Research and Evaluation on Early Learning
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), consisting of four centers, is the arm of the U.S. Department of Education that focuses on funding education research and evaluation. The research and evaluation aim to address questions of importance to education practitioners, policymakers, students, and families. Two IES Centers provide investigator-initiated discretionary grants to researchers, including those that focus on early learning:
National Center for Education Research (NCER)
National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER)
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.
The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) conducts unbiased large-scale evaluations of education programs and practices supported by federal funds; provides research-based technical assistance to educators and policymakers; and supports the synthesis and the wide spread dissemination of the results of research and evaluation.
Early learning work at IES includes the following programs and studies:
NCER’s Early Learning program funds research on prekindergarten children (age 3–5 years) in center-based settings.
NCSER’s Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education program funds research on infants, toddlers, and young children (birth–5 years) with or at risk for disabilities.
NCES’s early learning research activities include the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) program and the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES).
NCEE’s early learning activities are conducted under several programs, including the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) program, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), and evaluation studies.
Visit the IES Research Network to Improve Early Childhood Education
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has funded the Early Learning Network that will develop reliable information and useful tools to improve early childhood education across the country. The main focus of the network is to identify malleable factors associated with children's school readiness and achievement as they move from preschool to the early elementary school grades.