Anna D. Johnson is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University and a research fellow in the early childhood development division at Child Trends. At Child Trends, Dr. Johnson leads the Early Care and Education (ECE) Access and Choices Workgroup, a learning community of scholars and practitioners targeting issues related to defining, measuring, and understanding challenges to ECE access for low-income families. At Georgetown, she focuses primarily on the potential of publicly funded ECE to reduce cognitive, social-emotional, and self-regulatory school readiness gaps between low-income children and their more advantaged peers. She has extensively studied the use of the federal child care subsidy program and its effects on ECE quality and type, and on children’s school readiness. Recently, Dr. Johnson launched a study in Tulsa, OK, funded by the Spencer Foundation, to assess the classroom-level mechanisms that might explain the Tulsa public pre-k system’s positive short-term impacts on children’s early learning. In additional work, Dr. Johnson is investigating the roles of other early vulnerabilities—such as food insecurity, child special needs, child dual language learner status, and maternal depression—in explaining early educational outcomes.
Dr. Johnson’s research has been recognized with an Early Career Research Contributions Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in 2015; in 2016, she was the recipient of SRCD’s Victoria S. Levin Award for Early Career Success in Young Children’s Mental Health and was named an emerging scholar of the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse. In 2017, Dr. Johnson was awarded a Foundation for Child Development Young Scholars award.
Dr. Johnson holds a PhD in developmental psychology (with distinction) and a Master’s in Public Administration, both from Columbia University.