A Giant on Whose Shoulders We Will Always Stand

50 years of Head Start, 32 million kids - if I had never done anything else in my life, that would have been a life worth living. 

The ZERO TO THREE Lifetime Achievement Award for Dedication to Improving the Lives of Young Children recognizes substantive contributions to improving the lives of infants, toddlers and their families. Award recipients are individuals whose research, practice, teaching, or advocacy has had a demonstrable impact on very young children and those who care for them.

Dr. Edward Zigler was presented with the ZERO TO THREE Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Ed Zigler, PhD, was a Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus at Yale University; Director, Emeritus, of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University; and Co-Director of the Zigler Center Head Start Unit. Dr. Zigler was also a Board Member of ZERO TO THREE.

In 1970, Dr. Zigler was named by President Nixon to become the first Director of the Office of Child Development and Chief of the U.S. Children’s Bureau. He was responsible for administering the nation’s Head Start program and led efforts to conceptualize and mount other innovative programs such as Home Start, Education for Parenthood, the Child Development Associate and the Child and Family Resource Program.

Dr. Zigler dedicated his life to furthering our understanding of the motivational determinants of children’s performance and the influence of life circumstances on children’s behavior and development. His work studied the effects of socialization settings, child care, schools, intervention programs, and family factors. A major area of Zigler’s studies and writings concerned the development of social action programs to meet the needs of children and their families.

Learn more about ZERO TO THREE’s Lifetime Achievement Award.