Christy Tirrell-Corbin

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children's 37th Annual International Conference on Young Children With Disabilities and Their Families spotlights Executive Director of CECEI Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin as a keynote presenter. In her presentation, she discusses the critical work of early childcare educators and interventionists in low-resourced communities, the personal challenges they often face in these roles, and the promise of comprehensive community schools in addressing these challenges.

Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

CECEI was honored to co-sponsor a virtual talk with the Language and Literacy Research Center (LLRC) on Thursday, May 6, 2021 with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek about re-defining and re-conceptualizing education. In her virtual presentation titled “Reimagining Education: A view from the science of learning,” Dr. Hirsh-Pasek, Professor of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, spoke to the impact of COVID-19 and how it presents the opportunity to “reimagine” early childhood education. Learn more about the talk and watch the full event recording.

CECEI logo

In an EdSurge op-ed, Dr. Carlomagno Panlilio of PSU and Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Executive Director of CECEI, discuss trauma that educators are experiencing related to COVID-19, along with approaches that can help reduce the burden.

CECEI logo

Executive Director of CECEI Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Dr. Carlomagno Panlilio of Penn State University,  & Dr. J. Bart Klika, Chief Research Officer with Prevent Child Abuse America, write op-ed in The Hill, "The epidemic behind the mask: COVID-related education inequities."

CECEI logo

CECEI Executive Director Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin interviewed on BAM Radio episodes, "Tick-Tock: How Soon Is Too Soon to Talk About 'Race' With Students?"  and "The ABCs of Teaching Young Students About Race in School."

CECEI logo

Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Executive Director of CECEI, quoted in Capital Gazette article, "Students, parents and teachers create ‘school from home’ as first day of classes nears in Anne Arundel."

CECEI logo

Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Executive Director of CECEI, discusses with National Geographic the 2020 back-to-school transition in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children Gardening

CECEI, Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Principal Investigator and Project Director, is implementing a multi-phased project, which brings standards-driven, project-based learning to preschool (defined as those who are in three and four-year-old classrooms) children throughout the State of Maryland. This work is funded by the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood. Learn more in this CoE News post.

CECEI logo

CECEI is conducting an evaluation project focused on inclusive early education experiences to include where services are provided, as well as documenting the attitudes and beliefs of early childhood general and special education coordinators/supervisors around full inclusion. This project is funded by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services (DEI/SES). Read more about this and other Center projects.

CECEI logo

The Governor’s Office for Children and Children’s Cabinet, in partnership with the Banneker-Douglass Museum Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, offer the Governor’s Young Readers Program to the residents of Baltimore City. Through this program, children from birth through their 5th birthday are mailed a free book each month regardless of family income. The purpose of this evaluation project, conducted in partnership with the CECEI, is to evaluate the implementation of the Young Readers Program (YRP). Learn more in this CoE News post.

Children Study Their World logo featuring educator characters

CECEI provides support and guidance to early childhood administrators implementing the Children Study Their World curriculum, including offering guiding principles and activity packets for connecting with children and families, and guidance from other early learning organizations. Read more in this UMD College of Education News article

CECEI logo

CECEI Executive Director Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin discusses in The Washington Post an important resource recently launched by Sesame Street aimed at children and families affected by addiction. 

Four young children examine the globe using different tools

We are excited to share that our Children Study Their World curriculum and implementation were featured in UMD publications: CoE news, UMD Right Now, and Maryland Today.

Adult and child holding each others' hands

Supporting the Developmental and Mental Health Outcomes for At-Risk Children: In this article, we interviewed Dr. Brenda Jones Harden about her research and its implications for future early childhood interventions. Read more in this UMD College of Education news post

Young boy makes bubbles with bubble wand at Maryland Day

CECEI hosted a table at Maryland Day on Saturday, April 27th, 2019. Children made bubbles and we handed out turtle toys and flyers with information about early childhood resources.

Christy Tirrell-Corbin

Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin, Clinical Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM) and Executive Director of CECEI at the University of Maryland, has been appointed by Governor Hogan for a three-year term on the Maryland State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC). The Council acts to ensure access to developmental and educational services is available to all children with disabilities, from birth through age 5, and their families. Learn more in this College of Education news post.

CECEI logo

CECEI will conduct the external evaluation of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Grant (Phase II) project, which supported the expansion of Maryland’s Family Engagement Initiatives in Maryland and other states. The evaluation will inform the public about the extent to which the implementation of family engagement strategies in Maryland has improved family engagement quality among parents and family members, and assess the fulfillment of three intended project outcomes1. Improve school readiness of vulnerable children by improving family engagement practices and supporting service providers, 2. Create a cohort of parent advocates and leaders to improve parental leadership skills, and 3. Improve state family engagement practices through a State Consortium on Family Engagement. 

Caregiver holding and comforting child

Supporting Young Children’s Brain Development: The first years of children's lives are some of the most important when it comes to development and learning. Children’s bodies are rapidly developing, and one of the most critical aspects of their development is their brain growth. Fortunately, others can make a difference in the way young children’s brains develop. Learn more in this blog post.

PreK students playing during center time in classroom

The Value of Play for Children’s Learning: Dr. Elisa L. Klein discusses the importance of play and developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education. Read this blog post to learn more.

CECEI logo

CECEI researchers, with Dr. Christy Tirrell-Corbin as Principal Investigator, will examine the Improvement Science (IS) process in four CCSSO partner states around an overall problem of practice (i.e., high quality early childhood instruction). CECEI will examine each State Education Agency’s (SEA) strategic goals, engagement across the four states, and the processes and relationships established between state education agencies and system/school-based inquiry teams. 

five apples, red, green and yellow

Universal Design for Learning Brings Accessibility to Early Childhood Education: Dr. Joan Lieber discusses the origins and underlying principles of Universal Design for Learning and ways it can be implemented in the early childhood classroom. Read this blog post to learn more.

Geetha Ramani

Promoting Math Skills in Early Childhood: We recently interviewed Dr. Geetha Ramani, a Faculty Affiliate at CECEI, about her research, the importance of promoting math skills for young children, and ways parents and professionals can help children develop math skills. Read the article to learn more.

CECEI logo

CECEI Researcher Awarded Grant to Study Family Influences on Effectiveness of Pre-kindergarten Program: Dr. Brenda Jones-Harden has received a grant from the Brady Education Foundation to extend the evaluation of Maryland's Pre-kindergarten Expansion program. The project seeks to determine the benefits of the Pre-K program on low-income children in Baltimore City Public Schools. The specific aims of the Brady-funded project are: 1) to examine the moderating role of family factors (including protective factors) in the impact of Pre-kindergarten on participant children; and 2) to explore if and how the Pre-kindergarten experience buffers children against the impact of toxic stress. 

CECEI logo

CECEI Awarded Grant for Phase 3 of Study of Birth to Five Service Delivery Models in Maryland: CECEI has received a grant from the Maryland State Department of Education in support of the third phase of an evaluation of Maryland’s early intervention and preschool special education service delivery models. We have completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this study. Phase 3 involves two components. The first is conducting a qualitative assessment of jurisdictions’ choices of service delivery methods. The second component is providing technical assistance and professional development in evidence-based teaming practices and models for the comprehensive delivery of birth-to-Kindergarten services.

Caregiver hugging a crying toddler

Bainum Family Fund Supports Development of Trauma-Sensitive Curriculum: CECEI thanks the Bainum Family Fund for providing funding to support the development of a trauma-sensitive curriculum. Recent findings have shown the extent of how traumatic experiences affect children’s brain structures and socio-emotional functioning. Therefore, training to help educators address the learning needs of young children who have experienced trauma is sorely needed.


CECEI Receives Grant to Develop Preschool Curriculum: CECEI was recently awarded a grant by the Maryland State Department of Education to develop a project-based preschool curriculum. Titled “Children Study Their World”, this curriculum will integrate all areas of learning and focus on the processes of inquiry and child-directed investigation. The finished product will be app-based and free to use for preschool providers throughout the state of Maryland.


CECEI Publishes Prince George's County Family Resource Guide: This guide is intended to provide families with the information they need to promote the optimum health, development and learning of the county’s young children. This resource guide includes a compilation of agencies throughout Prince George’s County as well as informative websites that address children’s health and parenting. You can download the guide here: 


CECEI logo

CECEI is currently hiring. See our Career Opportunities page for more information on available positions.

CECEI logo