Advanced Studies

A group of graduates in line facing away from the camera. They are wearing black robes and black motarboards with gold tassels.  The center motarboard has "Early Childhood Policy" written in gold text.

Opportunity for Advanced Studies in Early Childhood Policy

Looking to advance your career in early childhood policy? Here is a list of institutions of higher education offering certificates and degrees related to ECP.

ECPIHE Related Programs


Boston College: Certificate in Early Childhood Policy Leadership through The Institute of Early Childhood Policy

The Institute of Early Childhood Policy at Boston College is a cross-disciplinary effort between the Lynch School of Education and Human Development and the School of Social Work. Led by Professor Rebekah Levine Coley and faculty in the two schools, the IECP expands interdisciplinary research, training, and collaborative partnerships in the field of early childhood policy. The IECP offers a Certificate in Early Childhood Policy Leadership.


Columbia University: Masters in Education Policy

The 33-credit M.A. degree aims to build a cadre of education policy experts whose deep grounding in a range of educational policy issues is matched by their understanding of the policy process and the tools of policy analysis. The degree is focused on the preparation of policy analysts, policy advocates, and education researchers. The program develops students’ knowledge and skills by drawing on interdisciplinary policy studies, the social science disciplines of economics, law, politics, and sociology, and substantive content on policies and practice in early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, law and education, and data analysis, and research methods.


GPIDEA Alliance:  Great Plains IDEA Certificate Programs

The Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA) is a consortium of renowned public universities from across the United States, offering online, flexible, and affordable degree and certificate programs across a range of subjects in human services and agriculture. Great Plains IDEA provides educational freedom, creating rewarding pathways for lifelong learning, career advancement, and community growth in an ever-changing society.


University of California Berkeley: UC Berkeley's Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Child Policy Program

Berkeley is launching a new graduate program in Transdisciplinary Early Learning Science & Child Policy. It brings developmental science to public policy, building on the relevance and impact of community-engaged research, that comprises innovative academic training at Berkeley. We leverage Berkeley’s expertise in Public Policy, Psychology, Public Health, Education, Social Welfare, and Journalism—integrated through the Institute of Human Development (IHD)—to deepen graduate training for students. They will work in interdisciplinary teams, using an actionable science approach, on real-world child-policy cases and complete early childhood policy internships. The graduate Certificate in Early Child Policy launches in the Fall of 2022; the 4+1 Master’s program will follow in 2023.


University of Colorado Denver: School of Education and Human Development

The School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) offers a PhD in Early Childhood Policy, bridging developmental science, child and family studies, and early childhood policy and systems research. The program prepares candidates to be leaders, policymakers, policy advisors and analysts, faculty members, and researchers who successfully shape, direct, implement, and evaluate early childhood services, infrastructure, and policy and contribute to the scholarly knowledge that undergirds the discipline. Students gain applied research and policy experiences through faculty-led projects. In the future, as SEHD nurtures an Early Childhood Policy Research Institute (ECPRI), a master’s degree in early childhood policy and leadership, as well as a self-contained certificate in early childhood policy, will also be developed.


University of Florida: Early Childhood Policy Centers Collaborative

The University of Florida’s Early Childhood Policy Centers Collaborative (ECP-CC) is a hub for training the next generation of leaders in early childhood policy, producing actionable early childhood research, furthering the development of early childhood policy as a field, and, ultimately, improving the lives of children and families.

Emerging leaders and early childhood practitioners can advance their studies and credentials through the Collaborative’s newly launched graduate certificate in early childhood policy and a forthcoming master’s in early childhood policy. Researchers and policymakers can find insights to improve policy and practice through the Collaborative’s ongoing research and policy analysis. And, those interested in the field, can engage in the Collaborative’s ongoing campus and public events.

The Early Childhood Policy Centers Collaborative leverages existing expertise while creating new synergies between UF centers and academic departments engaged in early childhood policy research and practice. With faculty from the Education Policy Research Center, Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, and the Law School’s Center on Children and Families, the Early Childhood Policy Centers Collaborative houses national leaders in the policy conversation around young children.


University of Washington: Center for Early Childhood Policy and Equity

The Center for Early Childhood Policy and Equity (CECPE) at the University of Washington aims to cultivate future generations of early childhood policy leaders positioned to engage in equity-oriented, evidence-based policymaking that promotes intersectional justice in early childhood. We are currently developing a degree option in early childhood policy and leadership.

Other Early Childhood Policy Programs

Brandeis University: Master and PhD of Public Policy – Child, Youth and Family (CYF) Policy Concentration

Case Western Reserve University: Childhood Studies Minor

Duke University: Child Policy Research Certificate – Undergraduate

Erikson Institute and Loyola (Dual Degree): University Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) and Master of Science in Child Development (MS)

Georgetown University: McCourt School of Public Policy

Harvard Graduate School of Education: Certificate in Early Education Leadership (CEEL)

Harvard Law School: Child Advocacy Program

Loyola University Chicago: MJ in Children's Law and Policy

Loyola University Chicago: MSW/MJ Child and Family Law

Montclair State University: Certificate, Undergraduate, and Graduate Programs in Child Advocacy and Policy Certification

Northern Arizona University: Early Childhood Education, Master of Education - Early Childhood Leadership Emphasis

Northwestern University: PhD in Human Development and Social Policy Social Policymaking and Policy Implementation Curriculum

Oakland University: Doctor of Philosophy in Early Childhood Education

Stanford University: Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies

Stanford University: Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA)

Syracuse University: Child and Family Policy Studies Minor

Tufts University: M.A. in Child Study and Human Development with a Concentration in Child and Family Policy and Programs

University of Dayton: Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy (BSE)

University of Dayton: Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy (MSE)

University of Minnesota: Certificate in Early Childhood Policy

University of Massachusetts at Boston: Post Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research, Policy, and Practice

University of Massachusetts at Boston: Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation

University of North Carolina Wilmington: Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy in Early Childhood

University of Oregon: Master's in Education Policy and Leadership

University of Virginia: Department of Education Leadership, Foundations, and Policy

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater: Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education Policy

Walden University: Post-Master's Certificate in Educational Policy, Leadership, and Management

Walden University: Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Advocacy and Public Policy

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