Haring Center

The University of Washington Haring Center for Inclusive Education provides early childhood education to children with and without disabilities, conducts leading-edge research to advance inclusive learning, and trains education professionals in proven practices to develop every child’s potential. The essential support of our generous donors creates inclusive communities that empower all children to learn, play and grow together.

It is a pivotal time for advancing new discoveries in early learning and we are working to chart a course for the future. Together, we will ensure that children with disabilities receive the best foundation for a lifetime of learning and infinite possibilities. Together, we will build a boundless future. For children, for Washington, for the world.

  • Recent News

    • The Haring Center started the new year with a much-awaited fresh beginning. After 15 months of building renovations and nearly 4 years since most of our staff and researchers had to leave due to the pandemic, we’re finally back home. This renovation was a true community effort, made possible by the support of both the Haring Center and UW community members. We extend our gratitude to our key EEU staff for ensuring a smooth transition during our move. A big thank you goes to our incredible custodial team for preparing the building. Special appreciation goes to our construction partners, Mithun and Lease Cruther Lewis, whose commitment and timely completion of the renovation made this possible. And of course, we are immensely grateful to our donors whose contributions allowed us to open our doors this new year. “To be able to be here again and hear voices in the hallway – being able to walk the halls and see the kids – it’s what we’re all about” As you step into the new building, you’ll immediately sense the energy of our dedicated staff planning for the year ahead and reconnecting with new faces and spaces. Laughter echoes through the halls and play areas, reminding us of the joy of collaborating in a space filled with talented researchers, teachers, and development professionals, all working together to offer the best care and education possible. Staff spent the week preparing their classrooms, settling into new office spaces and breaking down an insurmountable number of cardboard boxes. As one staff member put it “It was an uplifting and emotional week, especially for those of us who have been with the Haring Center so long”. “I hear peals of laughter and remember the magic of working in this building.”  We’re excited to invite you back home. Join us on Saturday, February 10th, for our Grand Re-Opening Celebration as we toast to this new chapter. EEU alumni, friends, and families are warmly welcomed to be part of our community celebration and to usher in a new era for the Haring Center. Registration is limited so be sure to RSVP here. Thank you to our generous donors who made the renovation possible!The Sunderland Foundation / University of Washington / Alyssa and Bill Sunderland / Anu and Satya Nadella / Margo and Tom Wyckoff

    • Project LLAMA screenshots In the realm of early childhood education, Project LLAMA emerges as a beacon of innovation, revolutionizing the way we assess and nurture the mathematical development of preschoolers. Guided by a team of passionate experts including Kristen Missall, Ph.D. (University of Washington), Robin Hojnoski, Ph.D. (Lehigh University), Tony Albano, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis), and David Purpura, Ph.D. (Purdue University), LLAMA is igniting a transformative journey in early math education.  With funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, LLAMA has received a grant of $1.4 million, empowering its team to push the boundaries of early math assessment. “Educators don’t really have access to assessment tools for their preschoolers that give them comprehensive information about their math development. We set out to develop a tool that would provide more information for families and teachers,” explained Kristen Missall, whose dedication to early academic and social development fuels the project’s vision.  “We’re really committed to developing a tool that works for as many preschoolers as possible, including children with disabilities and multilingual children. We don’t want there to be differences in how children engage with LLAMA items based on their lived experiences and identities.” Kristen Missall is Professor and Director of School Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA At the heart of LLAMA lies a vibrant, game-like platform where Lolly the llama guides children through captivating environments, from space to jungle and ocean settings. However, it transcends mere entertainment; it serves as a sophisticated tool meticulously crafted to assess key preschool math skills, including early numeracy, shape and space awareness, pre-algebraic thinking, and measurement.  One of LLAMA’s most notable features is its adaptability. Whether employed for comprehensive classroom screenings or individual assessments, it equips educators with invaluable insights into their preschoolers’ mathematical skill development. With this knowledge in hand, educators can craft tailored instruction plans that embrace the unique strengths and needs of each child, fostering an inclusive and nurturing learning environment.  Missall underscored LLAMA’s commitment to inclusivity and equity, stating, “We’re really committed to developing a tool that works for as many preschoolers as possible, including children with disabilities and multilingual children. We don’t want there to be differences in how children engage with LLAMA items based on their lived experiences and identities.”  As LLAMA continues to evolve, its impact on early math education is growing. By bridging the gap between assessment and instruction, LLAMA paves the way for a future where early educators can help all preschoolers to realize their full potential in mathematics, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning and achievement. This remarkable journey is made possible through the unwavering partnership and support of educators, students, and community allies. “I’m deeply grateful for the Haring Center and its community members for their partnership and continued support,” expressed Missall, reflecting on LLAMA’s inspiring journey.  Please visit their website to learn more about Project LLAMA. 

    • haring center through window

      with Ariane Gauvreau, Senior Director, Professional Development and Training and Kathleen Meeker, Research Director and incoming Haring Center Director The opening of the newly renovated Haring Center will be the first time in over four years that the Haring Center research, professional development teams, and EEU staff and students will all be under one roof. We are thrilled to be coming back together as a team which will only serve to strengthen the work we do. Q: Why is it important for your teams to have shared space at the Haring Center? Ariane: We have really missed in person collaboration. Our Professional Development team has met in the community – at coffee shops, parks, and in our temporary space – but we miss being with our EEU and research colleagues. Being close to classrooms and our colleagues doing research lets us collaborate so much more. Kathleen: I completely agree with Ariane. We have really missed seeing one another at the Haring Center. For the past few years, researchers have re-connected with one another in various campus locations. We’re grateful for the spaces we’ve had, but we cannot wait to be back in a space that’s made for the kind of work we do! Our smaller temporary spaces have meant limited opportunities for researchers to talk and learn across projects. We’ve been able to find meeting spaces and desk space, but we haven’t been able to bring everyone together—or bump into someone from a different research project and ask a question. Our work happens in relationships with one another, schools, families, and communities. Those relationships thrive when we’re physically together. Q: How will the shared workspace impact your work? Ariane: This will enhance our work immensely. All of our partnerships with schools and districts involve a team – sometimes we have just two people working on a contract, and other times there are six of us. Having a shared space where we can meet in person, easily create materials, brainstorm together, and discuss our work, will make the PD we do with teaching teams so much better. Kathleen: I’m so excited to see all the benefits a new shared workspace has for our work! Graduate students, faculty, and research scientists will sit side-by-side and sketch out the next generation of research. Every grant that runs through the Haring Center is supported by a team—sometimes, over a dozen people work on a single funded project. A central part of our mission is preparing future researchers, and I think graduate student research will be transformed by the new space. They’ll have access to all the resources they need, on-site mentorship, and stronger relationships with our EEU and Professional Development colleagues! Q: What are you most excited about when we return to the building? Ariane: Seeing all the Haring Center staff and members! Kathleen: As a researcher and a COE faculty member, I’m most excited about being able to pop into a classroom or an observation booth and see our College of Education students (future teachers) working with kids. And all the new ideas that get sparked in classrooms. Q: What did you miss the most about working in the building? Ariane: I think we are all ready to be done working from home! I miss seeing my colleagues in person, seeing kids, and seeing families. Kathleen: I missed seeing and hearing children and teachers every day.