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Posted March 9, 2017

The following post first appeared on BOLD. We encourage you to read other blogs posted on BOLD.

BOLD – Blog on Learning and Development is an interdisciplinary initiative powered by the Jacobs Foundation, dedicated to spreading the word about how children and young people develop and learn. Researchers at various stages of their careers as well as science journalists, policymakers, and practitioners have their say on this blog. BOLD is designed as a digital platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions.

Small steps to big change

The big idea of applying behavioral insights to children’s development

by Lisa A. Gennetian
March 9, 2017

We can thank recent frontiers in neuroscience research for sparking so much momentum around the importance of investing in children’s earliest years of development, when the brain appears to be especially responsive and vulnerable to the quality of one’s environments.

Debates persist though, among parents, scholars, and policymakers, on how best to invest. High-quality early education has its supporters, and certainly many young children will need safe and nurturing places to be when parents are at work, but a recent review of evidence suggests that the early benefits of attending such programs might not be as clear-cut as we might think. Some benefits fade out by the time children enter formal schooling. If so, then where should policy and parents turn for guidance on the types of investments that might have the most enduring effects? [continue reading this blog on BOLD]