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ERIC Number: ED560167
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Reducing the Effects of Poverty through Early Childhood Interventions. Fast Focus. No. 17-2013
Magnuson, Katherine
Institute for Research on Poverty
Katherine Magnuson's research focuses on the well-being and development of economically disadvantaged children and their families. In the first half of this brief Magnuson pulls together scholarship on the effects of poverty and inequality on children, especially from infancy to age five. Her scope goes beyond the social sciences to include new findings from neuroscience and developmental psychology that provide a new window into the mechanisms by which disadvantage may have lasting effects on children's cognition, behavior, and life chances. The second half of the brief looks at what evaluation research suggests as to what works to lessen poverty's negative influence on children. Magnuson examines two approaches, income support programs and early childhood interventions. Findings suggest that programs that "make work pay" by supplementing the income of low-wage parents of preschool-age children boost student achievement when they enter school. She suggests that the Child Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are two other income support programs that could reasonably be considered to have similarly positive effects on children because they too augment families' economic resources. Several early childhood interventions have also been shown to produce short-term and long-term benefits. Magnuson notes that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of high-quality, center-based early childhood education is strong, concluding that, in times of tight budgets when difficult funding decisions must be made, the research findings summarized in this brief imply that investing in policies and programs aimed at families with young children is a good use of restricted resources.
Institute for Research on Poverty. Publications Department, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1393. Tel: 608-262-6358; Fax: 608-265-3119; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (DHHS/PHS)
Authoring Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty
Identifiers - Location: New York; North Carolina
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Earned Income Tax Credit
Grant or Contract Numbers: AE00102