Impact and Influence

Erikson Institute has many facets but one mission — to optimize the healthy development of very young children and their families.

Erikson Institute has long been recognized for groundbreaking contributions to the fields of child development and early childhood education. As our 50th anniversary approaches, we are poised to take bold steps forward to accelerate our impact and elevate our voice. Building on our foundational strengths, the strategies in this report focus our energy in new directions, enabling us to become an even more influential force for positive change on behalf of children, their families, and their communities.

Our new strategic plan is intentionally ambitious and emblematic of the urgency of our vision. It creates a new framework for principles that have long been critical differentiators of what we offer and what we do on behalf of children. Its implementation will guide our efforts to establish a clearer identity, strengthen our financial vitality, and create new value around Erikson’s rich and broad expertise.

The strategic planning process included market and trend research, in-depth interviews and surveys of key constituents, providing us with a clear view of our most pressing challenges and promising opportunities for the coming years. The recommendations presented here emerge directly from our considered response to the world around us, the changing landscape of higher education, the evolution of the field, and an almost overwhelming sense of urgency to use our deep knowledge to make a difference in the lives of as many children as possible.

Impact and Influence leverages our proven strengths by directing our energies and resources toward four Grand Challenges we have identified in our strategic plan research process. Simultaneously, we will strengthen our ability to achieve our mission through recommended new initiatives and investments in our internal operations, which will be the Key Drivers of our ability to succeed. We are confident that implementation of this plan will propel Erikson closer to becoming the single most influential force for change in the early childhood field on behalf of young children.
grand challenge graphic
The Grand Challenges we have identified grow from recognition of where the child lives—in the family, in the school, in a community, and within a context of service and regulatory systems. We worked to identify how we can be most effective within each of these environments and have spelled out specific strategic priorities. The challenges outlined here are of equal importance and are not listed in a particular order:

  • Lead the transformation of the early childhood workforce, in America and beyond.
  • Inform the mindful integration of technology and digital media to improve the well-being of young children, families, and their communities.
  • Improve the lives of children by increasing the quality of support for their families and communities.
  • Ensure a future in which all children have equitable opportunities to realize their full potential, through leadership and policy influence.