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

The Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research (NAECR) is housed within the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools at UNL’s College of Education and Human Sciences.

NAECR brings together individuals from a variety of disciplines, including researchers in different departments across the University of Nebraska system, to address chronic challenges that affect many young children in Nebraska.

We stimulate and support faculty efforts to pursue high-quality research to help policymakers, 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 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.