The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University was established in 2006 by Center director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D.  Our founding mission was to generate, translate, and apply scientific knowledge that would close the gap between what we know and what we do to improve the lives of children facing adversity. Initially, we used existing knowledge about early childhood development to educate policymakers and build support for early investment. Over time, we increasingly turned to science as a source of new ideas for dramatically improving child outcomes. We now view existing best practices as a starting point, not a destination. Our current mission is to drive science-based innovation that achieves breakthrough outcomes for children facing adversity.