Frequently Asked Questions

New Conference Name

Why has the name of Head Start’s National Research Conference changed?
Since 1991, Head Start's National Research Conference on Early Childhood has highlighted cutting edge research on low-income families with young children. While the conference is inclusive across early childhood fields, the conference changed its name in 2016 in order to more obviously represent the work from researchers, practitioners, and policy makers that are presented at the conference. The conference is now called: The Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) National Research Conference on Early Childhood (NRCEC). Child care, child welfare, Head Start, early education, pre-k, home-visiting and broad issues of healthy early childhood development are topics of great interest to the NRCEC.

View information from the previous Head Start Research Conferences.

Conference Logistics

When will ACF’s NRCEC be held?
ACF’s NRCEC for 2016 will be held July 11 - 13, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC. Please continue to check back to our website for updates on the 2016 NRCEC.

Where is the conference being held?
The conference will take place in Washington, DC at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which is located at 1000 H Street, NW (at 11th Street, NW). Visit the hotel website for more information. When making your hotel reservations, refer to the group code “NRCEC16” to receive the discounted room rates. See Conference Accommodations below for more information.

Will food and beverages be provided at the conference?
Due to federal restrictions, complimentary food and beverages will not be provided for attendees. Please plan accordingly. Food is available for purchase from establishments within the hotel or from local restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

How can I receive updates about the conference?
You can receive updates by requesting to be added to the conference email list: send an email message to

Can I earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attending the conference?
CEUs are not offered at ACF’s NRCEC.


When will registration open?
Online registration for the conference has been closed. However, it is still possible to register onsite the day of the event. Please see below for more information.

Is there a registration fee for the conference?
Registration for this event is free and open to the public.

Is there a registration deadline, or can I register the day of the event?
Space permitting, participants can register onsite the day of the event. The registration and information desk for the 2016 NRCEC will be open during the following times.
Sunday, July 10: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Monday, July 11: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 12: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 13: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Is there a way to participate virtually in the conference?
Those unable to attend the conference in-person can still participate via the conference livestream. Selected conference sessions will be streamed live on the Internet. The schedule for sessions that will be made available on the live stream and information about how to register to view these sessions will be made available closer to the conference date.

Conference Accommodations

Are there hotel rooms available for conference attendees?
The group room block at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel has been filled to capacity and the hotel is no longer able to offer reservations at a discounted rate. However, we have been able to secure an overflow group room block at the nearby Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel (located 2 blocks from the Grand Hyatt).

Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel
999 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

The discounted room rate at the Renaissance is $174 per night (single or double occupancy)‚ plus applicable state and local taxes which are currently 14.5%. To receive this discounted rate, attendees must make reservations with the hotel by Friday‚ June 24‚ 2016.

To make hotel reservations, participants can contact the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel by phone at (202) 898-9000. Reference the group name "National Research Conference on Early Childhood” when making your reservations to receive the discounted room rate. Additionally, reservations can be made through the hotel's online reservation system. The group code for the discounted conference room rate automatically will be applied when you make your reservation online through the link provided above.

Conference Content

What topics are discussed at the conference?
The theme of the 2016 NRCEC is Increasing Access to High Quality Early Care and Education: Building the Evidence Base for Policy and Practice. While selected sessions focus on this theme, there also will be presentations on the latest research surrounding child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, home visiting, child welfare, and other early childhood programs, emphasizing research that focuses on low-income families with young children. To view the agenda at a glance for the conference, please click here. Updates on confirmed conference sessions and speakers will be posted to the website regularly and the complete conference program will be available online in June. Please continue to check the website for updates.

View the 2016 NRCEC

Agenda [1MB]

Program Book [1MB]

Session Videos