Area of Work

Early Childhood Development & Learning

Because healthy development in the early years pays dividends throughout life, WestEd strives to ensure that families and early educators have the capacity to provide young children a safe, healthy, emotionally secure, and intellectually rich start.

We engage in research to guide our development of resources and tools, and provide professional development and technical assistance services for early childhood programs and systems, including early intervention, early childhood mental health, and education quality initiatives.

Recent Posts

Featured WestEd Experts

Making a positive difference in the field

  • Peter Mangione

    Co-Director, Center for Child & Family Studies

    As Co-Director of WestEd’s Center for Child & Family Studies, Peter Mangione provides leadership in the development of comprehensive training resources for infant and toddler caregivers, and the evaluation of early childhood programs and services.

    Mangione’s leadership contributions have helped make the Program for Infant/Toddler Care Program (PITC) a national model for training early childhood practitioners. PITC is the most widely used training system for infant and toddler caregivers in the country.

  • Julie Nicholson

    Julie Nicholson

    Deputy Program Director, Center for Child & Family Studies, and Co-Director, Trauma Informed Practices in Early Childhood Education

    A recognized leader in early childhood education, Julie Nicholson serves as Deputy Director with WestEd’s Center for Child & Family Studies. Her research and publications emphasize social justice and equity in several areas including trauma-informed practices and assessment in early childhood education.

    Nicholson spearheaded the development of Trauma-Informed Practices in Early Education, research-based professional learning focused on the effects of trauma on young children and strategies to support them.