Breaking the cycle of deprivation : an experimental evaluation of an early childhood intervention

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Title: Breaking the cycle of deprivation : an experimental evaluation of an early childhood intervention
Authors: Doyle, Orla
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3775
Date: Apr-2012
Abstract: Deprivation early in life has multiple long term consequences for both the individual and society. An increasing body of evidence finds that targeted, early interventions aimed at at-risk children and their families can reduce socioeconomic inequalities in children’s skills and capabilities. This paper describes a randomised control trial (RCT) evaluation of a five-year preventative programme which aims to improve the school readiness skills of socioeconomically disadvantaged children. The Preparing for Life (PFL) programme is one of the first studies in Ireland to use random assignment to experimentally modify the environment of high risk families and track its impact over time. This paper describes the design and motivation for the study, the randomisation procedure adopted and the baseline data collected. Using Monte Carlo permutation testing, it finds that the randomisation procedure was successful as there are no systematic differences between the treatment and control groups at baseline. This indicates that future analysis of treatment effects over the course of the five year evaluation can be causally attributed to the programme and used to determine the impact of Preparing for Life on children’s school readiness skills.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Keywords: Early childhood intervention;RCT;School readiness;Permutation testing
Subject LCSH: Early childhood education
Readiness for school
Monte Carlo method
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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