teacher and students
Our Work

Technical Assistance

We offer specialized TA to teachers, state administrators, and others to enhance policy development, evaluation, and system building through a range of services: direct support, peer workgroups, and multiparty state or local task forces.

Leadership Development

Building Early Learning Latiné Educators (BELLE) 

The Building Early Learning Latiné Educators (BELLE) program is a leadership academy with a primary objective of enhancing the presence of Latiné leaders in influential roles. Key goals of BELLE encompass:

  1. Cultivating a Latiné ECE leadership pipeline using a culturally and linguistically affirming professional development approach, thereby amplifying Latiné representation in decision-making capacities.
  2. Bolstering the recruitment and retention of Latiné educators in the field of early childhood education.
  3. Elevating the quality of support for bilingual acquisition within early childhood education settings, particularly for emergent bilinguals.

Learn more


Alexandra Figueras-Daniel, Research Assistant Professor and Bilingual ECE Senior Policy Specialist

Alliance for Early Success  

NIEER serves as a national partner to provide expertise and research-to-policy resources for state advocates and policymakers on improving the quality of early care and education programs.   

Our work includes:  


Lori Connors-Tadros Senior Research Fellow  


Pre-K in Cities: An Annual Report on Pre-K in the Nation’s Largest Cities   

In partnership with CityHealth, supported by Kaiser-Permanente and the de Beaumont Foundations, we've compiled data on the policies governing pre-K programs within the nation's 75 largest cities. Our objective is to understand the degree to which cities are delivering accessible, high-quality education for 4-year-olds. In addition to collecting and reporting city-specific preschool data, we've developed a series of concise briefs and engaging webinars, aimed at empowering local city leaders in crafting policies that foster exceptional preschool experiences.   



The State of Preschool Survey  

Since, 2002, NIEER has conducted an annual survey about state-funded preschool. Data from the survey are compiled and analyzed to produce NIEER’s annual State of Preschool Yearbook. The survey and report include information on preschool funding, enrollment, and policies for quality.  The data and report are a powerful tool for state and national policymakers for understanding how to implement and fund policies to support high-quality pre-K.  We have supported state leaders in getting state-specific information that has been used for state advisory groups and making data-informed decisions. 


Early Childhood Systems Development

Early childhood systems development including promoting equity, increasing access, and improving quality in sustainable public  systems to meet the needs of all learners including dual language learners. Projects include:  

Infant and Toddler Policy Research Center at NIEER (ITC@NIEER)  

ITC@NIEER was developed to produce and promote policy analysis, research, and research-based technical assistance concerning infant and toddler education and care. ITC@NIEER partners with key stakeholders in research, policy, and practice to advance high-quality infant-toddler education and care to support early development emphasizing equity for the most disadvantaged children and families.  



PNC-NIEER: Strategic Partnership to Support Early Learning in States  

Thanks to generous support from the PNC Bank Foundation, NIEER is actively shaping policy analysis and development in the realm of state-funded preschool programs nationwide, with an unwavering focus on access, equity, and quality. Our ongoing projects encompass collaborations with various states to meticulously assess the genuine expenses associated with scaling up high-quality preschool education, leveraging the invaluable Cost of Preschool Quality and Revenue tool. Additionally, NIEER lends its research expertise to bolster the PNC Bank Foundation's enduring Grow Up Great initiative. This initiative passionately backs the implementation of multifaceted programs that champion literacy, mathematics, science, and other captivating domains in local preschools. Together, we're forging a brighter future for young learners.  


Financing Early Childhood Programs

Financing early childhood programs and systems to meet the needs of young children and their families (includes estimating cost of quality). 

NIEER provides support to city and state leaders in understanding the costs of providing high quality early care and education programs.  We work with leaders to consider financing strategies that maximize public and private resources and align funding streams.  NIEER developed the Cost of Preschool Quality and Revenue Calculator, a free Excel-based tool, to help users determine costs and funding sources related to implementing high-quality preschool programs. 


Using Data and Evaluation

Road Map for Strengthening the Early Learning System in Indiana

Since 2014, Early Learning Indiana (ELI) has strategically invested in key policy areas to improve the quality, affordability and accessibility to early childhood programs in the state. ELI staff contracted with NIEER to conduct a national landscape of best practice and innovation in quality improvement; co-facilitate a Think Tank of national early childhood experts, and co-author a road map to identify the next steps for ELI to sustain and scale innovations to ensure all children are healthy and ready to learn in school, home and community.

To date, NIEER has provided ELI with the following resources to ground their technical assistance, capacity building and investments in research and best practice:

  • Taking Stock of Philanthropic Investments to Spur Change in Indiana Early Learning System
  • Review of Research on Quality Rating and Improvement Systems and Implications for Paths to Quality.
  • Process Quality Indicators Predictive of Child Outcomes in Early Education Programs