Our Vision

Message from the Dean

The Center for Early Childhood Development, Education, and Policy Research (CEDEP) published a book in March, 2016, titled All Discipline Leads to ECEC: Challenge from Early Childhood Development, Education, and Policy Research. This title represents the vision of our center.

Interdisciplinary, collaborative, and comprehensive research is essential in the quest to reveal the mechanisms of children’s early development and to improve the environment and experience in which all children grow. At the same time, we need to collaborate with practitioners who devote themselves to early childhood education and care, policy, and administration.

Since a year before the establishment of CEDEP in July 2015, we have been inviting scholars and experts from various fields, both directly and indirectly related to early childhood development, education, and policy, for seminars and symposia. In addition, we have conducted a wide range of research projects, including a nation-wide survey for ECEC practitioners and municipalities, introduced in this booklet. A new publication about these surveys will be launched very soon.

We thank you and appreciate your ongoing support and cooperation.


April 2017

Shigeo Kodama, Ph.D.

Dean , Graduate School of Education
The University of Tokyo


Message from Director

The Center for Early Childhood Development, Education, and Policy Research (CEDEP) was founded to establish a new interdisciplinary research field, “Comprehensive research for early childhood education and care (ECEC) practice and policy,” which combines research on early childhood development, ECEC practice and public policies. Early childhood research is a wide-ranging field with various topics to be discussed. To make an effective breakthrough in ECEC practice and policy, CEDEP will collaborate with domestic and international research organizations, parents, caregivers, educactors, and teachers, local and national governments, and relative institutions. Based on this collaboration, CEDEP will publish research findings that will, hopefully, lead to innovation and improvements of quality in early childhood environments.


Japan is among the first countries confronting the problems that stem from declining birthrates and an aging society. To cope with such situations, the biggest and most historic ECEC policy reform in the last 70 years in Japan has been introduced. The new system, “The Comprehensive Support System for Children and Child-rearing,” started in April 2015. Interdisciplinary researches are now needed for our children. CEDEP and its related research organizations will implement research in four main area, including early childhood developmental science, childhood education and care, educational policy, and professional development. We will elucidate human beings’ earliest development mechanisms, elicit an innovative early childhood environments for now-and-future children, construct programs and social systems for professional development, and design ECEC policies. Based on both Japanese history and philosophy, coupled with the latest international trends, we will construct evidence-based knowledge and philosophies for early childhood education and care and childrearing. We will share the newest research findings with people working in the early childhood education and care field, and hope to support the communities as it work to realize every child’s well-being and development. This is what we call “comprehensive research for ECEC practice and policy.”


“All disciplines lead to ECEC.”


Making the most of knowledge diversity at the University of Tokyo, we hope this center will become a crossroad of knowledge and ideas where we all, including children, can gather and discuss about ECEC and its future.


July 2015

Kiyomi Akita,Ph.D.

The director of CEDEP