Building the Science of Investing in Early Childhood: The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Universal Home Visiting

Early childhood investment in evidence-based prevention strategies offers the potential for dramatic improvements in health and well-being as well as substantial public and private savings. Unfortunately, while gross estimates of early childhood investment exist, the field has done little to systematically map what resources are available or understand how different services interact, overlap, and are utilized. Without a robust understanding of the resources on the ground, it is unsurprising that the current system is plagued by waste and redundancy. As such, there is growing demand for disruptive innovations that can better coordinate investments across a broad array of public and private organizations.

This project seeks to (1) understand what investments are available and who is receiving them across the entire community population of children aged birth-to-five, (2) test a disruptive innovation for improving the impact and efficiency of early childhood investments, and (3) prepare this program for uptake and dissemination through private and public funding mechanisms.

This¬†project greatly reduces risks by leveraging the existing service and research infrastructure of the Durham Connects project. In this context, the proposed project seeks to build the science of investing in early childhood by studying young children’s resource consumption in an entire community population. We also aim to understand how this system of investments could be made more efficient by implementing program that strategically allocates these resources to families in need. By mapping this system and delivering a program meant to improve its efficiency we hope to reveal opportunities for transformational change to fundamentally improve our nation’s health.