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Early Childhood Research and Development Initiative

Enhancing Quality Through Research that Informs Policy Making

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Welcome to ECRDI

Welcome to the Early Childhood Research and Development Initiative (ECRDI). We are a consortium of researchers from multiple universities established in 2007 to conduct research that informs policy and leadership in early childhood education.


Our goal is to enhance the quality of early childhood programs through collaborative, innovative research that can guide decision-making. We design studies to understand how programs and services for young children and families can be improved.

Based on our findings, we develop resources and tools that can be used by early childhood educators, administrators, and policymakers. By bridging the gap between research, practice, and policy, we aim to drive impactful changes that support children's learning and development.


Our work is made possible through funding from university partnerships, as well as public and private grants and contracts. As a consortium, we bring together experts from different disciplines who combine their unique skills and perspectives to tackle important issues in new ways.


If you are interested in learning more about our research, programs, training opportunities, or want to get involved, please explore our site or contact us.

Beth Rous, Founder and Director

What We Do

Research and Development

We design and implement studies to support policymakers in designing high-quality programs for young children.From this work, we develop products that early childhood educators and policymakers can use to improve services for young children and families.

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Post Doctoral Training

We provide funding to support postdoctoral scholars who are interested in early childhood leadership and policy.

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Advancing Early Childhood Policy and Leadership

The University of Kentucky is building capacity to drive impactful change for young children and families through policy, research, and leadership development. Learn more about our Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Policy Leadership Initiative.

As part of our work, we offer a Graduate Certificate in Leadership for Early Childhood and Family Policy that equips emerging leaders with policy analysis, research, and advocacy skills.

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Contact Us

Complete this form to get in touch with us for any questions or comments.

University of Kentucky, College of Education
Educational Leadership Studies
111 Dickey Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0017

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Meet the Researchers

Collaborative ~ Creative ~ Innovative

Partnerships are at the core of what makes the projects and activities the Early Childhood Research and Development Initiative undertakes so rewarding. We’re proud of the commitment of this group of researchers to young children and their families, with each member contributing their unique skills to the research projects we undertake. Together, we’ve planned and executed some of the most innovative and cutting-edge research designs and initiatives.

Feel free to contact any of the researchers associated with our work.  

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