Success in Early Intervention: The Chicago Child-Parent Centers

Synopsis

This book is a valuable source of information on the long-term effects of early intervention programs on the education of children living in economically disadvantaged areas and in other contexts. Early intervention programs such as Head Start enjoy popular and legislative support, but until now, policymakers and practitioners have lacked hard data on the long-term consequences of such locally and federally mandated efforts.

Success in Early Intervention focuses on the Child-Parent Center (CPC) program in Chicago, the second oldest (after Head Start) federally funded early childhood intervention program. Begun in 1967, the program currently operates out of twenty-four centers, which are located in proximity to the elementary schools they serve. The CPC program's unique features include mandatory parental involvement and a single, sustained educational system that spans preschool through the third grade.

Central to this study is a 1986 cohort of nearly twelve hundred CPC children and a comparison group of low income children whose subsequent activities, challenges, and achievements are followed through the age of fifteen. The lives of these children amply demonstrate the positive long-term educational and social consequences of the CPC program.