Early Childhood Intervention Programs: What Do We Know?
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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|Date of creation:||25 May 2000|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, 1155 E. 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637|
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- Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995.
"Does Head Start Make a Difference?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-364, June.
- Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," Papers 694, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2000.
"Longer Term Effects of Head Start,"
NBER Working Papers
8054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
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