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Spring 2004
The Education Imperative
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Spring 2004
Starting Out on the Right Path
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MANY OTHER UCLA FACULTY from across the broad spectrum of the university also have played important roles in conducting the basic neuroscience, child-development, education, pediatric and child-health research that has laid the foundation for much of these findings. Among them are Alfred E. Osborne Jr., senior associate dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and faculty director of the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, who has designed an innovative management program for child-care directors in order to champion more effective and efficient models of service; Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Christoph Heinicke Ph.D. '53, who has researched home-visit programs and intensive intervention services for families with children 0-to-3; and Arleen Leibowitz of the School of Public Policy and Social Research and Janet Currie of the Department of Economics, who have been working to determine the impact of various social programs, including child care and Head Start, on families with young children.

The UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities, too, has played an integral part in initiatives at the local, state, national and international levels. The center has provided technical assistance for the state First 5 commission in the launch of its $400-million School Readiness Initiative, and has also provided direct support to specific initiatives in Ventura, Orange and Los Angeles counties. On a national level, the center serves as the home to the federally funded National Center for Infancy and Early Childhood Health Policy, and it has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau to create, administer and analyze the first National Survey of Early Childhood Health — research that will help to develop a set of national strategies to improve the delivery of pediatric health-care services to young children.

Although significant progress has been made in these areas, there still exists an enormous potential to implement the wave of research findings around early-childhood development into programs and initiatives. As science continues to expand the breadth of knowledge on child development, we are committed to finding innovative ways to transfer that knowledge into effective practice.

Neal Halfon is a professor of pediatrics, public health and public policy, and the director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities.

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