About the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy

A child’s early years are vital to development and have an astonishing influence on that child’s life trajectory and later outcomes. The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy aims to build the collective knowledge base in research areas that impact young children and families in order to influence policy and practice related to early childhood learning, language and literacy, overall well-being, and more. Our research sheds light on babies, toddlers, and the critical period of development from birth to three. It also focuses on preschool-aged children, kindergarten, and literacy and learning happening during the grade school years.

We believe the spectrum of learning is lifelong. Children are shaped by their ongoing experiences at home, at school, and in their communities, and benefit from research and thought leadership that recognizes and respects their extraordinary capability to grow, learn, and thrive.

As part of the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University, the Crane Center is a multidisciplinary research center that helps to connect leading experts, faculty, researchers, staff, and students in collaborative early childhood research. Some of this research includes long-term studies resulting in peer-reviewed publication. Some is driven by local government or non-profit needs. Some is focused on providing short-term analysis or translation for policy makers or practitioners.

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 improve outcomes for children – to connect in one place, under one roof.

About the College

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   5) Internationalization and Global Engagement

To learn more about the college’s vision, mission, core values, and community pillars, click 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 (link to SFC site for more updated description on the history of the building itself).

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? See here for options or click below for general contact information.