We understand what makes the early years so important. That has been our mission, and our passion, for 50 years.

We are the country’s premier graduate school in child development, uniquely preparing the next generation of leaders in the fields of child development, social work, and early childhood education.

We provide direct service to children and families through a variety of programs including our Center for Children and Families, Fussy Baby Network, and our evaluation program for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

We innovate to bring new ideas to the classroom and early learning environments, looking for new ways to close the achievement gap.

We speak out with a sense of urgency, sharing insights on important issues such as technology in the early years and serving as a trusted voice on the early childhood experience, particularly when children and families are at risk.

We create new knowledge around ‘what we know,’ sharing best practices and learning from others around the globe in countries such as China, Bulgaria, Brazil, New Zealand, and Israel.

We focus on education, research, service, and advocacy to improve the lives of young children and their families.