Research and Observations at Hoya Kids

As Georgetown University is a research university, as stated in the University Mission Statement, it is appropriate and in our best interest to support that mission by making provisions for a limited amount of research to occur at Hoya Kids Learning Center.  It is also paramount that we consider the health, safety, and emotional well being of each child enrolled, while protecting the privacy of families who wish not to participate. HKLC has established guidelines for investigators to guide the proposal submission and review process.


  1. The investigator will contact the director (, 202-687-7667) to discuss the feasibility of the proposed study.
  2. The investigator will submit the research application (with requested supporting documents), IRB approved protocol and consent.
  3. The director will then review the approved protocol and consent and IRB approval for final HKLC approval.
  4. The director and investigator will coordinate together on logistics and scheduling to best meet the needs of the Center and its children.

Eligible Classrooms

· The Toddler classroom will only be eligible for observations.  These must be conducted with the children on the playground with the investigator observing from outside the fence.  At this time no one-on-one interaction will be permitted

· The other classrooms in the Center are eligible within the guidelines below

Study Content and Methodology

  • When considering proposals, the director will examine the benefits of the study.  Preference will be given to studies that will benefit the field of Early Childhood Education or Child Development and will potentially yield novel information.
  • Risks involved with each study will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Names and pictures of children shall not be used.
  • During any study, the investigator(s) will not be left alone with a child at any time.  This is the same policy that we hold for employees of Hoya Kids Learning Center.
  • One on one interactions with children shall occur at times that are least disruptive to the class and to the child. The investigator will need to consult with the appropriate classroom teacher(s) to coordinate.
  • Any time one on one child interaction is involved, the investigator should make every effort to present the interaction/activity as an attractive option to avoid making the child feel as if he/she is being treated differently or isolated.

*Hoya Kids Learning Center reserves the right to stop or pause the study at any time for any reason.

Investigator Review

All research will be limited to Georgetown University faculty, staff, and students. Observations, however will be open to students and/or professionals in the Early Childhood / Child Development (or related) field.

Investigators and observers may be asked to submit some or all the following documentation prior to Project review, at the director’s discretion:

  1. Resume or CV
  2. Letter of reference
  3. Results of a current TB test
  4. Criminal Background check(s)

Conflict of Interest

Investigators will be asked on the application if they have a relationship with anyone involved in the center. This includes parents, teachers, committee members, etc.

HKLC places limits on the number of projects being conducted at one time. Decision(s) will be made based on what the director and teachers feel the center and its families can handle.


Hoya Kids Learning Center expects that investigators will keep in verbal contact with Center staff regarding progress.

Hoya Kids Learning Center and its families expect that the final published report be shared upon completion.  HKLC families and staff would like to be invited to all paper presentations, and may ask the investigator to conduct a presentation at the Center when the information is of particular interest.

HKLC welcomes inquires regarding proposed research topics.

Observation Only

Many times we receive requests for observation only, which is not a part of a research project and yields no hard data.  These individuals are often students of early childhood education or seeking to learn more for professional development reasons.  In these cases, observers will follow all above guidelines (see asterisks) and will be asked to submit an Observation Application form.  The director, in consultation with classroom teachers, will review and grant or deny these requests.

If a professor has a group of student they wish to observe for purposes of a class assignment, the professor will be asked to fill out an Observation Application for supervisors and will be responsible for informing their students of the below expectations.

Expectations and understandings for observers while on site:

  1. For safety and security reasons, bags will be held in a secured location, in an administrative area.
  2. Wash your hands when entering the classroom (Center policy for all adults and children).
  3. No touching, picking up, or assisting the children
  4. If you feel a child needs assistance, alert a teacher.
  5. We will permit no more than 3 observers at a time in any one group.
  6. We (HKLC staff) reserve the right to stop the observation at any time.

Studies Conducted Outside of HKLC

There may be cases in which studies are conducted off-site but the investigator requests to advertise to parents of HKLC to determine their interest in participating in a study.  In that case, the decision to distribute this information will be at the discretion of the director.  The Center’s willingness to distribute the information does not imply an endorsement of the study.


Medstar Psychiatry Fellows

Hoya Kids serves as a host facility for child psychiatry residents to facilitate the completion of their medical training. Residents do classroom observations once each week for 4 months. The purpose of this rotation is to enhance their skill set in normal development by observing children at different developmental stages in a natural setting and by consulting with teachers and center staff.

All residents undergo background checks and health clearances. They observe, interact and play with the children but are not counted in our staff to child ratios. 

Although they do not perform in any clinical capacity while they are here, HKLC teachers benefit from this collaboration by receiving in-service training from the residents and from Department of Psychiatry faculty to enhance our knowledge and understanding of mental health issues affecting young children. The residents are directly supervised by Dr. Matthew Biel, Associate Professor and Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at GU.

We are honored to be chosen to be an important part of the Child Psychiatry training program.


Future Endeavors

Hoya Kids would be honored to consider assisting other GU departments with research, training or related projects. Please contact Director Jane Banister ( to discuss any proposals.