Our work: Early Childhood Learning and Development

Ensuring that every child thrives from the start

The vision for the Stanford Center on Early Childhood is to change how research in early childhood is conducted, communicated, and utilized. Sitting at the nexus of the early childhood ecosystem, we leverage the current moment of revolutionary science and new collaborations across sectors to enhance the well-being of young children.

The Challenge

Young brains undergo rapid development during the early years of life and are dramatically shaped by experiences. The biological, psychological, and social context of development are inextricably linked and combine to set the stage for success.

In this critical moment, children and their families are struggling. There is chronic underinvestment across the early childhood sector, and systemic disparities are resulting in growing academic achievement gaps among many demographic groups.

But in this moment, we also find unprecedented opportunity and innovation.

As communities and organizations increasingly use data, technology, and science to enhance the well-being of young children, there’s a demand for novel solutions that benefit educators, families, community leaders, and policymakers. The early childhood ecosystem is recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of early development, and the transformative potential of equity-centered, cross-sector partnerships to co-design innovative solutions.

The Stanford Center on Early Childhood

With internationally recognized leadership in early childhood research, policy, and practice, the Stanford Center on Early Childhood embodies an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach within the broader movement of early childhood development and education.

Led by Professor Philip Fisher, the center is positioned to accelerate promising strategies and foster alliances across communities, academic institutions, funders, advocates, and policymakers. It is the primary hub at Stanford for convenings, research, and education related to accelerating solutions for young children.

Stanford Center on Early Childhood

Faculty Director

Philip Fisher

Faculty Director, Stanford Center on Early Childhood

programs

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The FIND Program

Filming Interactions to Nurture Development (FIND) is a highly effective video coaching program that facilitates responsive, supportive caregiving to significantly improve developmental outcomes for children birth to five years old.

Faculty lead

Philip Fisher

Faculty Director, Stanford Center on Early Childhood

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The RAPID Survey Project

RAPID is an early childhood and family well-being survey that launched in April 2020, initially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our objectives are to collect essential information from households and families with young children and to provide actionable data to key stakeholders to inform immediate and long-term program and policy decisions. In March 2021, we launched a second survey of the child care workforce nationally, to create a fuller picture of the needs, well-being and health promoting behaviors of the important adults in young children’s lives.

Faculty lead

Philip Fisher

Faculty Director, Stanford Center on Early Childhood

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