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J. Ronald Lally


J. Ronald Lally, EdD, was one of the pioneers in the field of infant/toddler development. Dr. Lally was a Founding Member of ZERO TO THREE.

Contributions to the Field

Dr. Lally was one of the pioneers in the field of infant/toddler development. In 1968 he received his doctorate in educational psychology with a focus on infancy from the University of Florida and a post-doctoral certificate for infant testing from the Child Development Research Centre in London. While at Florida, he directed one of the first home visiting programs for infants in the United States. For many years he was a professor at Syracuse University and chair of its Department of Child and Family Studies. There he ran the Syracuse University Family Development Research Program, a longitudinal study of the impact of early intervention on low-income children. Part of that study was the operation of the Syracuse University Children’s Center, the first federally funded infant care center in the country. He is the executive producer of 21 PITC infant-toddler training DVDs. The videos/DVDs and accompanying print materials of the program are the most widely distributed infant-toddler caregiver training materials in the country. He served on the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee that developed the national initiative Early Head Start.


  • Co-director, Center for Child and Family Studies, WestEd, Sausalito, California
  • Director, For Our Babies Advocacy,
  • Co-director, Program for Infant/Toddler Caregivers (PITC), a video-based training program in collaboration with the California Department of Education.


  • Member: American Psychological Association
  • Society for Research on Child Development
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Advisor to Educare Silicon Valley.

Recent Honors/Awards/Recognition/Books Published

  • WestEd’s Distinguished Achievement Award, 2016.

Some of his publications include:

  • For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants, Teachers College Press, 2013
  • “Want Success in Schools? Start With Babies!” in Kappa Delta Pi Record, Vol. 48, (2012)
  • “The Link Between Consistent Caring Interactions with Babies, Early Brain Development & School Readiness,” in The Pre-K Debates: Current Controversies and Issues (Zigler, Gilliam, & Barnett, Eds., Brookes Publishing, 2011)
  • “Chapter Two: The Program for Infant Toddler Care,” in Approaches to Early Childhood Education (6th ed., Roopnarine & Johnson, Eds., Pearson- Merrill Prentice Hall, 2011)
  • “School Readiness Begins in Infancy: Social Interactions During the First Two Years of Life Provide the Foundation for Learning,” in Kappan Magazine (November 2010).