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Early Childhood Intervention. Rationale, Timing and Efficacy

Orla Doyle, Colm Harmon, James Heckman and Richard E. Tremblay
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Richard E. Tremblay: Research Unit on Children's Psychosocial Maladjustment, University of Montreal

No 200705, Working Papers from Geary Institute, University College Dublin

Abstract: This paper provides a brief review of the economic rationale for investing in early childhood. It discusses the optimal timing of intervention, with reference to recent work in developmental neuroscience, and asks how early is early? It motivates the need for early intervention by providing an overview of the impact of adverse factors during the antenatal and early childhood period on outcomes later in life. Early childhood interventions, even poorly designed ones, are costly to implement, therefore it is vital that interventions are well-designed if they are to yield high economic and social returns. The paper therefore presents a set of guiding principles for the effectiveness of early intervention. It concludes by presenting a case for a new study of the optimal timing of interventions.

Keywords: Early childhood intervention; brain development; optimal timing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-01-31
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