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Milagros Nores 1, Steven W. Barnett 1
  • 1 State University of New Jersey , 57 US Highway 1, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8554, United States

Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions Across the World: (Under) Investing in the Very Young

2012. No. 1. P. 200–228 [issue contents]

Milagros Nores, Assistant Research Professor, National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (NJ, United States). Email: mnores@nieer.org Address: 57 US Highway 1, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8554, United States.

W. Steven Barnett, Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (NJ, United States). Email: wbarnet@rci.rutgers.edu Address: 57 US Highway 1, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8554, United States.


This paper uses a meta-analysis to review the evidence on the benefits of early childhood interventions. The authors also analyze how the revealed effects are correlated with characteristics of the corrective measures and with the target audience.

A total of 38 contrasts of 30 interventions in 23 countries were analyzed. The paper focuses on studies applying a quasi-experimental or random assignment. Studies were coded according to: the type of intervention (cash transfer, nutritional, educational or mixed); sample size; study design and duration; country; target group (infants, prekindergarten); subpopulations of interventions; and dosage of intervention. Cohen’s D effect sizes were calculated for four outcomes: cognitive gains; behavioral change; health gains; and amount of schooling.

A moderate progress has been revealed in each of the outcomes. The benefits are sustained over time. Interventions that have an educational or mixed (educational and stimulation, or care) component evidenced the largest cognitive effects, as compared to cash infusions or nutrition-specific interventions. We find children from different context and countries receive substantial cognitive, behavioral, health and schooling benefits from early childhood interventions, unlike children whose development is not supported or promoted. Direct care and education appear to be the most efficient interventions, especially for development of cognitive skills in early childhood.

DOI: 10.17323/1814-9545-2012-1-200-228

Citation: Nores M., Barnett S. (2012) Polozhitel'nyy effekt korrektiruyushchikh mer v rannem detskom vozraste v raznykh stranakh mira: nedostatochnye investitsii v samykh malen'kikh detey (per. s angl. N. Mikshinoy) [Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions Across the World: (Under) Investing in the Very Young]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no1, pp. 200-228.
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