The Simms/Mann Institute Think Tank started in Santa Barbara in 2013 with a focus on early child education in community colleges and state schools. It soon grew to a select group of 500 stakeholders able to directly impact policy and practice in early child development.

The Think Tank was unique in its transdisciplinary emphasis on the importance of whole-child development. Researchers showcased their cutting-edge science related to children ages 0-3 for leaders in education, medicine, business, and philanthropy.

The Institute awarded Simms/Mann Faculty Fellowships to over 25 community and state school faculty members who engaged in year-long research projects related to early child topics and presented their findings at the Think Tanks.

The Simms/Mann Whole Child Award honored 10 extraordinary professionals who have made a significant impact using a whole child approach in caring for children and their families– as medical clinicians, nonprofit/community leaders, or educational champions.

While the Institute no longer holds Think Tanks, the vital research discussed there has been incorporated across our early childhood programming including the CuddleBright® Experience, and Think Tank videos remain available on the Institute’s YouTube channel.


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It was such an inspiring, thought-provoking, and energizing experience to attend the Think Tank…the caliber of speakers was outstanding, and I left full of ideas to implement.”

Elizabeth Cleary, PhD, psychologist, 2019 Think Tank attendee