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The Zigler Center conducts both research and policy analysis, to bring objective child development research into the policy and public arenas.

Research topics include: Head Start, pre-kindergarten programs, child care, child abuse and neglect, mental health services, animal-assisted therapy in hospitals and schools, and the impact of school-based interventions on children's academic and social development.

Policy analysis projects include: federal policy which impacts children and their families living in poverty; state and federal policy on child care; parental leave; school-linked/school-based family support services for children at risk, and international early childhood policies. In addition, Center faculty and fellows engage in direct policy work at the federal, state and international levels, including providing testimony before legislative bodies, working with legislators on developing legislation, and consulting to officials in the executive branch.