Our Vision

Dean's message

The Center for Early Childhood Development, Education, and Policy Research (CEDEP) was founded on July 1, 2015, 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, as a research excellence initiative, will collaborate with domestic and international research organizations, parents, caregivers, educators, and teachers, local and national governments, and relative institutions to explore the issues.

In the spring of 2020, "Collaborative Laboratory on ECEC" opened as the base of our collaborative projects in Shibuya Nursery School in Shibuya City, one of the local governments with which CEDEP collaborates. Additionally, "Shibuya Project" has been underway since the following year in 2021. When you have the opportunity, please take a look at the following three books that were created as a result of this project: "Hikari to Maru no Fantasy (Fantasy of Light and Ball)," "Zerosai no Kodomotachi no Happa (Leaves of 0-Year-Olds)," and "OHP no Souzou to Souzou (OHP Imagination and Creation)." Shibuya Project was inspired by Italy's Reggio Emilia approach. These books contain lively expressions of children's feelings and thoughts that came about as a result of their interaction with people, things, and nature that they experienced by fully utilizing their power of perception, sensibility, language, and body. Children are supported by ECEC staff and researchers who listen to individual child's expressions of feelings and thoughts. Their wonderments and questions drive them to encounter "beauty," and they enjoy a rich learning experience by gaining multiple opportunities to explore and to make expressions.

It cannot be said that modern Japanese society is a society that brings happiness to children as well as to adults who interact with and raise them. Despite this condition, CEDEP endeavors to collaborate with various related research fields to investigate children's growth and learning, to bridge research and practice, and to research the type of living environment, childcare methods, and ECEC necessary for children's growth. In April 2023, "the Basic Act on the Child" was enforced. This law specifies the basic principle of children's policies and provides for the comprehensive regulation of children's rights for the first time in Japan. Satisfying the "best interests of a child" specified in this law would mean that our society would change into one in which our society as a whole would value the well-being of individuals, including that of adults, more than now.

“All academic disciplines lead to ECEC.”

As a comprehensive university, our goal is to work together with everyone, to make the most of the wide-ranging knowledge accumulated at the University of Tokyo. Together, we will create an agora of knowledge, an open space where everyone, including children and their caregivers, can come together and talk. We thank you and appreciate your ongoing support and cooperation.

Masaaki Katsuno, Ph.D.

Dean , Graduate School of Education
The University of Tokyo

Director's Message

Seven years have passed since the CEDEP was established. Under the slogan "All disciplines lead to ECEC," the Center has been engaged in cutting-edge research in each of the four divisions of Care and Education, Developmental Science, Public Policy, and Professional Development over the past six years. We have also conducted exploratory research on practical applications of ICT, IoT, and AI in order to realize Society 5.0 for parenting and childcare settings. As you can see from the Center's pamphlet and website for details of past research results and ongoing projects, we feel that we are now becoming the kind of agora of knowledge that we had hoped to be when we first established the Center, where researchers and practitioners from inside and outside the university gather to share and discuss various knowledge and insights on parenting and early childhood education and care.

The University of Tokyo, based on its 140 years of history, has set forth the "Vision 2020," which defines the next 70 years as an era of new value creation through collaboration and co-creation with civil society. Focusing on the environment of development for the children of Japan's next generation, we will continue to play an even more central role in resolving various issues related to the improvement in early childhood environment quality. Moreover, understanding children as citizens who live "here" and "now" not just as citizens of the next generation, we hope to contribute to the realization of a truely inclusive society enabling everyone to live in health and well-being through interdisciplinary research that integrates the humanities and sciences. We believe that all these initiatives will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We appreciate your continued support.

Toshihiko Endo,Ph.D.

The director of CEDEP