BGSU to develop Institute for Early Childhood and Family Policy

The Ohio Department of Education's Center for Students, Families and Communities has awarded the College of Education and Human Development a $180,000 subsidy grant to develop an Institute for Early Childhood and Family Policy.

The new institute will assist in the creation of policy and best-practice models that effectively address the needs of children and families. Development of the institute will begin in May.

Dr. Josué Cruz Jr., dean of the education college, will serve as interim director for the institute. Drs. Randall Leite and Laura Landry-Meyer, both faculty in the human development and family studies program in the college's School of Family and Consumer Sciences, will be associate directors.

"I am so pleased with the work of Dr. Leite and Dr. Landry-Meyer toward the creation of the institute," said Cruz. "The Institute for Early Childhood and Family Policy represents the first program in Ohio aimed at providing explicit, nonpartisan child-and-family policy research, analysis and recommendations to legislators, legislative staff, state agency personnel and education and social service professionals throughout the state."

Cruz, a former Fulbright scholar, has done extensive research in early childhood education and development. He is president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is on the advisory boards of Nick Jr. magazine and Bright Horizons Family Solutions.

Leite has conducted research on outcomes associated with various child and family policies. He is also a member of the public policy committee for the National Council on Family Relations.

Landry-Meyer has conducted research aimed at forming family policy and, ultimately, social service practice in Ohio. She has been involved in research and statewide policy related to grandparents raising grandchildren and kinship caregiving.

The new institute will serve as a clearinghouse for policy research and recommendations and will maintain affiliations with researchers at BGSU as well as other institutions throughout Ohio.

For more information, contact the institute at
May 1, 2006