Early Childhood Work Group


The Early Childhood (EC) work group is a team of EC researchers and leaders committed to improving the health of young children through improved research and practice in setting where children spend time. The mission of the Early Childhood (EC) work group is to build a multi-disciplinary network of researchers and leaders from academia, non‐profit organizations, government, and other funding agencies to increase the amount and quality of research and best practices in promoting optimal physical and cognitive development through the promotion of healthy eating, and to support and facilitate the development and implementation of evidence‐informed policies. Special emphasis is placed on equity and addressing the needs of lower‐income and racial/ethnic minority populations at highest risk for low diet quality and/or obesity.

Membership in the work group is open to all NOPREN and HER members with an interest in obesity prevention research and evaluation in the childcare/early childhood setting, including on topics related to nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors. The primary population of interest is children ages 0 to 5 years in a variety of out‐of‐home settings, including child care (both centers and homes), preschool, pre‐kindergarten, and Head Start.

Download the EC Overview document for more information about the work group.

Download the article ‘Best Practices for Collaboration in Research’ by Lucy Delgadillo, Utah State University, for more information on the Learning Collaborative model. 


Head Start BMI & ECE Sub-Group
Alison Tovar - Chair
Virginia Stage & Beth Miller - Co-chairs

SNAP-ED & ECE Sub-Group 
Mary Schroder - Chair
Heidi Hetzler - Co-chair

Breastfeeding Sub-Group
Anne Merewood - Chair
Laura Burnham - Co-chair
Aishat - Logistics

ECE Workforce Wellbeing Sub-Group
Laura Lessard - Chair
Kwon-ah Kwon - Co-chair

Alison Tovar - Chair
Jamie Chiriqui & Kate Bauer - Co-chairs

Digital Health Solutions in the ECE Setting 
Lucine Francis - Chair

For sub-group contact information, please click here

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