Judith Carta

Judith Carta
  • Senior Scientist, Juniper Gardens Children's Project
  • Professor, Department of Special Education

Contact Info

913-321-3143 ext. 2600
Juniper Gardens Children's Project, Suite 300
444 Minnesota Ave
Kansas City, KS 66101-2942



Dr. Judith Carta is Associate Director at the Juniper Gardens Children's Project, a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Life Span Studies, and Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on developing strategies to minimize the effects of poverty on children's development and families and translating that research into practices that can be used by teachers, parents, and other caregivers to promote children's school readiness and prevent child neglect. She has been the Principal Investigator of several multi-site research projects focused on developing funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Educational Sciences, and the Administration on Children and Families. Dr. Carta currently serves as the Co-Director of the IES-funded Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood. She serves on many editorial boards and was formerly the Editor of Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. She also serves on many advisory boards and technical work groups including the Secretary Sebelius' Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation and is currently on the Division of Early Childhood's Commission on Recommended Practices.


Ph.D. in Special Education, University of Kansas
M.S. in Human Development, Purdue University
B.A. in Psychology, Bradley University


Early intervention for children growing up in poverty; progress monitoring of infants and young children; improving outcomes for underserved children and families; observational approaches for measuring caregiving environments and interactions; family-centered comprehensive intervention and prevention efforts for underserved children; home and classroom interventions that support young children’s early language, literacy and social development, hierarchical approaches to intervention for young children and their families (Early MTSS—Multi-tiered Systems of Support)

  • Developing evidence-based intervention practices
  • Multi-tiered systems of support to promote children's language, literacy, and social-emotional outcomes
  • Validating parenting interventions focused on vulnerable populations and their effects on young children
  • Developing tools for monitoring the progress of young children

Awards & Honors

1996 Co-Recipient of the Annual Research Award, Council for Exceptional Children, Juniper Gardens Children's Project

2003-2004 Carol Hansen Visiting Scholar, Iowa State University

2003-2004 Visiting Scholar Bowie State University

2007 Kansas Division of Early Childhood, Award of Excellence

 2007 Division of Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children, Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award

2009-2011 Conference Chair and Manager for the Conference on Research Innovation in Early Intervention

2010-2014 Member of Federal Advisory Panel on Head Start Research and Evaluation, (appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services)

2011-2012 Member of the Planning Board for the Head Start Research Conference

2012-2103 Member of the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practice Commission

2012-2013 University of Kansas Leading Light Award for Researchers Receiving More than one million dollars in external funding awards

2014 Bradley University Centurion Award given to Bradley University alumni who have brought national and international credit to the University

2016 Irvin E. Youngberg Award in Applied Sciences, Kansas Board of Regents, Higuchi Awards