Kathryn Tout is a developmental scientist who focuses on how policies, practices, and innovations can promote effective early childhood systems, program quality, and the well-being of young children and their families. She conducts research and evaluation to understand and identify best practices in early childhood system-building, program quality improvement, and professional development for early childhood educators. She provides technical assistance to build capacity in the early childhood field for continuous improvement and monitoring of progress toward equitable experiences and outcomes for young children and their families.
Kathryn leads a project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct a landscape analysis and synthesis of early childhood initiatives aimed at developing more equitable early childhood systems. Kathryn also leads Child Trends’ partnership in the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers (NCIT) funded by the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation. At the federal level, Kathryn co-directs Child Trends’ Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis contract with the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE). Under this contract, she leads workgroups of researchers and policymakers, and directs the production of research briefs and secondary data analyses on critical topics, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant, access to early care and education, and Quality Rating and Improvement Systems. Kathryn is also the principal investigator on a study to assess the feasibility of using an innovative improvement method to support practice and organizational change in child care and Head Start programs.
Kathryn directs projects from Child Trends’ Minnesota office but works across the nation with a variety of local, state and federal partners. She is passionate about using data to spark conversations about equity and new ideas for improving children’s lives. In each of her projects, Kathryn has developed strong, collaborative relationships with state agency staff and administrators, program developers, implementation teams, researchers and other stakeholders to support the development of findings that are policy-relevant and applicable to decision making.