Funded by the

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

, the NICHD Study of Early Child Care & Youth Development is the most comprehensive study of child care and child development ever conducted. The goal of the study: to answer the many questions about the relations between child care experiences and children's behavior and abilities. UC Irvine is one of ten national research institutions selected to conduct this landmark study. At the Irvine site, the study is under the direction of

Professor Alison Clarke-Stewart


In 1991, a team of NICHD-supported researchers enrolled 1,364 children from around the country in the study. These children and their families are being followed from birth into adolescence (through the 10th grade of high school). NICHD researchers are assessing children's development using multiple methods (including live observations by trained observers, interviews and questionnaires, and formal child testing) and measuring many facets of children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. These aspects of development can then be related to children's experiences at home, in child care, and later on, in school.

Results from the study have been featured at conferences in the White House, in Congress and state legislatures, at national meetings, and in all the major television, radio, and print news media organizations. A listing of presentations and publication of findings to date can be obtained from the study web site at

The study's permanent research staff includes Dr. Virginia Allhusen (Co-Principal Investigator), Ms. Andrea Karsh (Site Coordinator), Wayne Roemhild (Program Manager) and Dawn Farrar (Research Associate). In addition, each year Dr. Clarke-Stewart employs 3-5 new research assistants, including current Psychology and Social Behavior graduate students and recent college graduates, to collect data for the study. Many of our research assistants spend one or two years working on the study in order to obtain first hand experience working on a large-scale, active research project before applying to graduate school or faculty positions in a related field (child development, early childhood education, family counseling, etc.). Past employees of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development at UCI have gone on to take jobs in fields such as early childhood education, community child care resource and referral, high school counseling, foster parent training, social services, and marketing research. Four past employees are now on the faculty at universities around the country, and many others are involved in other research projects studying a wide range of topics such as school readiness, juvenile delinquency, fetal health, schizophrenia and autism.


Alison Clarke-Stewart, Ph.D.
Study Director
(949) 824-7191

Virginia Allhusen, Ph.D.
Associate Director
(949) 824-6888

Andrea Karsh, M.A.
Study Coordinator
(949) 824-2404

Wayne Roemhild, B.A.
Office Manager
(949) 824-7116

Dawn Farrar, B.A.
Research Associate
(949) 824-6559

Nancy McGrath, M.N.
Nurse Practitioner