J. Ronald Lally, EdD, is one of the pioneers in the field of infant/toddler development. In 1968 he received his doctorate in educational psychology with a focus on infancy from the University of Florida and a postdoctoral certificate for infant testing from the Child Development Research Centre in London. While at Florida, he directed one of the first home-visiting programs for infants in the United States. For many years he was a professor at Syracuse University and chair of its Department of Child and Family Studies. There he ran the Syracuse University Family Development Research Program, a longitudinal study of the impact of early intervention on children from low-income families. Part of that study was the operation of the Syracuse University Children’s Center, the first federally funded infant care center in the country. Currently he is the co-director of the Center for Child and Family Studies at WestEd, a research, development, and service agency based in San Francisco where, for the past 27 years, he has directed the work of its Program for Infant/Toddler Care.
Dr. Lally consults nationally and internationally on programs and policies for infants, toddlers, and their families. He has produced 20 videos on quality infant/toddler care that are used worldwide. He is one of the founders of ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families and served on the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee that developed the national initiative Early Head Start.
Some of his recent publications include “Want Success in Schools? Start with Babies!,” in Kappa Delta Pi Record, Vol. 48, (2012); “The Link Between Consistent Caring Interactions with Babies, Early Brain Development, and School Readiness,” in The Pre-K Debates: Current Controversies and Issues (Zigler, Gilliam, & Barnett, Eds., Brookes Publishing, 2011); “Chapter Two: The Program for Infant Toddler Care,” in Approaches to Early Childhood Education (6th ed., Roopnarine & Johnson, Eds., Pearson, 2011); and “School Readiness Begins in Infancy: Social Interactions During the First Two Years of Life Provide the Foundation for Learning,” in Kappan Magazine (November 2010).