The Picard Center

Here at the Picard Center, we produce rigorous, innovative, and actionable knowledge in order to ensure that all children get a strong start and continuous support for excelling in school and life.

The Picard Center for Child Development

The Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning is a leading university-level research center that produces rigorous, innovative, and actionable knowledge in order to ensure that all children get a strong start and continuous support for excelling in school and life.

The Picard Center’s current research portfolio emphasizes two broad substantive areas: (a) early childhood education from birth to school entry, with holistic consideration of children’s cognitive, behavioral, mental, social, and physical health and the systems that support them, and, (b) healthy lifespan development, from infancy through young adulthood, synergistically considering transdisciplinary perspectives in areas such as mental and behavioral health, positive youth development, school counseling, and clinical and community psychology. The Picard Center also serves as a research incubator for faculty and students across the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in these two substantive focal areas and related social/behavioral, educational, and health sciences topics.

In its methodological approaches, the Center emphasizes efforts to ensure public dollars are invested in ways that are fair and sustainable, including through supporting researcher-practitioner-policymaker partnerships, using leading-edge open data science strategies, and ensuring modern testing theory and data visualization techniques are accessible to non-experts.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update & Resources

The Picard Center is dedicated to serving Louisiana's children and families and has provided a number of resources for parents, professionals, and caregivers. Please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Children, Families, and Childcare Professionals page for more information. We also have a listing of University & Community Resources available to students, children, and families.

Over the last several months, the Picard Center has transition to remote operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the University has begun transitioning into Phase I of the Return-to-Campus plan, the Picard Center continues to function remotely until further notice. All Picard Center vendors and partners can expect to continue working with our staff as usual. If you have any questions, please contact Thank you for your patience as we continue critical work for the University and our community.

For further updates, please visit the dedicated webpage ( and continually check the University’s social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter. We hope you and your families have been safe and healthy during these uncertain times.


We lead interdisciplinary research initiatives to increase our understanding of children's learning and development within diverse sociocultural contexts. The Picard Center provides a number of resources to all community members and encourages frequent collaboration to overcome the gap between research, policy, and practice. The Picard Center’s unique event spaces can be rented for professional learning, meetings, seminars, and conferences. Simple pricing, ample parking, and easy catering options make booking your event at the Picard Center an obvious choice.