Early childhood environments

Objectives and goals

  • Research relating to understanding variations in children’s early development, with special interest in developmental variations in school readiness skills including social-emotional behaviors, academic skills, and executive function.
  • Research relating to defining ECE (early childhood environments) quality
  • Improve professional development and practice in order to improve children’s development.
  • Improve the lives of families with very young children who are at-risk for poor developmental outcomes by improving home visiting practices both locally and nationally. Of special interest is the translation of research to practice in this field.
  • To prepare a well-informed early childhood workforce that will persevere in the field and promote positive experiences for young children.
  • To identify unique, active ingredients that facilitate intervention efficacy, especially with home visiting programs. Also, to examine factors that help (or hinder) implementation integrity and interventionist support.

Area faculty interests

Ji-Young Choi, early development and education, school readiness, child care quality, dual language learners, and children living in poverty.

Kere Hughes-Belding, home visiting, infant mental health, trauma-informed care, prevention, and program evaluation.

Christine Lippard, pre-service teacher, practicum, pre-school, toddlers, engineering, and teacher-child relationships.

Gayle Luze, assessment, early intervention, video feedback, and early childhood education.

Carla Peterson, home visiting programs, observation, intervention integrity, Early Head Start, and MIECHV.

Related laboratories, programs, centers

Research facilities

child-development-labThe Child Development Laboratory School provides students with a hands-on experience working with and observing young children while serving as a model early childhood program for young children, including those with disabilities, and their families. Located in the Palmer HDFS building, the facility includes four classrooms, the children’s library, administrative offices, laundry and kitchen. The Iowa State University Child Development Laboratory School offers full-day, year-round programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers while serving as an exemplary early childhood education model for Iowa State students preparing to be early childhood teachers, administrators, and child and family specialists.

Research opportunities

  • Research in 0-to 5-year-old children’s development within the context of early care and education (ECE) settings. I am particularly interested in children’s school readiness skills and ECE quality indicators. This research primarily utilizes large longitudinal secondary datasets and examines them through quantitative approaches.
  • Improve pre-service and in-service training in early childhood education through the effective and innovative use of coaching. The research has a focus on using video for examining an individual’s interactions and providing constructive feedback.
  • Focuses on understanding how best to prepare future early childhood teachers to be successful and effective. To support this, I also study specific aspects of early childhood classrooms like STEM opportunities, how children spend their time, and their individual relationships with teachers.</li.
  • Examine the design, implementation, and efficacy of interventions targeted to young children and their families, with a special emphasis on families facing risks.