Stanford Center on Early Childhood


The Stanford Center on Early Childhood brings new tools and pathways for impact to the places where early childhood development happens–early learning environments, healthcare, and community-based family support programs and services.

who we are

The Stanford Center on Early Childhood is an initiative of the Stanford Accelerator for Learning, which seeks to accelerate solutions to the most pressing challenges facing learners. Housed at the Graduate School of Education and led by Dr. Philip Fisher, the center draws on the GSE’s cutting-edge expertise in learning, as well as Stanford’s globally-recognized strength in innovation and collaboration across disciplines.

what we do

The Stanford Center on Early Childhood conducts research and creates tools to support children, families, caregivers, and practitioners. Our work spans research, policy, and practice essential to advancing the world’s capacity to nurture its youngest learners and help them reach their full potential. We refer to our operating model as the IDEA cycle: Identify, Design, Evaluate, Accelerate. The IDEA cycle provides a framework for identifying critical issues in early childhood, designing a proposed solution, evaluating its effectiveness (what works for whom), and accelerating its impact. Importantly, the IDEA cycle is iterative in nature, encouraging continuous improvement and ongoing development.

Join us

Because our work involves both science-based research and community-based design and innovation, our people are integral to all we do – creating connections and sustaining collaboration are in our DNA. The center holds regular convenings that bring together experts, practitioners, and policy makers on critical topics in early childhood. In addition, we host project-specific webinars presented by members of our faculty and external collaborators.