Early Childhood Initiative


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Early childhood (birth to age 8) is a period of critical brain development. Young children’s interactions with family members, teachers, caregivers and others during this period all lead to crucial skills acquisition for children, with potential long-lasting behavioral and social implications.

Although the importance of early childhood on overall development is well established, less is known about the educational, community and social services interventions during this period that can set children on successful long-term paths.

Launched by the Center for Child and Family Policy in the fall of 2016, the Early Childhood Initiative seeks to bring together scholars from across Duke University to address early childhood challenges and produce world-class scholarship that will help maximize the potential of all children during their early years.

This three-year effort led by Center Faculty Fellows Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat and Anna Gassman-Pines will include:

  • Seminars for Duke faculty, researchers, staff and students.
  • The allocation of small grants for Duke faculty to conduct research on early childhood policy.
  • Research documenting how federal dollars are spent on young children in the U.S.  Report     Data Appendix