The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program

In a partnership with Nobel Memorial Prize winner Jim Heckman and researchers at the University of Chicago, the Future Americans Model (FAM) was adapted to estimate benefits from an influential early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families in North Carolina, which followed participants through their mid-30s. The adapted FAM forecasted health outcomes for the subjects from this point through their projected age of death.

The results, featured in Washington PostThe New York TimesThe AtlanticPolitico, and on NPR, show that the programs were highly beneficial across the lifetime, impacting factors such as health, income, and education for both children and mothers. Compared to preschools serving children starting at three or four years old, programs starting at birth can yield a significantly greater return on investment – 13% per year compared to 7-10% per year.