Early Childhood: Our Focus for 50 Years

Erikson Institute was one of the first organizations in the country to recognize the importance of a child’s early years.

We still do.

For 50 years, we’ve focused exclusively on early childhood – educating, serving, and leading with a far-ranging impact to improve the lives of young children, families, and communities.

We are the nation’s premier independent institution of higher education committed to ensuring that all children have equitable opportunities to reach their potential. On our downtown Chicago campus and through distance learning, we uniquely prepare adults to become informed leaders and practitioners through a range of contemporary graduate programs in child development, social work, and early childhood education.

Along with our groundbreaking educational programs offered here and internationally, our expert faculty and professional leaders embrace Erikson’s pioneering spirit through innovative programs and partnerships. We create and share new knowledge, partner with schools and communities, provide services to children and families, and advocate to make a positive and lasting difference.

Because nothing matters more than a child’s early years.

In everything we do, Erikson Institute — the nation’s premier graduate school in child development — works to improve the care and education of children age birth to eight.

These are just a few examples of the ways we work to change the lives of children and families. We achieve our mission through:

  • Academic programs that provide deep knowledge of early growth and development essential to working effectively with young children; ongoing professional development to sharpen the skills and effectiveness of those working in the early childhood field.
  • Online programs that expand access to advanced education.
  • Direct services to families.
  • Applied research that pinpoints effective early childhood programs, practices and policies.
  • Community partnerships and initiatives that improve and expand services in schools, social service agencies, the child welfare system, health services, courts, and more.
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