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Why is it important to study early learning?

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​Early learning can improve children’s health and well-being and have long-lasting benefits. Studying which factors affect early learning and education will help researchers:

  • Design better ways to help at-risk children before they start school
  • Improve parent, caregiver, child care provider, and preschool teacher training
  • Use research findings to design better preschool and child care programs
  • Study innovative early intervention settings, such as pediatrician’s offices and home visitor programs, and ways to make these programs convenient for parents and caretakers.

For example, NICHD research has helped characterize a positive learning environment as one with a warm caregiver and in which the child is supported and challenged cognitively. Findings of NICHD research also link early childhood education programs to improved adult health and demonstrate that early learning programs are cost-effective.

Recent examples include findings indicating that:

Read more about early education research supported by the NICHD.


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