Our mission is to engage in, generate and support interdisciplinary research to benefit children age 8 and younger, and enhance the environments within which they learn and grow.

About Us

NAECR is housed within the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS) in UNL’s College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS). NAECR brings together individuals from a variety of disciplines including UNL researchers in several departments across campus to address chronic challenges that affect many young children in Nebraska.

NAECR will stimulate and support faculty efforts to pursue game-changing research to help policy makers, early childhood professionals, researchers, educators and others improve the trajectory of all young Nebraskans—especially those who face challenges in achieving academic and life success.

Core activities of NAECR will include research grant procurement and execution, formal and informal scholarly interactions and training to build capacity of faculty and graduate students, as well as proactive outreach, translation and dissemination.


  • Advance the scientific knowledge base of issues related to early childhood, including development, interventions, systems, and policies;
  • Enhance the scope, quality, and impact of UNL’s grant-supported interdisciplinary early childhood research; and
  • Translate research findings to support the health and well-being of young children.


  • Support and establish research collaborations and programs characterized by a cross-section of interdisciplinary perspectives within UNL and across the University of Nebraska system to build an intellectual knowledge base on early childhood issues;
  • Promote partnerships with local, national, and international entities;
  • Leverage extramural funds to advance research (basic, applied, and translational) capacity and productivity associated with early childhood; and
  • Disseminate research findings to (a) support evidence-based practices and programs across home, educational, and community settings; and (b) inform policy decisions.