Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

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Scope of the Collection

The library pulls together gray research literature (e.g., publicly available reports and briefs published by government agencies, and for-profit and non-profit organizations), peer-reviewed journal articles, survey instruments, webinars, and descriptions of projects funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), within the child care and early education (CCEE) field.


The collection includes these major subjects of research:

  • The CCEE experiences of children birth through age 8 and – when addressing school-age child care – through age 13

  • Parents and families using CCEE services

  • The CCEE workforce

  • CCEE settings

  • National, state, and local CCEE policies

Browse the full list of topics on the Explore Our Topics page.

Research on elementary education is beyond the scope of the collection. Research on other child and family services (e.g., child welfare, early intervention, family support) is beyond the scope of the collection, except when it focuses on the role of CCEE in those arenas.

Resource Types 

The collection includes a variety of resource types, the most common of which are described below. View the complete list of resource types

Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects: Research initiatives sponsored by the Office of Child Care or OPRE, Administration for Children and Families  

Executive Summary: Overview of major findings and recommendations from larger, more detailed reports of original research 

Fact Sheets and Briefs: Descriptive summaries of statistical results or research findings, often accompanied by policy implications  

Instruments: Data collection tools and measures used in reports, data sets, and major research projects in the collection 

Interactive Tools: A site featuring interactive data, such as a map with clickable geographic regions

Literature Review: Resources that summarize and critique reports on a particular topic, to provide a broad understanding of the status of research on the topic 

Multimedia: A webinar or a recorded audio or video presentation

Reports and Papers: Reports of original research and papers dealing with theoretical issues relevant to child care and early education 

Other: Policy papers, discussions of research or policy, commentaries, descriptions of existing research, or materials that do not fit into any of the other categories


The collection focuses on the United States but also includes research on CCEE in other countries.

Assessing Research Quality

Research Connections accepts research and related documents that fall within the scope of the topics and resource types noted above, without judging the quality of their design, methods, findings, and general content. Because the intent of the site is to inform users' understanding and decisions—and not to make recommendations—we provide research publications with differing perspectives. It is essential that visitors evaluate the quality of research they find on the site. Resources to help with evaluation are available on the Assessing Research Quality page.


Research Connections' librarians routinely search several hundred websites and journals from the range of disciplines and professional fields that study CCEE. To suggest additional publications to include in the library, please email

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