Priorities for a new century of early childhood programs

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14 Scopus citations


We highlight emerging directions in early childhood programs that establish them as one of the nation's most important priorities. We first discuss the status of investments in early childhood programs and then review patterns of participation in early childhood programs. Finally, we review advances in knowledge about the effectiveness of early childhood programs and their implications for practice. These advances include (a) increasing evidence for the positive effects of model and large-scale programs, (b) the significance of timing and length of participation, (c) the identification of cognitive, family, and school-related mechanisms by which participation leads to long-term beneficial effects, and (d) evidence of high economic returns from program participation. We illustrate the state of knowledge and practice with research on the Child-Parent Centers and other early education projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-118
Number of pages15
JournalInfants and Young Children
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Child development
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Early education
  • Longitudinal effects


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