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- Head Start, Early Head Start, Child Care
- Quality of Early Care and Education Settings
- Children’s Development from Infancy Through the Early Grades
- Supporting the Early Childhood Workforce
- Quality Improvement
- Early Childhood
- Child Development
- Early Childhood Systems
- Professional Development
- Quality Measurement
- Human Services
Louisa Tarullo has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood research, focusing on children at risk. An expert in programs and policies to support optimal development and learning in children from birth through the early school years, she serves as Mathematica’s director for early care and education policy research.
Currently, Tarullo leads an initiative to develop and test online professional development tools for infant-toddler caregivers based on a new observational measure, the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions with Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT). As co-principal investigator for the multi-cohort Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), Tarullo brings in-depth knowledge of what factors in home, school, and neighborhood environments contribute to children’s healthy cognitive and social-emotional development.
Tarullo previously directed a design project exploring the relationships between child outcomes and quality in early care settings as well as a project that produced a toolkit of materials to support programs in the use of developmentally appropriate assessment practices. She led a project carrying out specialized secondary analyses and providing technical assistance on federally funded early childhood data sets. She has had key roles on an impact analysis of preschool curricula, studies of Early Head Start programs, and a synthesis of evidence-based practices in Head Start.
Tarullo joined Mathematica in 2004 after 15 years as a researcher at the National Institutes of Health and the Administration for Children and Families. An active member of the Society for Research in Child Development, she was selected as a member of its Policy and Communications Committee, with oversight of its policy fellowship program. She has published in Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Early Education and Development, the Handbook of Clinical Child Psychology, and the Blackwell Handbook of Early Childhood Development. She holds an Ed.D. in human development and psychology from Harvard University.
Measurement Development: Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers
Mathematica developed a new measure to assess the quality of caregiver-child interactions for infants and toddlers in nonparental care. The measure can be used across child care settings, including center‐based and family child care settings, as well as single- and mixed-age classrooms.
Head Start: The Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES)
Mathematica conducted the 2006 and 2009 FACES studies, and, for the most recent studies (2014-2018 and 2019), redesigned FACES to provide key data more rapidly and with greater frequency and to help researchers examine more complex issues and topics in greater detail with more efficiency.
Child Care and Early Education Quality Features, Thresholds, and Dosage and Child Outcomes
Mathematica explored the associations between quality early care and child outcomes, examining whether certain thresholds of quality or dosage need to be met or what particular aspects of quality need to be present within different age groups and types of care settings.
New Issue Briefs on Home Visiting in Tribal Communities
The HomVEE project recently published new briefs that highlight findings from a research literature review on home visiting models in tribal communities. These briefs summarize key takeaways on developing, adapting, implementing, and evaluating home visiting models delivered in tribal communities.