An understanding of child development theory helps her shape public policy
“Erikson provided me with the knowledge of child development theory and practice that I rely on every day.”
While serving at-risk children and families through the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Anita Harvey-Dixon saw high-quality, intentional early childhood education and modeled her own practice on her observations. She realized, however, that something was missing: She didn’t understand the theory behind the practice.
With her supervisor’s support, she entered Erikson Institute’s child development program to deepen her knowledge. “The experience was amazing. I learned so much through Erikson’s relationship-based education,” she says.
While attending Erikson, Harvey-Dixon served as site administrator for Educare Chicago, a division of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Currently, as part of Educare Learning Network’s implementation staff, she travels across the United States to help ensure children and families have access to quality early learning. She also advocates for better early childhood policy at the school, state, and federal levels.
In 2014, Harvey-Dixon was selected as a member of the Early Childhood Leadership Academy, a signature project within Erikson Institute. The goal of the academy is to engage with leaders across many disciplines to raise awareness of how policy impacts the lives of children and families while advocating for positive change. “I see policy work as an opportunity to create change and leave a lasting legacy,” she says.
“I believe that all children deserve a great beginning, and policy work is one way I can help make that happen.”