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Early Childhood Intervention Programs: What Do We Know?

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  • Janet Currie

Abstract

It is disappointing that numerous studies have not produced more consistent evidence of the long-term effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) of early intervention. However, all studies are not created equal, and better studies tend to find larger and more significant long-term effects. Moreover, we show below that the proven short- and medium-term benefits of Head Start already pay back much of the cost of the program. The existing literature also provides some guidelines for the design of early intervention programs. Specifically, it suggests that while it may be useful to intervene before 3 years old, interventions for preschool and school age children can also be effective. Second, the effects of early intervention are generally larger for more disadvantaged children, which provides a rationale for targeting such programs to these children. Third, the most important aspect of child care quality is the nature of the interaction between the teacher and the child. Small group sizes, better teacher training, and other regulable aspects of quality all make positive interactions more likely. Moreover, even rather loose federal oversight of these observable aspects of quality can be effective in eliminating poor-quality programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 169.

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Date of creation: 25 May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:169

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  1. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
  2. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
  4. Janet Currie, 1998. "The Effect of Welfare on Child Outcomes: What We Know and What We Need to Know," JCPR Working Papers 26, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Hotz, V.J. & Kilburn, M.R., 1995. "Regulating Child Care: The Effetcs of State Regulation on Child Care Demand and its Cost," Papers 95-03, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
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Cited by:
  1. World Bank, 2005. "Turkey—Education Sector Study : Sustainable Pathways to an Effective, Equitable and Efficient Education System for Preschool through Secondary School Education," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8393, The World Bank.
  2. Matthew J. Neidell, 2000. "Early Parental Time Investments In Children's Human Capital Development: Effects Of Time In The First Year On Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Outcomes," UCLA Economics Working Papers 806, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2005. "Low-fee ($5/day/child) Regulated Childcare Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: A Natural Experiment from Canada / La politique des services de garde à 5 $/jour et l’offre de," CIRANO Working Papers 2005s-08, CIRANO.
  4. Corak, Miles, 2001. "Are the Kids All Right? Intergenerational Mobility and Child Well-being in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001171e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Pierre Merrigan & Philip Lefebvre, 2002. "The Effect of Childcare and Early Education Arrangements on Developmental Outcomes of Young Children," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 159-185, June.
  6. Emiliana Vegas & Lucrecia Santibáñez, 2010. "The Promise of Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9385, January.
  7. Gosta Esping-Andersen, 2008. "Childhood investments and skill formation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 19-44, February.
  8. Joo, Myungkook, 2010. "Long-term effects of Head Start on academic and school outcomes of children in persistent poverty: Girls vs. boys," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 807-814, June.
  9. Daniel Miles, . "Can we teach civic attitudes?," Studies on the Spanish Economy 225, FEDEA.
  10. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2003. "Getting Inside the "Black Box" of Head Start Quality: What Matters and What Doesn't?," NBER Working Papers 10091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christina Gibson, 2001. "Privileging the Participant: The Importance of Take-Up Rates In Social Welfare Evaluations," Working Papers 968, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..

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