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National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)

The National Institute for Early Education Research (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.  

NIEER conducts academic research to inform policy supporting high-quality, early education for all young children and to promote 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 NIEER to: 

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. Drawing from our extensive knowledge of ECES across the states, NIEER can assist in supporting partners in the following ways: providing research and analyses to inform decisions, presenting to legislators, reviewing and informing testimony, developing policy proposals, and drafting or reviewing 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’s multi-disciplinary team 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 ECES. 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, cost analysis, and projections of the impacts of new policies and strategies that address issues with a focus on equity at the state and local levels.

On the Ground:

  • In Oregon, NIEER produced a memo for the Children’s Institute on supporting early literacy pre-k to grade 3 and implications for policy and practice to inform their work with the department of education on the implementation of the state’s Early Literacy Success Initiative. NIEER also provided the Children’s Institute with a memo on alternative pathways for the preparation and support of Pre-K teachers in community-based settings. This memo provided them with selected examples and information that could inform efforts in Oregon to increase opportunities for diverse early care and education teachers to pursue a degree and additional qualifications.
  • NIEER is supporting the work of the legislatively mandated Pre-K implementation committee in Vermont, providing information on research and state examples related to pre-K quality, access, and capacity). NIEER presented to both the house and education committees of the legislature on the national landscape of pre-K quality, where VT stands, and recommendations on how to strengthen the state pre-K program.