The goals of NRCEC 2022 are to:
- identify and disseminate research relevant to young children (birth to 8 years) and their families;
- encourage collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to build the evidence base for policy and practice; and
- foster discussion of research priorities, gaps, and needs.
ACF programs support the social and economic well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. This includes investments in early childhood programs that promote economic security, health and safety, and positive developmental trajectories for vulnerable young children and their families. Federal, state, and local governments make substantial investments to deliver high quality programs to young children and their families, and there is a robust and growing body of research to inform those investments. For example, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Sec. 2202, Pub. L. 117-2) provided critical resources to support children, families, and communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn. However, many questions remain about how government programs can most effectively and efficiently support the well-being of young children and their families, particularly children and families from underserved communities and populations that have been systematically marginalized.
Research presented at NRCEC 2022 will address these knowledge gaps across programs serving young children and their families. NRCEC 2022 will present the latest research surrounding Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, home visiting, child welfare, special education, pre-kindergarten, early elementary, and other early childhood programs.
The conference welcomes submissions from all relevant fields including education, child development, political science, public policy, psychology, sociology, public and allied health, pediatrics, psychiatry, nursing, social work, dentistry, anthropology, law, and economics.
Populations of interest include low-income families with children birth through age 8, as well as understudied populations that may require tailored or specialized services, including but not limited to dual language learners, children affected by trauma or homelessness, children from immigrant/migrant families, racial/ethnic minority families, American Indian and Alaska Native communities, children in foster care, and children with disabilities.
Attendees at the conference are expected to include academic and professional researchers, early childhood program administrators and practitioners, and federal, state, and local policymakers.