Erin E. Hamel

Areas of Expertise

  • Early childhood teacher planning time and curricula
  • Early childhood teacher working conditions
  • Recruitment and retention of early childhood workforce
  • Project-based learning
  • Science and nature in early childhood education


  • Early childhood workforce
  • Early childhood teacher recruitment and retention
  • Environmental working conditions and supports



  •  Ph.D. in Human Sciences in Child, Youth, and Family Studies, 2021
    University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  •  M.Ed. in Special Education, 2008
    University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  •  B.A. in Elementary Education, 2003
    Upper Iowa University


 706-542-3158 (office)

Research Summary

My research aims to examine and address the needs and well-being of early childhood teachers as a means to improve early care and education for young children. The early childhood workforce is critical to ensuring high-quality early care and education for young children and supporting working families. I investigate how early childhood teachers’ working conditions impact retention in the workforce and the impact working conditions have on the quality of teachers’ instruction and interactions with young children. One area of my research specifically examines early childhood teachers’ planning time amounts and usage, highlighting the need for supportive, universal work environment standards and policies across the field.