The Picard Center

Here at The Cecil J. Picard Center, we focus on research that affects children and their capacity for learning.

Our research focuses on five areas: education, health, longitudinal, quality of life, and workforce.

The Picard Center for Child Development

The Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development is a research center comprised of a multidisciplinary group of evaluation and research professionals who focus on science-based innovation in practice and policy with the goal of producing substantially larger impacts on the learning capacity, health, and economic and social mobility of young children. Our research is focused on the following areas of early childhood study: education, development, health and mental health, assessment and evaluation, and early intervention and prevention programs. Our overall goal is to ensure a prosperous and healthy future for children and families in Louisiana.

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.

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 August 17, 2020. 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.

Picard Center's Response to National Unrest

As a research center whose mission is to improve the lives of Louisiana’s children and families in the areas of education, health, quality of life, workforce development, and public policy, we recognize the devastating impact and lasting effects recent events have had on our communities and state.

The coronavirus has disrupted important support systems and resources for all of Louisiana’s children and families; however, Black Americans have felt the brunt of the economic, social, and health consequences of the virus. Black Americans make up 33% of Louisiana’s population, yet they account for more than 55% of coronavirus-related deaths. Black children account for 45% of public-school attendees, yet public school responses to school closures have been uneven, with some school districts providing little or no educational support during closures. Many parents and caregivers have lost jobs, leading to financial insecurity and increased economic hardships. As such, many Black children and adults are experiencing increased stress, compounding the already-existing health and mental health inequities that exist outside of the effects of the coronavirus.

Furthermore, we, as a Center, are appalled and saddened by recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many other Black Americans, both far and near. The social injustice reflected and perpetrated through these deaths, in addition to the uneven adverse consequences of the coronavirus, have laid bare, once again, the devastating effects of discrimination, racism, and intolerance. As we continue to witness the blatant and inexcusable barriers to social justice that are experienced by our Black colleagues, friends, and neighbors— every day of their lives—we must not ignore nor stay silent about these conditions.

This is a critical time in our history, especially for Louisiana’s vulnerable children and families. We, at the Picard Center, believe that good research can and should contribute to dismantling the structural and sustained racism that continues to impact the Black American community and all other communities of color. We are committed to learning from and with our partners, collaborators, and community about how to best address these long-standing, insidious issues. The Picard Center pledges to embrace the values of equality and inclusivity, tolerance and diversity, fairness and justice in our work. We are, now more than ever, committed to developing, implementing, and disseminating evidence-based findings and approaches that can inform the critical decisions, policies, and programs that affect Louisiana’s most vulnerable children and families.

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.