Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

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Phone: (703) 934-3000
Mailing Address: 1902 Reston Metro Plaza, Reston, VA 20190


Research Connections Staff


Karen Ruprecht

Project Director

Karen Ruprecht

Karen has worked in various roles that focus on the intersection of research, policy, and practice in early care and education. Her previous research and evaluation work includes conducting QRIS validation, implementation, and longitudinal studies; evaluating a state-funded pre-k initiative, and conducting research on the practice of continuity of care for infants and toddlers. She has worked directly with state child care administrators and their teams to develop, design, and disseminate research. She is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leader Fellow program where she researched the impact of parental incarceration on young children, families, and child care providers. She earned her PhD in Child Development and Family Studies from Purdue University and her Masters in Public Administration from St. Louis University.

Jen Ledford

Senior Librarian

Jen Ledford

Jen is passionate about connecting people to high-quality resources to facilitate informed, responsible decision-making. She holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Indiana University and has over 20 years of experience working in business, public, school, and medical libraries. After working in biomedical literature at the NIH National Library of Medicine for several years, Jen is excited to join Research Connections and shift her focus to serve educators, policy makers, and other clients in the child care and early education and social sciences communities.

Photo of Ally Greenfield


Ally Greenfield

Passionate about promoting discovery and expanding knowledge for everyone, Ally has been a cataloging librarian for most of her career. She has experience working in public, academic, and medical libraries and earned her master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons University. After the birth of her son, she became interested in early childhood development and education and is excited to be combining her professional and personal interests by working with Research Connections.

Alyssa Zimko


Alyssa Zimko

Alyssa has worked in libraries since 2011 and enjoys helping people in the library. She graduated in 2013 from the University of South Florida with her graduate degree in Library and Information Science. Mrs. Zimko started her career in libraries as a library technician at St. Petersburg College in 2011, while completing her graduate degree. Since beginning her career, Alyssa has worked in academic libraries, public libraries, and worked in several online librarian roles. She has been married to her husband Zack for three years and has one year old daughter, Jocelyn. She also has two dogs, Luna a corgi, and Lily a rescue dog that is a corgi mix

A broader team, with diverse responsibilities, supports the Research Connections project and is instrumental to its success.

Federal Contacts

Wendy DeCourcey
Federal Project Officer, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation


Tracy Carter Clopet
Federal Project Specialist, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

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