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National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) helps state education agencies lead sustained improvements in early learning opportunities and outcomes. 

NIEER conducts academic research to inform policy supporting high-quality, early education for all young children and promot the physical, cognitive, and social development needed for children to succeed in school and later life. NIEER provides independent, research-based analysis and technical assistance to policymakers, journalists, researchers, and educators.

Our state allies can call on the National Institute for Early Education Research to:

Assist in developing sustainable, scalable financing strategies for early childhood education systems.

In early education policy recommendations for both scale and quality, developing a strategic approach to financing and funding, including accounting for cost and revenue is essential for most policymakers. NIEER can assist in the use of cost modeling tools for preschool and child care and developing sustainability plans using actionable data.

Facilitate joint strategy development and cooperation between advocates and state education administrators.

Addressing issues in early education practice, curriculum and assessment, and policy often benefits significantly from research-informed technical assistance as coalitions are built and consensus developed on the details of new initiatives including in early cooperation between advocates and state education agencies. NIEER can assist in supporting partners in the following ways: providing research and analyses to inform decisions, presenting to legislators, reviewing and informing testimony, policy proposals, and draft legislation.

Leverage national, state and local data to provide rapid responses on research, survey results and policy scans for more effective and equitable early education policy.

NIEER produces national state and local research and policy analysis of data from many sources and supports new data collections when useful to inform effective policy development in early education systems. NIEER can work with state early childhood administrators and advocates to consider a wide range of research and information including needs assessment, analyses of existing policies, and projections of the impacts of new policies and strategies that address issues with a focus on equity at the state and local levels.

Additional Alliance-funded support for state advocacy includes:  

    • Development of Practical Guides for Early Childhood Education Leaders that are responsive to the new fiscal and public health contexts, such as balancing safety and quality in pre-k classrooms, approaches to formative assessment in a virtual or hybrid delivery model, and other issues.
    • Organizing peer-to-peer learning opportunities, including webinars, for state early childhood administratorsand advocates to discuss and facilitate conversations on research, share best practices, identify pressing needs and innovations in improving access to high quality early care and education systems for young children.