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NITR: The Network of Infant Toddler Researchers: Mission Statement



The Network of Infant/Toddler Researchers (NITR) is a consortium that brings together leading applied researchers with policymakers and technical assistance providers responsible for overseeing and supporting early childhood programs serving families during pregnancy and the first three years of life. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) convened the Network to answer questions of interest to ACF. The Network 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:

Guiding Principles

The following principles are important to keep in mind as the NITR considers its work:

APPENDIX A: Definitions

non-federal participant in the activities of the Network of infant/toddler Researchers
Federal Team
OPRE staff
Federal Partners
federal staff from offices outside of OPRE and/or ACF that participate in the activities of the NitR

APPENDIX B: Parameters and Guidelines

  1. Members will not be provided privileged government information.
  2. Members will not be prohibited from applying for funding opportunities that emerge from ideas shared within the Network of infant/toddler Research.
  3. A steering committee composed of a rotating assembly of members will advise OPRE on matters related to this consortium.

APPENDIX C: Activities

The proposed list of potential activities is designed to address each of the proposed goals.

  1. Hold gatherings as well as on-going communication to build bridges between those doing research, policy, or practice in EHS, child care, home visiting, and child welfare.
  2. Engage in discussions with OPRE, ACF program offices, and TA providers to identify priority areas.
  3. Create a matrix of topics and bring all perspectives together (research, policy, program, TA) to prioritize and compile what is known and unknown about each topic.
  4. For priorities with insufficient data to address, suggest innovative strategies and pathways toward informing the field about issues related to the priority in question.
  5. Identify state-of-the-art and innovative approaches for emerging issues that have the potential to become priorities in the future.
  6. Participate in the dissemination of information. Means may include but are not limited to:
    1. Research briefs based on existing knowledge or secondary data analysis geared toward providing guidance to ACF programs;
    2. Presentations to ACF offices on what is known about a topic that could influence policy;
    3. Presentations or papers for researchers in order to engage a wider research audience in these questions.
    4. A NitR website to share work of the group, including products and knowledge from the consortium.
    5. Informal gatherings at conferences that include applied research on infant-toddler populations, such as Society for Research in Child Development, National Research Conference on Early Childhood, World Association of Infant Mental Health, and Zero-To-Three.