About CEED

We conduct research, provide professional development, conduct program quality evaluations and observations, and offer consultation services. We are also the home of the Trainers And RBPD Specialists Support (TARSS) program, supporting trainers and RBPD specialists throughout Minnesota.

Student experience

Are you an undergraduate or graduate student at UMN interested in gaining early childhood research experience? Contact us.

Consultation services

Our experts work with clients to develop and implement evidence-based solutions that support early learning.

We give each client the tools and data they need to address challenging issues in early education. Drawing on the latest research, we collaborate with teams and organizations to identify goals for change and strategies to meet each goal.

For more than 40 years, we’ve helped early educators, caregivers, practitioners, and programs achieve the best outcomes for children and families. Our experts have experience working with nonprofit, private, and government organizations. We tailor each project to our client’s needs.

Available consultation services

  • Classroom quality, including the Environmental Ratings Scales and CLASS®
  • Data-driven program improvement
  • Curriculum development
  • Training program development
  • Evaluation design
  • Research design

Example consultation projects

  • We created a five-part Bridging Education and Mental Health (BEAM) training series for a school district’s early childhood providers. The trainings highlighted research on early childhood mental health, stress biology, and trauma, and provided teachers and related service providers with strategies to support children’s social-emotional development.
  • We provided consultation services for a Head Start program that included Pre-K CLASS® observations, follow-up coaching sessions, and feedback reports with recommendations for improvement.

Observation services

Our staff observe classrooms using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) and Environmental Rating Scales (ERS). To maximize program understanding and professional development, our observers also co-observe with program observers to compare scores and maintain adherence to the selected tool.

We conduct classroom observations for multiple research, evaluation, and professional development projects in Minnesota.

Our staff observe to the highest standards of reliability in the field, which ensures they conduct observations the same way each time.

Example observation projects

  • We measured coaching quality in Parent Aware for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Parent Aware is Minnesota’s quality rating and improvement system for child care and early education programs.
  • We provided CLASS® observations for sites that sought a 3- or 4-star Parent Aware rating.
  • We provided Pre-K CLASS® observations for a Head Start program.

Evaluation services

We provide a research-based, objective way to determine program effectiveness through external program evaluations. Our approach is client-centered and adheres to the highest research standards and data management strategies.

We’ve conducted program evaluations for federal and state agencies, private foundations, school districts, and nonprofit organizations. Process and outcome evaluations range from specific program elements to large-scale, multi-site evaluations.

Our evaluation services are driven by project, client, and stakeholder needs. They focus on identifying key performance measures to capture program effectiveness.

Available evaluation services

  • Evaluation planning, development, and design
  • Development and selection of quantitative and qualitative instruments and data collection strategies
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Training and technical assistance to develop, access, manage, and interpret performance measure systems
  • Report writing to communicate findings to multiple audiences and stakeholders

Example evaluation projects

  • We evaluated programs delivered in metro area child care centers that serve children from high-stress, high-risk backgrounds.
  • We evaluated curriculum development and implementation in a community outreach program for a regional children’s theater company.
  • We conducted early language and literacy assessments to inform national, local, and multi-site initiatives.
  • We evaluated a statewide professional development program in public health home visiting.

Our mission and vision

Integrating the science of early development to enhance the work of professionals through evidence-based research, program quality, reflective practice, and professional development.

CEED envisions a highly-qualified early childhood workforce, open to learning and confident in their ability to support all children’s development in the context of safe and nurturing relationships. 

Our philosophy and values

Relationships matter. Inclusivity, reflection, responsiveness, and cultural humility drive our work.

  • Supportive relationships
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Data-based decision-making
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Continuous quality improvement
  • Respect
  • Continual learning
  • Science is not a secret; science should be shared
  • Social-emotional, intellectual, and physical growth

Diversity statement

At CEED, we continuously work to recognize and respond to our own biases and the ways in which dominant groups have shaped long-held systemic inequities and norms in early childhood. We value diverse viewpoints and experiences and promote reflection in our work and the work of others. We are committed to equity, integration, and inclusion in our workplace and the broader community.

Our history

Since 1975, we’ve supported early education professionals who help children from infancy through age eight learn and develop to the best of their abilities.

CEED is a center within the Institute of Child Development (ICD) at the University of Minnesota. ICD is a premier center of scholarship, teaching, and research that is devoted to understanding and supporting how children learn and grow.