Stanford Center on Early Childhood


The Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation is excited to collaborate with the Stanford Center on Early Childhood. Through this new relationship, SZCF will help fund a fellowship program for students, the RAPID Survey Project, and an outreach program to enhance the ongoing collaboration between academia and the community.


The Stanford Center on Early Childhood is housed on Stanford University’s campus and is part of the Stanford Accelerator for Learning.

who is scec?

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.

ScEc’s Work

The Stanford Center on Early Childhood conducts research and creates tools to support children, families, caregivers, and practitioners. The Center’s 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.


SCEC’s operating model is referred to 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 the effort

Because the Center’s work incorporates both science-based research and community-based design and innovation, every individual involved is integral and essential – creating connections and sustaining collaboration are vital. The Center holds regular convenings that bring together experts, practitioners, and policy makers on critical topics in early childhood. In addition, SCEC hosts project-specific webinars presented by faculty members and external collaborators.

RAPID Survey

The RAPID Survey Project, led by a team at the Stanford Center on Early Childhood, is designed to gather ongoing information pertaining to experiences, needs, well-being, and resiliency of children under age 6 and the adults in their lives. The goal is to provide actionable, timely data to inform policies, programs, and other efforts to support young children and their families/caregivers.

Since April 2020, RAPID has heard from thousands of households and members of the early care and education workforce nationwide.