Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Effectiveness of Infant and Early Childhood Programs

Major Reviews of Effectiveness

WWW: From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update: Workshop Summary (2012) - This report from the National Academies Press is available WWW: full-text online. It is based on the original study, WWW: From Neurons to Neighborhoods: Early Childhood Development (2000), which has contributed to a growing public understanding of the foundational importance of the early childhood years and helped shape early childhood policy agendas and intervention efforts at national, state, and local levels.

WWW: Investing Early Taking Stock of Outcomes and Economic Returns from Early Childhood Programs (2017), RAND Corporation - This free ebook analyzes evaluations of 115 early childhood programs serving families and children birth to age 5. The study reviewed programs in preschool, home visiting, parent education, government transfer benefits, and those that combined multiple approaches. Findings revealed that most of the programs made a positive impact for at least one child outcome, as well as, showed positive economic returns.

Programs That Work, from the Promising Practices Network on Children, Families and Communities (2014) - Between 1998 and 2014, the Promising Practices Network (PPN) on Children, Families and Communities ( provided information on programs and practices that credible research indicated are effective in improving outcomes for children, youth, and families. This publication from the RAND Corporation includes summaries of all of the programs that were reviewed by the PPN and met the criteria for a Promising or Proven program, as listed on the PPN website in June 2014, when the project ended. Programs are listed by categories, such as age of the child when the intervention takes place, delivery setting, and outcomes improved.

WWW: Reports and Working Papers from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (various dates - present) - These reports and working papers summarize findings from the research on the developing brain and underscore the importance of using science to intervene early and improve outcomes in learning, behavior, and health for all children, especially those whose prospects are compromised by adversity.

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2019 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute