Sarah Daily

Senior Research Scientist II
Program Area Director, Early Childhood Education

Sarah Daily headshot

Research Focus

Education & certification

PhD, Educational Psychology, George Mason University

Sarah Daily

Senior Research Scientist II
Program Area Director, Early Childhood Education, Bethesda, MD

Sarah Daily, PhD, focuses on early childhood research and the role that state policies and programs play in serving the needs of young children. Dr. Daily’s portfolio of projects focus on early childhood systems building efforts, and strategies to engage family and community voices in promoting equitable access to high quality early care and education. She is the principal investigator for studies including the North Carolina Infant/Toddler Feasibility Study, the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers, the State of Babies Yearbook, and a multi-funder initiative designed to track the uses of COVID recovery funding toward the stabilization of the child care industry.

Dr. Daily has led or contributed to Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) validation and evaluation studies in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, New Mexico, Vermont, and Virginia. She is currently leading a portfolio of work that centers equity in state efforts to reimagine their quality improvement systems. In recent years, she was the co-principal investigator on the formative evaluation of the Delaware Race to the Top kindergarten readiness assessment and was a part of Child Trend’s research contributions to the North Carolina multi-state K-3 Formative Assessment Consortium.

As part of the early childhood policy team that works to translate research-based best practices to policy audiences, Dr. Daily was a co-author on the Research Base for a Birth through Eight State Policy Framework for the Alliance for Early Success. Prior to joining Child Trends, Dr. Daily was program director of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices Early Childhood Policy project and led a portfolio of activities designed to support gubernatorial policy agendas for children ages birth to five who have been marginalized by systemic inequities. In her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Daily studied young children’s self-regulated learning and supportive teacher-child interactions.