The Network of Infant/Toddler Researchers (NitR) consortium brings together leading applied researchers with the policymakers and technical assistance providers responsible for overseeing and supporting early childhood programs serving families during pregnancy and the first 3 years of life. The Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) OPRE convened NitR to answer questions of interest to ACF. NitR brings together researchers interested in policy and practice issues relevant to programs serving families during pregnancy and when children are infants and toddlers. This includes child care, home visiting, Early Head Start, and child welfare.
NitR members collaborate and coordinate to encourage research-informed practice and practice-informed research as they:
Identify existing research that can inform policy and practice in ACF-relevant programs and work with Federal staff to translate research for various audiences and purposes in innovative ways.
Identify barriers to the implementation of research-informed practice and think of creative strategies to overcome barriers.
Become more informed about ACF priorities and programs and identify topical and methodological research gaps to make research efforts more informed by practice and supportive of ACF-relevant programs serving pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.
Review the current knowledge base in order to distill and disseminate accrued knowledge while also conceptualizing innovative research strategies to expand on the current state of the field.
Build capacity in the field of applied developmental science through facilitation of networking and collaboration among the participants of NitR to conduct research that would directly inform ACF-relevant programs serving pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. This includes explicit outreach and mentoring of junior faculty and graduate students. (NitR Mission Statement, 2017)
More information about NitR is included in its mission statement.
NitR Working Groups, Products, and Contact Information
NitR members have the opportunity to participate in working groups and develop publicly available products. Working groups are formed and led by members who are interested in exploring a narrow topic or interest within the broader field of infant and toddler research. NitR’s products cover a range of topics relevant to the care of infants and toddlers, and are aimed toward audiences of providers, parents, and researchers.
Active NitR Working Groups
NitR Graduate Students and Early Career Scholars
The NitR Graduate Student and Early Career Working Group brings together early career scholars who are studying influences on the development of young children from pregnancy through the first 3 years of life. The group aims to increase opportunities for students to collaborate with NitR faculty members and other students to conduct research that informs policy and practice in ACF-relevant programs.
Workgroup leads: Dianna Tran (Dianna.Tran@acf.hhs.gov) and Sarah Blankenship (Sarah.Blankenship@acf.hhs.gov)
Explore the list of resources created by NitR.
Developmental Foundations of School Readiness for Infants and Toddlers: A Research to Practice Report
Drowning Prevention for Young Children: Provider Brief
Including Relationship-Based Care Practices in Infant-Toddler Care: Implications for Practice and Policy
Prevent Drowning: Parent Handout
Preventing Sleep-Related Infant Death: Provider Brief
Services for Families of Infants and Toddlers Experiencing Trauma
Working Toward a Definition of Infant/Toddler Curricula: Intentionally Furthering the Development of Individual Children Within Responsive Relationships
For more information about NitR, please contact:
OPRE NitR Lead
NitR Co-Lead, University of Connecticut