April Crawford, Ph.D.
- Associate Professor
- Co-Director, Children's Learning Institute
- Director, State Initiatives
- Graduate School
- Political Science and Public Policy, University of Houston in Houston, Texas 2010
Areas of Interest
April Crawford, Ph.D., serves as the Co-Director of the Children’s Learning Institute (CLI). In this role, she helps oversee CLI’s strategic priorities to advance learning and health outcomes for all children in research, resource development, clinical programs, and service delivery. Her research interests include the design and implementation of policies and practices to strengthen the early childhood workforce and the development and testing of interventions that support child development in the early years.
Dr. Crawford earned her doctorate from the University of Houston in Political Science and Public Policy. Using her knowledge and skills, she has devoted her career to developing and evaluating interventions and resources to improve the school-based environmental predictors of young children’s learning and development. She has developed numerous user-friendly toolkits, video-based online courses, and resources that support the dissemination and adoption of evidence-based and informed approaches outside the research setting.
Currently, Dr. Crawford directs state-funded initiatives in Texas to strengthen early childhood systems through partnerships and programs, including the statewide preschool professional development program known as Texas School Ready, the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (training and workforce registries), and the Texas Infant-Toddler Specialist Network. She engages in translational research focused on professional development interventions, implementation frameworks, and development and validation of classroom and child measurement tools. This includes the development of CLI Engage, an online platform that houses professional development, child assessment tools, digital curriculum, and program improvement tools that support state agencies (e.g., Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Education Agency) in ongoing program implementation, research, and dissemination efforts.
Additionally, she is the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on over 15 grants and contracts and another 50 grants and contracts previously. She has published highly-cited articles in journals such as the Early Childhood Research Quarterly and the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Additionally, she served as the lead author of the Texas Core Competencies for Early Childhood Practitioners and Administrators.
- Crawford, April. 2006. “The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Single Mothers’ Work Effort.” Review of Policy Research 23 (3): 699–711.
- Williams, Jeffrey M., Susan H. Landry, Jason L. Anthony, Paul R. Swank, and April D. Crawford. 2012. “An Empirically-Based Statewide System for Identifying Quality Pre-Kindergarten Programs.” Education Policy Analysis Archives 20 (17): 17.
- Landry, Susan H., Karen E. Smith, Paul R. Swank, Tricia Zucker, April D. Crawford, and Emily F. Solari. 2012. “The Effects of a Responsive Parenting Intervention on Parent-Child Interactions during Shared Book Reading.” Developmental Psychology 48 (4): 969–86.
- Williams, Jeffrey M., Susan Landry, Jason L. Anthony, Paul R Swank, and April D. Crawford. 2012. “Sistema Estatal Basado En Datos Empíricos Para Identificar Programas de Educación Pre-Escolar de Calidad.” Education Policy Analysis Archives 20: 1–36.
- Crawford, April D., Tricia A. Zucker, Jeffrey M. Williams, Vibhuti Bhavsar, and Susan H. Landry. 2013. “Initial Validation of the Prekindergarten Classroom Observation Tool and Goal Setting System for Data-Based Coaching.” School Psychology Quarterly 28 (4): 277–300.
- Guttentag, Cathy L., Susan H. Landry, Jeffrey M. Williams, Kathleen M. Baggett, Christine W. Noria, John G. Borkowski, Paul R. Swank, Jaelyn R. Farris, April Crawford, and Robin G. Lanzi. 2014. “‘My Baby & Me’: Effects of an Early, Comprehensive Parenting Intervention on at-Risk Mothers and Their Children.” Developmental Psychology 50 (5): 1482–96.
- Landry, Susan H., Tricia A. Zucker, Heather B. Taylor, Paul R. Swank, Jeffrey M. Williams, Michael Assel, April Crawford, Weihua Huang, Jeanine Clancy-Menchetti, and Christopher J. Lonigan. 2014. “Enhancing Early Child Care Quality and Learning for Toddlers at Risk: The Responsive Early Childhood Program.” Developmental Psychology 50 (2): 526–41.
- Merz, Emily C., Susan H. Landry, Jeffrey M. Williams, Marcia A. Barnes, Nancy Eisenberg, Tracy L. Spinrad, Carlos Valiente, Michael Assel, Heather B. Taylor, and Christopher J. Lonigan. 2014. “Associations among Parental Education, Home Environment Quality, Effortful Control, and Preacademic Knowledge.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 35 (4): 304–15.
- Zucker, Tricia A., Jeffrey M. Williams, Elizabeth R. Bell, Michael A. Assel, Susan H. Landry, Pauline Monsegue-Bailey, April Crawford, and Vibhuti Bhavsar. 2016. “Validation of a Brief, Screening Measure of Low-Income Pre-Kindergarteners’ Science and Engineering Knowledge.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly 36: 345–57.
- Crawford, April, Tricia Zucker, Bethanie Van Horne, and Susan Landry. 2017. “Integrating Professional Development Content and Formative Assessment with the Coaching Process: The Texas School Ready Model.” Theory Into Practice 56 (1): 56–65.
- Crawford, April, Cheryl Varghese, and Pauline Monsegue-Bailey. 2020. “The Implementation and Scaling of an Early Education Program.” The Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk 11 (1): 4.
- Montroy, Janelle J., Tricia A. Zucker, Michael M. Assel, Susan H. Landry, Jason L. Anthony, Jeffrey M. Williams, Hsien-Yuan Hsu, April Crawford, Ursula Y. Johnson, and Maria S. Carlo. 2020. “The Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment: Development, Psychometrics, and Scale-Up of a Comprehensive Screener.” Early Education and Development 31 (5): 701–38.
- Assel, Mike A., Janelle J. Montroy, Jeffrey M. Williams, Matt Foster, Susan H. Landry, Tricia Zucker, April Crawford, Hannah Hyatt, and Vibhuti Bhavsar. 2020. “Initial Validation of a Math Progress Monitoring Measure for Prekindergarten Students.” Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment 38 (8): 1014–32.
- Crawford, April, Kelly A Vaughn, Cathy L Guttentag, Cheryl Varghese, Yoonkyung Oh, and Tricia A Zucker. 2021. “‘Doing What I Can, but I Got No Magic Wand:’ A Snapshot of Early Childhood Educator Experiences and Efforts to Ensure Quality During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Early Childhood Education Journal 49 (5): 1–12.
- Landry, Susan H., Tricia A. Zucker, Janelle J. Montroy, Hsien-Yuan Hsu, Mike A. Assel, Cheryl Varghese, April Crawford, and Edward G. Feil. 2021. “Replication of Combined School Readiness Interventions for Teachers and Parents of Head Start Pre-Kindergarteners Using Remote Delivery.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly 56: 149–66.
- Crawford, April, Cheryl Varghese, Yoonkyung Oh, Cathy Guttentag, Tricia Zucker, Susan Landry, and Reese-Anna Cummins. 2021. “An Initial Investigation of the CIRCLE Infant-Toddler Teacher Training for Toddler Teachers.” Early Education and Development, 1–25.
- Crawford, April, Cheryl Varghese, Hsien-Yuan Hsu, Tricia Zucker, Susan Landry, Michael Assel, Pauline Monsegue-Bailey, and Vibhutibala Bhavsar. 2021. “A Comparative Analysis of Instructional Coaching Approaches: Face-to-Face versus Remote Coaching in Preschool Classrooms.” Journal of Educational Psychology.
- Crawford, A., Varghese, C., Oh, Y., Guttentag, C., Zucker, T., Landry, S., Cummins, R. Johnson, U., & Montroy, J. 2021. The effects of the CLI Engage Toddler Program on child care teachers and toddlers. Early Education & Development.
- Assel, M.A., Crawford, A. C., Maldonado-Yeomans, G., Zucker, T. A. (2022, July). Development and Initial Validity of a Teacher-Reported Dyslexia Referral Checklist for Kindergarteners. Society for Scientific Studies of Reading Annual Meeting, Paper Symposium.
- Zucker, T. A., Landry, S.H., Montroy, J. J., Hsu, H., Assel, M. A., Varghese, C. Crawford, A. & Fiel, E. (2022, July). Replication of Combined School Readiness Interventions for Teachers and Parents of High-Risk Pre-Kindergarteners Using Remote Delivery. Society for Scientific Studies of Reading Annual Meeting, Paper Symposium.
Membership in Professional Societies:
- Society for Research in Child Development
- Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management
Service on Department of Pediatrics Committees:
- 2017-2019, Associate Director of CLI, Senior Leadership Team Member, CLI, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
- 2020, Reading Research Faculty Search Committee Member, CLI, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
- 2020-Present, Co-Director of Children’s Learning Institute, Division in Department of Pediatrics, Serving with Co-Director, Tricia Zucker, Ph.D., CLI, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Service by Appointment:
Dr. Crawford was appointed to the Texas Early Learning Council in 2019 by Governor Greg Abbott.