Small Child

Early Childhood Development

Child Trends researchers study young children from birth through early elementary school with a focus on understanding how the experiences children have across different settings promote optimal development and well-being. Our team works with the federal government, state agencies, communities, and foundations on research, evaluation, and policy projects that address important issues for policymakers, practitioners, and families. We are skilled at developing resources and reports that address complex topics in easy-to-understand terms. We are strong thought partners in addressing a range of early childhood issues.

Much of our work fits into five broad categories.

Featured Projects

Featured Publications

Birth Through Eight State Policy Framework: Research At A Glance - Revised

Nov 2015 | Kathryn Tout; Sarah Daily; Rachel A. Gooze; Shannon Moodie; Claire Lowe; Ashley Hirilall

This report outlines the research that supports each of the policy areas in the Alliance for Early Success’ recently revised Birth through Eight State Policy Framework. Research at a Glance provides an overview of the evidence base for the policy choices in the Framework, summarizing the factors that contribute to, and sustain, the healthy growth and development of young children. The revised Framework emphasizes policy options in the areas of health, family support, and learning, and policy options that bridge these three areas.

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Implementing Parenting Interventions in Early Care and Education Settings: A Guidebook for Implementation

Nov 2015 | Tamara Halle; Diane Paulsell; Sarah Daily; Anne Douglass; Shannon Moodie; Allison J. R. Metz

This guidebook describes the steps and best practices for successfully selecting and implementing a parenting intervention. The purpose is to provide program, state, and child care network leaders an easy-to-use tool for implementing a parenting intervention. The guidebook may be used as a companion to the Compendium of Parenting Interventions recently developed by the Interagency Forum on Parenting and the Head Start National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement for use across various community-based settings. The Compendium can be found at

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Michigan's Infants and Toddlers: Future Promise, or Missed Opportunities?

Aug 2015 | David Murphey

This report highlights demographics of infants and toddlers living in Michigan, with special focus on indicators of their health, and relationships with caregivers.

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Bullies in the Block Area: The Early Childhood Origins of "Mean" Behavior

Aug 2015 | Kerry DeVooght; Sarah Daily; Kristen E. Darling-Churchill; Deborah Temkin; Megan Novak; Karen VanderVen

This report summarizes the factors in early childhood that appear related to later bullying, and what can buffer these factors.

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