Toddler PointingHand weight with apple and measuring tapeWoman focused laying on lawnBasket of TomatoesSnowboarder in air grabbing the tail of the snowboardTeens smiling at a tablehappyhydratebluesky

Kalli B. Decker, PhD

Kalli Decker

Assistant Professor

Early Childhood Education and Child Services

115 Herrick Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717-3540

Dr. Kalli Decker’s program of research examines families’ and professionals’ experiences that influence children’s development. More specifically, her research focuses on three main areas: 1) how early intervention services and professionals support infants and toddlers with delays or disabilities; 2) developmentally supportive aspects of adult-child interactions that promote children’s language development; and, 3) undergraduate student learning in the field of early childhood. 

Programs and Research Projects

  • Supporting the health and development of rural Montanan infants and toddlers via family-centered early intervention: Therapists’ strengths, areas for improvement, and barriers
  • Parents’ perspectives: A longitudinal study of Montana’s early intervention services
  • Early intervention practitioners’ reports of everyday practice: Alignment with and barriers to recommended practices
  • The development of a quantitative observational coding system: Investigating adult-child communicative interactions over time
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) related to early childhood higher education students’ knowledge of infant and toddler development


  • PhD, Human Development & Family Studies, Michigan State University
  • MA, Child Development, Michigan State University
  • BS, Family Community Services, Michigan State University

Specialties and Interests

  • Early intervention
  • Home visiting services
  • Quantitative observational coding
  • Patterns of adult-child communication
  • Parental self-efficacy
  • Undergraduate student learning
  • Experiential learning


Dr. Kalli Decker manages the Decker Early Childhood Research Team, which includes graduate and undergraduate research assistants who help with multiple research projects. Research assistants also have the chance to present their research findings locally and at national conferences. Contact Dr. Decker for more information about how to get involved.