The research evidence is compelling that early childcare and education can have robust effects on children's academic and behavioral development, but we also know that early childhood programs face challenges that limit their effectiveness. In this lecture, I first examine evidence of the short-term effects of early childhood programs, including consideration of the factors that support or impede program effectiveness. In the second half of the presentation, I turn to research that asks if there are long-term effects of early childhood programs on adolescent and adult outcomes. If effects persist, what are the processes and factors that mediate and moderate long-term effects?
Deborah Vandell is professor of education at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include (1) early child care and education - its effects on children's social, cognitive, and behavioral development and strategies for improving the quality of early care and education, (2) after-school programs and activities - their impact on children and youth and strategies for improving the quality of after-school programs, and (3) children's relationships with peers, parents, siblings, teachers, and mentors as developmental and educational contexts.