Early Childhood Development & Learning

Because ensuring healthy development in early years pays dividends throughout life, WestEd strives to improve the capacity of all young children to develop and learn.

We inform evidence-based child and family policies and address needs, from early childhood mental health and social/emotional development to training for child care professionals. For example, our Parent Involvement Project is an innovative parent education program offered to school districts addressing the needs of underserved families beginning when children enter preschool.

WestEd’s national campaign, For Our Babies, promotes healthy development from conception through age 3.

Staff working on this key initiative conduct research and develop products to promote quality care for all infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

To better understand and support young children’s learning as they progress out of preschool, WestEd has been helping California, Illinois, and Tennessee develop and implement kindergarten-readiness assessments.

Our Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) is the most widely used training system for infant and toddler caregivers in the country, helping to ensure that infants get a safe, healthy, emotionally secure, and intellectually rich start.

WestEd conducts PITC trainer institutes for college faculty and trainers, PITC home visiting institutes, and PITC Partners for Quality training and coaching for early care teachers.