Region Focus

Fall 2005

Minds Matter

Early childhood education meets economic development
By Betty Joyce Nash

Evaluating Outcomes

Children in three early intervention programs in North Carolina, Illinois, and Michigan have been followed into adulthood. This has enabled researchers to evaluate the outcomes of these programs, and the results are generally positive. Studies of the federal Head Start program have found similar outcomes.

Early Intervention ProgramDescriptionAge of ParticipantsAchievement TestsOther Outcomes
Carolina Abecedarian Project (Chapel Hill, N.C.)Full-time, year-round preschool classes; assistance from home-school teacher for first three years of primary schooling6 weeks -
8 years
T>C at ages 8, 15, 21Employment Status: T=C at age 21
School Dropout Rate:
Child-Parent Center Program (Chicago, Ill.)Part-time preschool program and after-school activities, other services for school-age children3 years -
9 years
T>C at grade 2, T=C at grade 8School Dropout Rate:
TDelinquency & Crime:
High/Scope Perry Preschool Project (Ypsilanti, Mich.)Home visits, intensive preschool programs3 years -
5 years
T>C at ages 9, 14Employment:
T>C age 19, T=C age 27
NOTE: "T" refers to treatment group and "C" refers to control or comparison group
SOURCE: Janet M. Currie, "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, Spring 2001
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