State education agencies (SEAs) play an essential role in developing policies that support young children’s school readiness and success. Yet nationwide, the busy early education specialists who work in SEAs need support to integrate research-based practices into their policymaking.

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) is charged with providing this support. EDC’s CEELO team is committed to grounding policy and practice in research, promoting sustainable change, fostering innovation, and reflecting and respecting diversity. It also provides resources and guidance to early education specialists in all 50 U.S. states and territories.

Key Activities

CEELO works with federal, state, and local partners to use data, authentic assessments, effective professional development, and outstanding instructional practices to support learning opportunities for children. The project’s activities include the following:

  • Provide responsive technical assistance to SEAs
  • Help states and territories advance strategic objectives in early childhood education practices
  • Develop and disseminate publications, including policy briefs and rapid response documents for state policymakers
  • Organize the year-long CEELO Leadership Academy, which strengthens leadership and management competencies of SEA staff who manage early childhood education programs
  • Organize annual meetings, which build the capacity of early childhood specialists to provide informed leadership about research-based practices that directly impact the development and learning of young children


  • Worked with early childhood specialists in all 50 U.S. states
  • Helped Nevada develop a strategic plan and operating procedures for the newly established Office of Early Learning and Development
  • Helped to develop program guidelines for grades 1–3 and improve quality of teaching in New Jersey
  • With the Center on School Turnaround, co-published Incorporating Early Learning Strategies in the School Improvement Grants Program, which was distributed at the 2014 White House Summit on Early Education

Learn More

Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO)
U.S. Department of Education

Rutgers University, National Institute for Early Education Research; Council of Chief State School Officers; National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education