Since 2001, CROCUS faculty and students have worked on a variety of research projects relating to children and public policy. Many of them have focused on early childhood education, including research on pre-K programs, child care programs, and Head Start.

The Center for Research on Children in the United States (CROCUS) was established in 2001 with start-up funds from the Foundation for Child Development. A joint venture between the McCourt School of Public Policy and the Georgetown University Department of Psychology, CROCUS is directed by William T. Gormley, University Professor, and Deborah A. Phillips, Professor of Psychology. Several faculty members and graduate students are also active participants.

Current funding for the Tulsa pre-K project comes from the Foundation for Child Development, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the Stranahan Foundation. In the past, CROCUS has also received support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts (through NIEER), the Spencer Foundation, the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, and the National Institute for Child Health and Development.


In October 2013 the Society for Research in Child Development and the Foundation for Child Development released a new report, "Investing in Our Future: The Evidence Base on Preschool Education." Deborah Phillips and William Gormley are among the report's co-authors.

In a new policy brief, CROCUS addresses the question of whether high-quality pre-K benefits all children or just some children. Using data from Tulsa, Oklahoma, CROCUS researchers examine variations in program impact by school lunch eligibility, maternal education, and race/ethnicity. The new brief and five others are accessible under MEDIA. See William Gormley, Karin Kitchens, and Shirley Adelstein, "Do Middle-Class Families Benefit from High-Quality Pre-K?"