Abecedarian Project

Abecedarian Project

an early intervention demonstration project that began in the 1970s at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the goal of which was to enrich the lives of young children from low-income families. Four cohorts of children born between 1972 and 1977 were randomly selected as infants to a treatment group receiving a full-time educational intervention or to a control group receiving no intervention. Those in the intervention group were enrolled in a full-time child care center. The children began the program shortly after birth and attended until age 5. Follow-up studies were conducted with the children at ages 12, 15, and 21. The Abecedarian Project is one of the few early intervention enrichment programs to report improved cognitive test scores and other gains in participants into young adulthood relative to participants in the control condition. The mothers of children enrolled in the project also attained higher educational and employment status than the parents of children in the control group.

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