effectiveness of early childhood education programs.

    International Journal of Childcare & Education Policy

    The International Journal of Childcare and Education Policy (IJCEP) is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal focusing on childcare and education policy research for young children. 

    Technical Assistance

    NIEER provides technical assistance to state advocates on improving the quality of early care and education programs and understanding the costs associated with high-quality programs. NIEER is producing a series of Guides to PreK Expansion and other resources to support state and national advocates in their efforts to ensure all children have access to high-quality early care and education. 

    Partnership with New Jersey

    New Jersey has a rich history of supporting early learning, evidenced by the state's Supreme Court decisions, legal regulations, financial investments, and committed state leadership. However, a pivotal turning point came with a landmark legal decision that sparked significant changes and laid the groundwork for progress over the last two decades.