Funds for the Early Care and Education Research Scholars (ECERS): Child Care Dissertation Grant program are available to support dissertation research on child care policy issues in partnership with State Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) agencies or administrators.
Since 2000, CCDF discretionary funds for child care research and evaluation have supported projects that add to our knowledge about the efficacy of child care subsidy policies and programs in supporting employment and self-sufficiency outcomes for parents, and providing positive learning and school readiness outcomes for children. Previously funded Child Care Research Scholars have made and continue to make significant contributions to the child care policy research field.
To ensure that research is responsive to the changing needs of low-income families, partnerships between the graduate student, their mentor, and the State CCDF agency or administrator are essential. This partnership ensures the research will be policy-relevant and is the foundation that fosters skills necessary to build the graduate student's career trajectory of successful partnership-building and contributions to the policy and scientific communities.
The specific goals of the Child Care Dissertation grants are to:
- build capacity in the early care and education field by supporting high-quality dissertation research and student-faculty collaboration and mentorship;
- conduct rigorous research that has the capacity to inform child care programs, policies, and practices;
- support active communication, collaboration, and partnerships between early career researchers and CCDF policymakers; and
- foster the exchange of current research, ideas, and information among research scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.
This research contributes to the broader knowledge base by conducting applied research with clear significance to the CCDF programs goals, policies, services, and/or populations served. The grant program also emphasizes the importance of developing true working partnerships with CCDF agencies or administrators, which benefit both the researchers and the child care programs, policies, and communities. Developing successful researcher-program partnerships under the guidance of experienced mentors strengthens the graduate student grantees' capacity to conduct research relevant to practice and policy. In addition, these partnerships provide the CCDF agencies or administrators with data and information they need to improve their services.
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Point(s) of contact: Ann Rivera, Dianna Tran, and Ellen Litkowski.