For Our Babies promotes the healthy development of infants and toddlers by helping families, caregivers, communities, and policy makers worldwide understand the essential supports our youngest children need to thrive.
For Our Babies pursues our purpose by sharing the relevant experience and knowledge of families, practitioners, and other experts. We produce and promote publications, videos, podcasts, and community building to advocate for programs that proactively nurture brain development in babies between conception and age 3 in the U.S.
Our Call to Action
The U.S. can do so much more to proactively nurture brain development between conception and age 3. A focus on ensuring healthy development during this timeframe will pay dividends throughout life.
Share our message and help us build a new and healthier beginning for babies that will lead to better functioning students and more productive adults – which benefits us all!
Remembering Ron Lally
Ron Lally, Co-Director of WestEd’s Center for Child and Family Studies, and creator of the For Our Babies project passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on January 22, 2020.
With his passing, we lost an extraordinary person, a gentle and creative spirit, and a dear friend, while the field of early childhood development has lost a pioneering champion for our youngest children.
Known professionally as J. Ronald Lally, Ed.D., Ron was an expert on early childhood development. His groundbreaking research and career accomplishments – including founding Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families and directing WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) since 1985 – fueled 40+ years of tireless effort to support young children, their families, and caregivers.
Ron was also a loving father and grandfather. Frustrated by US policies that fall short of what babies need, he wrote and published, For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants, launching the For Our Babies Campaign to raise public awareness and garner support for a better beginning for babies in the United States.
Ron’s vision of high-quality infant/toddler care will continue to inspire early childhood educators and leaders around the world, and their continued efforts to support and nurture babies are a central part of his legacy. Ron’s work has touched countless infants, toddlers, families, and the teachers and caregivers who care for them.
We honor him with our own continued efforts to improve the lives of young children.
Our Lead Team
Peter Mangione is Senior Director of Early Childhood Strategic Initiatives at WestEd. He provides leadership in the development of comprehensive training resources for infant and toddler care providers and other early learning and care programs and services. He has worked extensively in the fields of child development, early childhood education, family support services, public policy, and research and evaluation since 1980.
Peter believes we can do better for our babies and works to advance social policies in the United States that reflect what research tells us promotes infants’ development, learning, and well-being. He provides leadership and expertise to the For Our Babies project.
Project Director, For Our Babies
Julie is a Senior Program Associate at WestEd. On the For Our Babies team since its inception, she collaborated with Dr. Lally to develop and launch the project. Julie has been a professional in the infant/toddler field for over 27 years. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Mills College. Julie is passionate about creating a brighter beginning for babies, their families, and caregivers.
Project Manager, WestEd
Kate is a Project Manager for the Technology Services Group in the Information Technology Department at WestEd. She has a passion for education and the well-being of children and enjoys working with teams to create thoughtful user-centered websites and web applications.
Kate joined WestEd in 2013. Prior to WestEd, Kate worked as a designer, developer, and manager of web-based products. She designed and created her first non-profit website in 1997. Following that she worked as a developer and project manager at agencies and as a consultant. She co-founded the web-based software company, inkchaser, in 1999, where she managed the creation of web-based automated print quoting technology, which she and her team received a US patent for in 2001.
Kate received a Bachelors’s degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, gardening, traveling, hiking, cooking, and gaming.
Senior Researcher, WestEd
Evelina Du brings more than 20 years of experience in the education field to the team, including curriculum and assessment development, research design/implementation, and development of new resources to inform policy and practice. She received a BA in economics with an emphasis on education from UCLA, a MA in international educational administration and policy analysis from Stanford University and an EdD in educational leadership from Mills College.
UX and Visual Designer
A computer nut since early childhood, Vanessa taught herself web development and graphic design in high school and began her career in the 90s as a front-end web developer. After expanding her skillset to include branding and digital product design, Vanessa studied English literature and graduated cum laude from California State University, Los Angeles.
In her free time Vanessa enjoys road trips and air travel, housecleaning dance parties, and horsing around with her daughter Zoe, son Benjamin, and husband Keith.
Video Producer, WestEd
Digital Media Artist, WestEd
(former) Program Assistant, WestEd;
(current) Communication Manager, First Place Youth
Video Producer, Dellaruth Video