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Juliet Bromer is a research scientist at Erikson Institute. Bromer’s research focuses on examining programs and systems that support the home-based child care workforce and quality improvement. Through her collaborations with researchers and local, state, and federal policy makers and quality improvement initiatives over the past two decades, she has developed a deep knowledge of the systems that shape the home-based child care landscape including subsidy, QRIS, accreditation, and licensing. Currently, she leads three national studies focused on home-based child care including: 1) a new federally-funded project to examine home-based child care supply and quality, 2) a multi-year national research initiative examining the quality of support offered by family child care networks to home-based child care providers, and 3) an exploratory study on the decline of family child care in four states.

Jennifer McCray earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees at Erikson Institute. A former preschool teacher, she has taught pre- and in-service preschool and elementary teachers for the past eight years.

In addition to directing the Early Math Collaborative, Jennifer conducts research on preschool teaching and learning.

Her dissertation, which focused on preschool teachers’ understanding of mathematics, recently won two national awards.

Education

M.S., Ph.D., Erikson Institute

Samantha (Sam) Melvin, PhD joined Erikson’s Herr Research Center as an Assistant Research Professor in 2022 after completing her PhD in Early Childhood Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. She brings over a decade of experience as an interdisciplinary researcher, early childhood educator, and adult learning facilitator to the Erikson community.

At Erikson, Dr. Melvin directs and collaborates on community-engaged, policy-relevant research projects focused on understanding and transforming early childhood policies and systems to equitably meet the needs of diverse children, families, and educators, with a particular focus on elevating the voices and value of home-based childcare professionals. Her work leverages mixed methods and fuses knowledge from developmental science, early childhood education, sociology, and policy analysis to inform systemic change.

Raised by a single parent, a family childcare provider, a cooperative preschool, and public schools, Dr. Melvin is a fierce advocate for community-centered learning and enriching early childhood experiences as vehicles of social justice and joy for young children and those who care for them.