The New York City Early Childhood Research Network: A Model for Integrating Research, Policy, and Practice

The New York City Early Childhood Research Network: A Model for Integrating Research, Policy, and Practice

Building a collaborative, multidisciplinary research network supports the implementation of effective programs by enabling researchers and policy makers set mutual goals, define shared metrics and protocols, collect meaningful data, and share various perspectives and learnings, a report from the Foundation for Child Development argues. The report, The New York City Early Childhood Research Network: A Model for Integrating Research, Policy, and Practice (31 pages, PDF), details the process of convening and funding the New York City Early Childhood Research Network in 2015 with the goal of studying the implementation of PreK for All, New York City’s expansion of full-day pre-K programs, and highlights elements of success and lessons learned. According to the report, the network has produced eight studies focused on the early childhood education workforce and has led to greater cooperation across sectors, coordination in research agendas, long-term collaboration, and enhanced understanding of program implementation. Recommendations for building an implementation research network include fostering shared decision making among policy makers and researchers, balancing the academic freedom of the researchers and the public dissemination of findings, and engaging an independent and neutral facilitator with established relationships with different stakeholders.

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