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The early years: child well-being and the role of public policy

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Following the 2015 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) flagship publication, "The Early Years: Child Well-Being and the Role of Public Policy", the Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policy (EDePo) at the IFS and the IDB organised a conference on the themes covered extending the scope to experiences in developing, middle income and developed countries. We focused on lessons that can be learned from the literature on the early years, their long term consequences, and the potential role for policy. Below we provide links to related presentations, videos  of presentations and in-depth interviews with speakers.

We thank the British Academy for hosting this event and the ESRC for providing support through the Impact Accelleration Account at IFS.

Conference materials             

Blog on early childhood development policies: As part of this event, Orazio Attanasio, Sarah Cattan and Sonya Krutikova produced a piece titled 'Early childhood development policies: The evidence and the research agenda'

Slides: Here you can download presentation slides from the conference, by topic.

Session 1: Parenting 1

Session 2: Early Schooling 1

Session 4: Early health and nutrition 

Session 5: Early Schooling 2

Speakers presentations: Here you can view presentations in full, with accompanying slides. 

Sarah Cattan (Senior Research Economist, IFS) on “Pre-school quality and child development : research evidence”. 

Sally Grantham-McGregor (Emeritus Professor of International Child Health, University College London) on “Early Childhood Interventions: Issues when planning to go to scale”.

Norbert Schady (IDB) on “Bad Apples in Early Education”.


Costas Meghir (Yale and EDePo@IFS) on "Estimating the production function for human capital".

Janet Currie (Princeton) on "Lead poisoning and juvenile delinquency".

Prashant Bharadwaj (UC San Diego) on "Before birth: prenatal investments and early development".

Essi Viding (UCL) on "The impact of genes and the environment on early childhood development".

Final Panel on early childhood development - "What's next? Lessons for policy and key evidence gaps".
In-depth interviews with participants: Here you can watch in-depth interviews with some of our speakers, who discuss their work and the significance of this event.
1. A conversation between Hiro Yoshikawa (NYU) and Sonya Krutikova (EDepo at IFS): Quality improvement in public pre-school education: challenges for research and policy
2. Janet Currie (Princeton) talks about the impact of exposure to environmental pollution on children’s educational and behavioural development.
3. Scott Rozelle (Stanford) describes his research in rural China, where once-hated family planners have become advocates for early years development.
4. A conversation between Orazio Attanasio (UCL & EDePo at IFS) and Norbert Schady (IDB): Early childhood development, policy challenges and research agenda
5. Ian Diamond, principal of the University of Aberdeen, outlines key takeaways from the EDePo/IDB/British Academy conference and the agenda for research and policy.