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Our Mission and Work

Infant seated with toysThe Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE) is an internationally recognized research and professional development institute focused on enhancing the quality of early care and education. Opened in 2007, the Center works to enhance the quality of early care and education by:

  • Conducting innovative research that produce findings with clear and significant implications for professional practice and the support of young children and families
  • Disseminating research findings in a variety of formats to early childhood researchers, professionals, and policymakers. 
  • Supporting teacher educators and others who prepare future and current early childhood teachers and providers

The Center regularly partners with community-based programs, public schools, home day care providers, and home visiting programs throughout Connecticut to conduct research and capture video footage of high-quality teaching, caregiving, and family support services.

In addition, Center faculty work closely with teachers in Eastern's comprehensive children's program, also known as the Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC). The children's program serves an economically and ethnically diverse population, including families receiving subsidized child care and families for whom English is a second language. The diversity provides a rich environment for observing children from different backgrounds and for studying what kinds of teaching practices are effective with different populations. The latest in video recording technology enables students and faculty to observe and videotape children without entering the children's program by manipulating cameras and microphones from faculty offices or classrooms in the Center. Faculty utilize the video technology to:

  • Conduct research studies on specific behaviors
  • Follow the growth and development of individual children
  • Observe the impact of different teaching practices
  • Record effective teaching practices for use in lectures and trainings
  • Record students and teachers teaching young children for learning and reflection purposes