Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education

Established in 1988, the Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education focuses efforts on improving early childhood education (birth through 8 years) in Iowa and beyond. Recognizing that children construct knowledge, intelligence, personality, and morality through active engagement with physical and social environments, the Center supports educational efforts that emphasize children's interest, experimentation, and cooperation.


July 1st, 2014, Dr. Beth Van Meeteren was named as Director of the Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education. Van Meeteren has worked closely with the Regents' Center since 1996 when she became a charter member of its Teacher Practitioner Council. In 2001, she moved her family to the Cedar Valley to serve as Lead Teacher at Freeburg for six years where she developed early childhood STEM curricula and professional development within early childhood STEM. Her research has focused on integration, and identifying and supporting engineering habits of mind in early childhood activities. As Director, she leads the Regents' Center in carrying out the following:


1.  Develop research-based programs and curriculum materials that respect the unique developmental needs of young children and their families.

2.  Promote applied and interdisciplinary research in early education.

3.  Disseminate information about developmentally appropriate early education to educators, parents, and the public at state, national, and international levels through workshops, conferences, and publications.

4.  Assist in developing early education programs for at-risk children and their families.

5.  Inform policy makers about the developmental and educational needs of young children and their families.

6.  Promote interinstitutional collaboration among the three State Regents' universities, other educational agencies, and government agencies.

The Latest

While most early educators recognize that block play is linked to early learning, it can be difficult to find blocks and other simple building materials in today’s first and second grade classrooms -- and sadly, even in many kindergartens. 

Ramps and Pathways has recently been featured on Smithsonian's online journal in a special report, Powering the 21st Century. 

STEM for ALL Children:  Preschool Teachers Supporting Engagement of Children With Special Needs in Physical Science Learning Centers

Students get hands-on experience with STEM as early as PreK. See how they engage kids of all ages at Waterloo School's STEM Festival. The Regents' Center is proud to partner with Waterloo Schools!