Our Mission

Building equitable opportunities for all young children to learn and thrive through policy, practice, research, and evaluation.

Our Commitment

We value every child’s unique and extraordinary capability to grow, learn, and thrive. We strive to bring the best evidence and ideas forward so that all children – from birth to toddlerhood, preschool and beyond – have equitable opportunities to be nurtured, supported, and appreciated for their unique potential.

About Our Work

Foundational to this commitment to young children are partnerships among practice, policy, research, and evaluation. We pursue scientific discoveries through rigorous methods, and then work to translate that knowledge off the page and into real-world ideas and actions to enhance children’s learning, development, and well-being. 

We bring together passionate experts from across disciplines and domains, believing that the sum is always greater than its parts. We apply an equity and anti-racist lens to all areas of our work, seeking to build a world where all children can lead fulfilling lives untarnished by inequities, racism, and structural inequality.   

We do this by:  

  • Educating children in our model demonstration school and Early Head Start sites across the community; 
  • Discovering best evidence through high-quality research and evaluations; 
  • Communicating research findings to policy makers, child advocates, and parents; 
  • Training the next generation of early childhood practitioners and researchers; and  
  • Partnering across agencies and community groups to serve the holistic needs of children and families. 

About the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy

As part of the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy is a multidisciplinary research center that connects leading experts, faculty, researchers, staff, and students in collaborative early childhood research. The Crane Center also adds to the collective knowledge base of research-based evidence to influence policy and practice related to children and families.  

Our unique partnership with the Schoenbaum Family Center and A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning create one-of-a-kind opportunities for all of us – united in our mission – to connect in one place, under one roof. 

About the College of Education and Human Ecology

The College of Education and Human Ecology concentrates on five pillars, or themes, in its work and community outreach. These are 1) Early Childhood, 2) Urban and Rural Education, 3) Health and Economic Vitality, 4) STEAM Education, and 5) Internationalization and Global Engagement. To learn more about the college’s pillars, visit their site here.

What does our day-to-day work look like?

  • Bringing together a multidisciplinary community of researchers who share an interest in improving children’s well-being
  • Leading research projects that expand our knowledge base in areas that are directly applicable to children and families. See the breadth of our work here.
  • Partnering and building coalitions with others who share our mission to improve children’s lives, including researchers, school districts, early childhood providers, local government, and national or international institutions.
  • Engaging policy makers and translating research or data in ways that can equip them to be informed in their decision making.
  • Designing evidence-based materials for educators, caregivers, and practitioners that build children’s literacy skills.
  • Conducting program evaluations, analysis, and other consultations in order to help community organizations and advocates achieve their goals.
  • Providing mentorship, professional development, and collaborative learning opportunities for early childhood scholars as well as Ohio State students and staff.

History and the Crane Family Legacy

Building on the work of the Children’s Learning Research Collaborative which began in 2006, the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy was named after a generous donation from the Crane family in April 2013. Thirty individuals representing three generations of the Crane family came together to fund the center.

Their generous gift empowers Ohio State to become a driving force in making new discoveries about child development and early education, especially in urban environments. Housed within Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology, Crane applies the best scientific thinking in order to build the knowledge base on early childhood research topics.

The Crane Center is housed within the Schoenbaum Family Center, which opened in August 2007 in Weinland Park. To learn more about the building’s history as well as our partnership with the Schoenbaum Center, click here.

The Crane family is recognized throughout central Ohio as a committed and generous community partner. Through financial gifts, scholarships, and volunteer efforts, the Crane family has supported local schools, museums and the arts, health and social service agencies, and more. Learn more about the Crane Group’s philanthropic activities.

Have a Question?

Interested in our work, but not sure who to connect with? Click here for options or click below for general contact information.