Letter From the Directors
Starting ahead means staying ahead. That’s why the first five years of a child’s life are a critical time for early childhood development and learning – and early promotion, prevention and intervention activities.
For too many children who are vulnerable – those living in poverty or unsafe neighborhoods, with developmental delays or no medical home, or with unstable access to food – research shows these risks negatively affect their future. The research suggests, however, that buffers such as nurturing and responsive caregivers, food security or participation in a quality early care and education program can mitigate the impacts of risk and foster resiliency.
Thanks to a transdisciplinary team of scholars, partners and advocates, the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies is changing the paradigm for early childhood to ensure all young children have the supports they and their families need to thrive. Forging a commitment among diverse disciplines, the Anita Zucker Center is creating, implementing and sharing science-informed solutions that spur transformative change, creating a trajectory that can unleash the potential of children, families and communities.
Our work is a top priority at the University of Florida thanks in part to early childhood champions like UF Trustee Anita Zucker and Chair of the Children’s Movement of Florida David Lawrence, Jr. Their collective commitment to our youngest children and families inspires us to pioneer, to persevere and to close the chronic chasm that impacts our children, our communities and our future.
Through this site, learn more about the people behind our work and how the Anita Zucker Center is preparing future leaders, engaging collaborators and advancing early childhood research, policy and practice for results that Go Greater.
Patricia Snyder, Ph.D.
Director, College of Education
Maureen Conroy, Ph.D.
Co-Director, College of Education