CEHD Director James J. Heckman recently gave a lecture on ways to promote economic and social opportunity in Brazil. The event, “The challenges of early childhood: Why investing in children from zero to 6 years will change Brazil,” was organized by Exame and VEJA magazines and supported by the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, Femsa Foundation, and United Way Brazil.
In a new working paper James J. Heckman and co-authors analyze a randomized control trial of the widely-known Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program that took place in Memphis in 1990. The program provided home visits with nurses to disadvantaged, first-time mothers from pregnancy until two years after birth. NFP aimed to improve the long-term success of disadvantaged children “by promoting healthy maternal behaviors and by fostering parenting skills.” This paper evaluates the impact through age 12.
Professor James Heckman shared recent research on investing in early childhood education at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June. Heckman, who spoke on the Aspen, CO panel alongside entrepreneur Jackie Bezos, discussed ideas for applying his research to social policy. “What I want to argue today is that successful programs, successful interventions…promote social mobility,” he said. He noted that a major obstacle for lifting families out of poverty is the diminished social mobility of low-income children. “We need to think about the family and supporting the family.” Professor Heckman provided evidence from his work showing that childcare and child development are integrally related, noting that low quality childcare can have harmful effects. You can listen to the panel, titled “The ROI That Matters: Investing in Kids and Families to Build a New Economy” below. Play “The ROI That Matters: Investing in Kids and Families to Build a New Economy”
All childcare programs are not alike. New research by Center director James J. Heckman and co-authors provides evidence that low-quality childcare can actually have harmful effects on child development, particularly for boys. “Gender Differences in the Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,” by Professor Heckman, Jorge Luis García, and Anna Ziff, also helps elucidate recent claims about the harm caused by childcare programs.