Early Experiences Matter

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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Western Office

Who We Are

ZERO TO THREE is a national nonprofit that supports the healthy development and well-being of infants, toddlers and their families.  For almost three decades, ZERO TO THREE has translated cutting-edge research into knowledge and action.  Based in Los Angeles, ZERO TO THREE Western Office places this expertise directly into the hands of all who affect the lives of children in California and other western states.  The need is great.  California alone is home to more than 1.5 million children under the age of 3.  The goal is to align ground-breaking research with the real needs of the region’s youngest residents and serve as a vital link with programs and policy.  The office is run by a team of seasoned early childhood professionals and policy advocates who bring a national perspective and expertise of a highly respected and trusted organization. 

Latest From The Western Office: :

Webinar: Increasing Collaboration to Support Families: A Cross-Sector Approach

The early childhood workforce is comprised of multidisciplinary professionals who represent the various sectors of early care and education, early identification and intervention, physical health, infant and early childhood mental health, and child welfare/social services. This webinar shares what a cross-sector approach to supporting expectant parents, children birth to age five and their families is and why it is important. Tune in to learn more about The Prenatal Through Age Three Workforce Development Project and how that project has evolved into the Prenatal to Age Five Workforce Development Project to include professionals who work with expectant parents, young children to age five and their families.

Click Here to View Webinar!

webinar cross-competencies thumbnail

Webinar: Developing Cross-Sector Competencies for the Infant-Toddler Workforce

The infant-toddler workforce spans a broad range of practitioners from many disciplines.  This webinar shares efforts to develop and implement cross-disciplinary competencies for infant-toddler practitioners that support effective practices across these disciplines, and also  discusses research findings on the impact of competencies on program quality.

Click Here to View Webinar!

How We Are Making a Difference

At ZERO TO THREE, we seek the best of beginnings for all infants and toddlers.  Our programs and services include:

  • Promoting early literacy and ensure healthy social and emotional development by training professional staff of agencies serving infants and toddlers.
  •  Supporting parents with research-based materials as they raise their children.
  •  Disseminating materials on building long-term community capacity around the needs of veteran’s families.
  •  Improving services and outcomes for infants and toddlers by sharing best practices in the areas of early child education, early interventions, infant-toddler mental health, physical health, and child welfare.
  •  Participating on the Early Childhood Educator Teacher Competencies Advisory Panel sponsored by the California Department of Education.
  •  Identifying core competencies needed by those who work with young children and their families in Los Angeles County and developing curriculum and training guides.
  •  Advancing public policy and investments that encourage policymakers to do what is best for infants and toddlers
  •  Facilitating the development of a statewide Infant Toddler policy agenda. 
  •  Developing advocacy tools and policy briefs for policymakers and influencers.

Even before the moment of birth, an infant’s brain starts “firing up” for learning.  During these early years, trillions of neural connections form and begin to function, making the years from birth to 3 crucial to a child’s ultimate social, emotional and intellectual capacity.  These connections profoundly shape a child’s ability to learn and succeed.  The research is conclusive.  The care and nurturing that a child receives before age 3 makes a critical difference…for a lifetime.


ZERO TO THREE Western Office
350 S. Bixel Street, Suite 150
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.481.2891 fax

Tahra M. Goraya, MA
Director, Western Office

How You Can Help

You can help the ZERO TO THREE Western Office ensure good health, strong families and positive learning experiences for all infants and toddlers in the western United States.  Contact ZERO TO THREE Western Office to learn how you can support policies that invest in California’s greatest resource – children.

  •  Internship Opportunities
  •  Volunteer Opportunities
  •  Advocate or Champion Opportunities


Project: Prenatal through Three Workforce Development Project
In partnership with First 5 LA, the Prenatal through Three Workforce Development Project was implemented to define best practices and core competencies for the workforce that serves the prenatal through age three (P-3) population. This workforce development initiative is supported by convening three Workgroups which address core competencies, training, and sustainability. Workgroup members represent the cross-service sectors of early care and education, early intervention, mental health, physical health, and social services/child welfare and consists of leaders, community partners, and family representatives.

Over the five year project, the following objectives will be met: review and synthesize evidence-based practices in P-3 workforce development; identify a set of cross-sector core competencies for those who deliver P-3 services; identify and execute training and learning approaches; and identify opportunities to expand and sustain a cross-sector training model.

Project: Early Childhood Community of Practice

 “Community of practice” originated among researchers to describe how members of a workforce find meaning and reflect on practices with one another. Researchers and practitioners have called for the building of a community of practice as a means of helping early childhood professionals translate theory into practice, reducing professional isolation and translating principles into action.

Building on this conceptual framework, ZERO TO THREE Western Office launched an Early Childhood Community of Practice in 2011 by reaching out to professionals who provide services for infants and toddlers in Los Angeles County. The purpose of the Early Childhood Community of Practice Project was to establish a community of practice as the basis to improve professional development practice in early childhood. Through the creation of a community of practice, the project supported the following goals:

  1.  Implement a community of practice strategy to improve professional development outcomes with early childhood agencies in Los Angeles County
  2.  Increase knowledge about evidence-based practice in professional development when working with infants and toddlers.
  3.  Participants apply knowledge, skills and resources to enhance a professional development dilemma or goal at their local agency.

Project: Policy Advocacy

ZERO TO THREE Western Office supports a wide range of early childhood policy efforts affecting Los Angeles County, California, and beyond. Activities include:

  •  Educating local, state, and federal policymakers and staff on the importance of the early years and bringing attention to maltreated and neglected babies in the child welfare system.
  •  Collaborating in state policy conferences and helping craft statewide early childhood policy agenda.
  •  Participating on the Early Childhood Educator Teacher Competencies Advisory Panel sponsored by the California Department of Education.
  •  Member of the statewide Birth to Five Policy Alliance and Birth to Three Partnership to advance policy agenda for infants and toddlers.
  • Co-facilitator of CA Foster Youth Task Force Subcommittee on Early Childhood.

Our Latest Policy Briefs

Quality Care for Infants and Toddlers in California

Quality Care for Infants and Toddlers in California
  • As California works to increase access to high quality early care and education settings it is important for stakeholders and policymakers to consider the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Please click here to read more about supporting systems of high quality infant and toddler care in California.

Click here to view this brief


Core Competencies for the Prenatal Through Age Three Workforce

ZTT Core Competencies Policy 2012
  • This brief describes our policy and program recommendations for maximizing the prenatal through age three core competencies.

Click here to view this brief

Improving Access to Early Identification and Intervention: 211 LA County Developmental Screening and Care Coordination

Improving Access to Early Identification and Intervention - thumb
  • This policy brief by the ZERO TO THREE Western Office describes the 211 LA County telephone-based developmental screening and care coordination program. It offers policy recommendations for expanding and replicating the model and discusses research supporting universal developmental screening.

Click here to view this brief

Project: Military Families Program
ZERO TO THREE coordinates our national signature program with the UCLA Veterans Family Resilience Center (UVFRC) to engage trainers, consultants, and administrators in the local community as an opportunity to disseminate materials, key message modules, and a one-day train the trainer session focused on building long-term community capacity around the needs of veteran families and their very young children. Funding for this project has been secured and activities are in progress.



Explore our Parenting Resources

Coming Together Around Military FamiliesNational Training InstituteEarly Head StartEarly Head Start

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Copyright © 2014 ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

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