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This research brief describes work documented in Investing in Our Children: What We Know and Don't Know About the Costs and Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions (MR-898-TCWF).

Excerpt: Over the last year or so, there has been a renewed interest in the influence of the first few years of life on child health and development, educational attainment, and economic well-being. Much of this interest has been given impetus by research findings that the great majority of physical brain development occurs by the age of three. These findings have been interpreted to suggest that early childhood furnishes a window of opportunity for enriching input and a window of vulnerability to poverty and dysfunctional home environments. The response has been an array of programs directing budgetary surpluses to promote healthy child development — particularly among disadvantaged children — with home visits by nurses, parent training, preschool, and other programs.

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