Research for Action and Outcomes

The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center empowers states with rigorous evidence to implement effective and equitable policies that ensure all children thrive from the start. Based in Vanderbilt University‘s Peabody College and led by Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Professor of Early Childhood Education and Policy, our team of researchers and nonpartisan policy experts work directly with state leaders to achieve their goals for child and parent wellbeing–as well as the health, safety, and prosperity of communities. 

How We Do Our Work

We comprehensively review rigorous research to determine the state policies most effective at improving outcomes for infants and toddlers. Investments in the earliest years benefit not only the child, but also society as a whole—leading to a thriving economy, strong families, and a proficient workforce.

Our Story

In 2010, our work began with the launch of the Child & Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. This partnership with Texas state agencies and nonprofits aimed to help them evaluate the effectiveness of their programs serving young children, teens, and their parents. CFRP conducted program evaluations for home visiting, child care, child welfare, child support, and teen pregnancy prevention.

In April of 2019, we launched the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Initial funding from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative provided a foundation to fulfill our vision of linking brain science and policy, tracking state efforts to support the prenatal-to-3 period, and building and understanding the rigorous evidence base that undergirds this work.

Over the summer and fall of 2019, the Center conducted the initial evidence reviews in our Prenatal-to-3 Policy Clearinghouse. In September of 2020, we launched the first Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap. Throughout this time, we continued to run CFRP as a separate research center.

In January 2022, we moved to Vanderbilt University to join forces with the world-class Peabody College of Education and Human Development in its commitment to elevate the importance of early childhood investments. At that time, the CFRP merged with the Center, pivoting to the prenatal-to-3 period to become our current research arm.

In 2022, the Center doubled in size. Unified under the name of the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, we grew our team of experts and continued our work of growing the evidence base for what helps children and families thrive.

Our Team

We are a team of accomplished researchers, policy experts, operational staff, government relations strategists, and communicators. We share a passion for using evidence-based state policy to improve the lives of young children and their families, generating lifelong success stories for individuals, as well as strengthening the economies and communities in every state.

Our Investors

We rely on support from several foundations focused on equity, early childhood, neuroscience, health, and education. We are thankful for their investment in the earliest years of a child’s development and their commitment to using rigorous evidence to strengthen policymaking.