The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs


Research for Action and Outcomes

Health, maternal care, family life, economic security, and early care and learning—the first three years shape the future of every child’s life. The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs translates research on the best public investments into state policy actions that produce results for young children and society. Our team of researchers and nonpartisan policy experts works with policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to navigate the evidence of what works, set priorities, act with confidence, and analyze results for continuous improvement. We help connect the complex social, economic, and health needs of families that support effective child development in the earliest years—seeking effective policies for each and looking at how all can work together for the greatest impact.

The University of Texas at Austin established the national Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2019. The Policy Impact Center is led by family policy scholar and demographer Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Associate Dean and Director of the Child and Family Research Partnership at the LBJ School.

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous financial support of the Policy Impact Center and our mission to strengthen policymaking and families through research and evidence: (in order of award)

  • Pritzker Children’s Initiative, a project of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation
  • Buffett Early Childhood Fund
  • Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Klingenstein Philanthropies
  • The Hemera Foundation

Guiding Principles of the Policy Impact Center

  1. Investing in children in the earliest years is essential for their healthy development. We must invest in children’s families and the institutions that serve them to promote the health and wellbeing of infants and toddlers.
  2. We should strive to close persistent disparities in outcomes between race and ethnic groups and by socioeconomic status.
  3. We are guided by evidence, but mindful and honest about the limits of the research base. We want to encourage the adoption of effective policies AND support and evaluate innovative strategies to strengthen children and families.

Four Signature Resources

  1. Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Clearinghouse – An ongoing inventory of rigorous evidence reviews of state-level policies and strategies that impact the prenatal to age 3 developmental period
  2. Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap – An annual policy guide grounded in evidence that provides states actionable solutions to improve outcomes for all young children
  3. Prenatal-to-3 Policy-Research Exchange – A forum for early childhood stakeholders to exchange ideas and experiences to advance scholarship and evidence-informed policymaking
  4. Building the Evidence-Base for Prenatal-to-3 – A prioritized research agenda, developed in collaboration with scholars and practitioners, to continue to build a strong and equitable prenatal-to-3 system of care

Connect with Us

Join the growing network of prenatal-to-3 evidence-driven work. To subscribe for email updates on the latest news and research, click here. Follow @pn3policy and #pn3policy on Twitter.