Julie Spielberger

Research Fellow

Dr. Julie Spielberger is a Research Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She is an expert in child development, early childhood education, emergent literacy and school readiness, and supports and services to improve program quality and caregiver practices. Her research interests include promoting child well-being through early intervention and prevention, particularly among vulnerable populations. Her work over the past 20 years includes research and consultation on several system-building initiatives to improve service quality and coordination, including home visitation, health care, early care and education, and afterschool systems. Spielberger has led a number of mixed-methods field studies that include evaluations of home visiting, early childhood, and afterschool programs and service systems, with a focus on improving the professional skills of practitioners and the skills of parents. She serves as Principal Investigator of a five-year evaluation of the Fussy Baby Network® Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) Advanced Training for home visiting staff and program participant families and an evaluation of a pilot initiative of an infant/early childhood mental health consultation model across early childhood systems in Illinois, including home visiting, child care, and early childhood education. She also led an eight-year longitudinal study of patterns of service use and their relationship to family functioning and child development, particularly as they pertain to school readiness and school success.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Spielberger worked extensively in the training of Head Start teachers and as a researcher and consultant with Head Start family literacy programs. She has taught at Harold Washington College, Loyola University Chicago, Erikson Institute, and the University of Chicago. She also managed consumer research for Playskool Toys, Inc.

Spielberger received her PhD in Child Development from the Erikson Institute and Loyola University Chicago, and an MST in Early Childhood Education from the University of Chicago.

Ph.D. in Child Development from Erikson Institute & Loyola University Chicago

M.S.T. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Chicago

Spielberger, J., Burkhardt, T., Winje, C., Gouvea, M., & Gilkerson, L. (2017, December). Enhancing the capacity of home visitors with a reflective practice approach. Poster session presented at the Zero To Three Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Spielberger, J. & Gilkerson, L. (2016, November). Evaluation of the Fussy Baby Network® FAN Training: Developing Home Visitors’ Skills. HARC Collaborative Science of Home Visiting Meeting, Washington, DC.

Spielberger, J., Burkhardt, T., Gouvea, M., Winje, C., Barisik, E., & Gilkerson, L. (2016, July). Building home visitor-parent relationships: Evaluation of a home visitor training in an infant mental health-based approach. Presented at the Administration for Children and Families National Research Conference on Early Childhood, Washington, DC.

Spielberger, J., Burkhardt, T., Gouvea, M., Winje, C., Barisik, E., & Gilkerson, L. (2016, June). Enhancing Home Visitors’ Skills with an Infant Mental Health Approach. World Association for Infant Mental Health Conference, Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Gitlow, E., Banman, A., & Spielberger, J. (2014, January). Developing infrastructure to support a state system of prevention. Presented at The Society for Social Work and Research 2014 Annual Conference, Austin, TX.

Spielberger, J., Zanoni, W., & Barisik, E. (2013, May). Playing Nice in the Sandbox: Collaboration and Subsidized Early Childhood Programs. American Public Policy and Management Conference, Shanghai, China.

Spielberger, J., Gitlow, E., & Dadisman, K. (2012, December). Building a strong foundation: Enhancing training and technical assistance for home visitors in Illinois. Presented at 2012 EBHV Grantee meeting, Washington, DC

Spielberger, J. (2012, April). Implementing PreK to 3: Aligning Views of School Readiness and Appropriate Early Childhood Curriculum. AERA Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada.

Spielberger, J., Gitlow, E., Palmer, A., & Kelly, T. (2012, April). Strong foundations: Enhancing the infrastructure for evidence-based home visitation in Illinois. Poster presented at 2012 CAN Meeting, Washington, DC.

Spielberger, J., Rich, L., & Gouvea, M. (2010, January). Supporting New Parents: A Longitudinal Study of Service Use in Palm Beach County. Society for Social Work Research Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Spielberger, J. (2009, June). Getting Ready for School: Views of School Readiness in an Early Childhood Initiative. 17th Annual Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Conference, Bethlehem, Israel.

Spielberger, J. & Rich, L. (2008, November). Engaging and Supporting New Parents: A Longitudinal Study of Service Use in Palm Beach County, Florida. APPAM Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Spielberger, J. & Baker, S. (2008, June). Getting Ready for School: Views of School Readiness among Parents, Teachers, and Administrators. Poster presented at National Head Start Research Conference, Washington, DC.

Spielberger, J. & Gouvea, M. (2008, June). Barriers and Facilitators of Service Use among Low-Income Families in South Florida. Poster presented at National Head Start Research Conference, Washington, DC.

Spielberger, J. & Lyons, S. (2008, January). Supporting New Parents: What they need and what they get: Findings from a Longitudinal Study of Service Use in Palm Beach County, Florida. International Child Maltreatment Conference, San Diego, CA.

Spielberger, J. (2007, October). Findings from a Longitudinal Study of Service Use in Palm Beach County, Florida. Invited Speaker at Korean Society of Child Welfare Conference on Child Welfare and Early Intervention, Seoul, Korea.

Spielberger, J. (2006, October). The Value of Out-of-School Programs, Invited Panel Participant, Urban Libraries Council Learning in Libraries Conference, New York, NY.

Spielberger, J. (2005, October). Services for Children and Families in Palm Beach County: A Longitudinal Multi-Program Evaluation. American Evaluation Association Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Spielberger, J. (2005, June). Evaluation of the PLPYD Initiative. American Libraries Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Spielberger, J. (2004, February). Integrating Behavioral Health into School Health. Panel Participant at Grantmakers in Health Annual Meeting, Fort Lauderdale.

Spielberger, J. (2003, October). Linking Afterschool to School for Academic Success. Invited Panel Participant and Workshop Presenter at St. Louis for Kids Symposium, St. Louis, MO.

Spielberger, J. (2001, April). Lessons from the MOST Evaluation. Paper Symposium at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA.

Spielberger, J. (2000, June). Head Start teachers’ beliefs about the role of pretend play in early childhood development. Poster presented at National Head Start Research Conference, Washington, DC.

Spielberger, J. (2000, April). Literacy. What is it? How do kids “get it”? What does it have to do with after-school programs? NSACA Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Halpern, R., Spielberger, J. & Robb, S. (1999, April). Making the most of out-of-school-time: Research findings from the evaluation of MOST. NSACA Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Spielberger, J. (1999, March). MOST as a system-building initiative. ISACCN Spring Conference, Chicago, IL.

McLane, J. B. & Spielberger, J. (1999, January). Recess and play: Who needs it and why? Chicago Metropolitan AEYC Conference, Chicago, IL.

McLane, J. B. & Spielberger, J. (1998, November). Children’s pretend play in the preschool classroom: Exploring the teacher’s role. NAEYC Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

Barak, A., Spielberger, J., & Gitlow, E. (2014). The challenge of relationships and fidelity: Home visitors’ perspectives. Children and Youth Services Review, 42, 50-58.

Spielberger, J., Zanoni, W., & Barisik, E. (2013). Collaboration and subsidized early care and education programs in Illinois. Early Childhood Research and Practice. Available at http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v15n2/spielberger.html

Rich, L., Spielberger, J., & Valdovinos D’Angelo, A. (2012). Circumstances and outcomes among Black immigrant mothers and their young children: Evidence from Palm Beach County, FL. In R. Capps & M. Fix (Eds.), Young children of black immigrants in America (pp. . Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Spielberger, J. & Lyons, S.J. (2009). Supporting low-income families with young children: Patterns and correlates of service use. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 864-872.

Shapiro, L. & Spielberger, J. (2004). Magna Systems After-School Video Series and Workbook. Crystal Lake, IL: Magna Systems, Inc.

Spielberger, J. (2004). Beyond baby talk (Book Review). Contemporary Psychology49, 248-251.

Spielberger, J. & McLane, J.B. (2002). Can too many cooks spoil the broth? Beliefs about the teacher’s role in children’s play. In C.R. Brown & C. Marchant (Ed.), Play in practice: Case studies in young children’s play. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

Costello, J., Toles, M., Spielberger, J. & Wynn, J. (2001). How history, ideology, structure shape the organizations that shape youth. In Benson, P.L. & Pittman, K.J. (Eds.), Trends in youth development: Visions, realities and challenges. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Costello, J., Whalen, S., Spielberger, J. & Winje, C. (2001). Promoting public library partnerships with youth agencies. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries15, 8-15.

McLane, J., Spielberger, J., & Klugman, E. (1996). Play in early childhood development and education: Issues and questions. In A. L. Phillips (Ed.), Topics in early childhood education 2: Playing for keeps, Inter- Institutional Early Childhood Consortium. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

Abel, B. & Spielberger, J. (1994). Developing quality family child care for children from birth to three. Chicago, IL: YWCA.

Clarke-Stewart, A., Umeh, B.J., Snow, M.E. & Pederson, J.A. (1980). Development and prediction of children’s sociability from 1 to 2-1/2 years of age. Developmental Psychology, 16, 290-302.

Key Work

Key Work

Data Use in Afterschool Systems Requires Investments in People and Process
Afterschool systems and their funders are looking to data to answer questions about effectiveness and quality improvement. However, in this field, meaningful...
Relationship-Based Approach to Early Home Visiting Impacts Staff, Family Perspectives
The Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) approach, developed by Erikson Institute’s Fussy Baby Network®, aims to build parenting capacity and self-efficacy...
Building a System of Support for Evidence-Based Home Visiting in Illinois
Illinois received federal funding to study its infrastructure to support evidence-based home visiting programs for the prevention of child...
For Children of Black Immigrant Mothers, Parental Literacy and Center-Based Childcare Improve School Readiness
As part of the Young Children in Black Immigrant Families initiative, Chapin Hall set out to examine the experiences, parenting practices, and characteristics...
Improving School Readiness through Parenting, Maternal Health, and Early Childhood Intervention
The most important factors for children’s development and school readiness are good birth outcomes, positive parenting practices, and access to high quality...
Family Perspectives on Services in Palm Beach County
To be effective, program policies and practices need to be grounded in the circumstances of the low-income families they are intended to serve. Based largely on...