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Heather Sandstrom
Senior Fellow, Research
Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • Heather Sandstrom is a senior fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute. Her research focuses on early childhood development and public programs that support the well-being of low-income children and families, such as Head Start and Early Head Start, child care subsidies, and maternal and child home visiting. Her most recent projects have included diverse populations of families who are immigrants or have limited English proficiency. She has experience combining qualitative and quantitative methods and has managed several complex longitudinal studies.

    Before joining Urban, Sandstrom worked as an independent early childhood research consultant, serving organizations and institutions around the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, including Child Trends and the Maryland State Department of Education. In 2009, she was awarded a Fulbright Research Grant from the Institute of International Education to study the characteristics and quality of a publicly funded universal preschool program in Seville, Spain.

    Sandstrom has a PhD in human development with a certification in measurement, statistics, and evaluation from the University of Maryland, College Park.

    Research Areas
    Children and youth
    Greater DC
    Kids in context
    Families with low incomes
    Student parents

    Outside Affiliations
    Education Development Center
    Faculty on the Home Visiting Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (HV CoIIN) on Staff Recruitment and Retention

    Urban experts are permitted and empowered to work and affiliate with outside organizations, whether serving on boards, volunteering their time, or providing advice and counsel. And Urban welcomes visiting scholars, nonresident or affiliated fellows who work for other organizations. These outside affiliations enrich our perspectives and our learning environment. We also require all paid and unpaid experts to disclose their affiliations to Urban leadership and follow rules governing their engagement to ensure transparency for audiences and independence of experts.