Network of Infant Toddler Researchers (NitR)

The Network of infant/toddler Researchers (NitR) consortium brings together leading applied researchers with policymakers and technical assistance providers responsible for overseeing and supporting early childhood programs serving families during pregnancy and the first three years of life.

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) convened the Network to answer questions of interest to ACF. NitR brings together researchers interested in policy and practice issues relevant to programs serving families during pregnancy and when children are infants and toddlers. This includes child care, home visiting, Early Head Start, and child welfare.

NitR members collaborate and coordinate to encourage research-informed practice and practice-informed research as they:

  • Identify existing research that can inform policy and practice in ACF-relevant programs and work with federal staff to translate research for various audiences and purposes in innovative ways;
  • Identify barriers to the implementation of research-informed practice and think of creative strategies to overcome barriers;
  • Become more informed about ACF priorities and programs and identify topical and methodological research gaps to make research efforts more informed by practice and supportive of ACF-relevant programs serving pregnant women, infants, and toddlers;
  • Review the current knowledge base in order to distill and disseminate accrued knowledge, while also conceptualizing innovative research strategies to expand upon the current state of the field;
  • Build capacity in the field of applied developmental science through facilitation of networking and collaboration among the participants of the Network to conduct research that would directly inform ACF-relevant programs serving pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. This includes explicit outreach and mentoring of junior faculty and graduate students. (NitR mission statement, 2017)

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Point(s) of contact: Sarah Blankenship, Jenessa Malin, and Dianna Tran

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