Research, Publications & Policy

Straus Center for Young Children & Families

Practice-oriented, policy-relevant, and equity-focused research in early care and education

Bank Street College of Education was founded in 1916 as the Bureau of Educational Experiments. Its dual purpose was to conduct applied research on what promotes children’s development and to prepare educators based upon this research.

The Straus Center continues Bank Street’s long research tradition, enacting the College’s Mission and Credo through three core activities:

  • Participatory, Equity-Focused Research

    What is the progressive early childhood education of the 21st century and importantly, what are its effects? 

    Our Work

    Claudia Lewis and Barbara Biber in research meeting
  • Ground-Up Policy Analyses

    What should decision-makers know about how policies are affecting young children, families, schools, and communities?

    Our Work

    Teacher and two children building with blocks
  • Synthesizing and Promoting Research-Based Practices

    What is the field already doing that is supported by evidence and what new approaches should be incorporated into educators’ toolboxes? 

    Our Work

    The forms need to be updated

Priority Areas

Within the broader context of national efforts to address social inequities through improved early care and education program quality and professionalization, the center is pursuing three interrelated strands focused on implementation of efforts to: 

  • Professionalize Early Care and Education (Birth to Age 5), with a particular focus on teaching and caring within the confluence of race, culture, language, dis/ability, gender, sexuality, and social class
  • Create Restorative Early Care and Education Systems, ones that are trauma-informed and, therefore, affirming of intersecting racial, cultural, linguistic, dis/ability, gender, sexual, and social class identities
  • Engage with Families and Communities in Culturally, Historically, and Linguistically Responsive and Sustaining Ways

The overall purpose of this agenda is to use data to engage with educators, policymakers, and families in reflection and dialogue about needed practice and policy changes.

About Lynn Straus

Lynn Straus

The Straus Center has been made possible with a generous gift from Lynn Straus, GSE ’47 (1925-2023), who served for more than 25 years as a trustee of Bank Street College of Education. After graduating from Bank Street, teaching first grade, and starting a family, Lynn helped to found and then direct the preschool program that became a model for the national Head Start program and grew into one of the first New York State Experimental Pre-Kindergarten Programs. She remains a passionate advocate for and generous patron of quality early childhood education programs, especially those benefiting the youngest children and meeting the needs of children and families in under-served communities. To learn more about Lynn please see: “Remembering Visionary Educator and Former Bank Street Trustee Lynn Straus.”