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ZERO TO THREE and partners to establish National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning

A significant grant will allow ZERO TO THREE and partner organizations to establish a national center focused on improving outcomes for children and supporting professional development systems for childcare providers.

Caregiver hugging childWASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care has awarded $70 million over five years to fund the creation of the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning. The award was announced October 5.

“ZERO TO THREE and our partners look forward to supporting Early Head Start and Head Start grantees, as well as the broader childcare community, as they help prepare young children to be ready for school and life,” said Matthew Melmed, executive director of ZERO TO THREE. “The new Center will integrate a developmental perspective in all of its activities reflecting how human brains are built – from the bottom up.”

The goal of the NC ECDTL is to identify, develop and promote the implementation of evidence-based child development, teaching and learning practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive and lead to positive child outcomes across learning programs, along with providing strong professional development systems. The Center will develop resources and offer training and technical assistance to Head Start / Early Head Start programs, early childhood specialists and child care lead agencies. The resources and training will strengthen their capacities to provide comprehensive and high quality early care and education from birth to age 5.

ZERO TO THREE is collaborating on this project with Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, WestEd, the University of Denver Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, Child Care Aware of America and AEM Corporation. Together, these partners will use a scientific framework to ensure the NC ECDTL’s work will advance best practices in implementing programs in real-world settings.

“The Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care have developed a tremendous network of resources to support the health and development of children from birth to age five,” said Melmed. “It is an honor for ZERO TO THREE and our partners to be part of this important work.”

The Center will be supported by a Research to Practice Consortium made up of 18 leading researchers in early childhood, development, teaching and learning to ensure that its work is based on the latest early childhood research. The NC ECDTL is expected to begin operating in October 2015.


ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/ZEROTOTHREE or follow @ZEROTOTHREE on Twitter.

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