Childhood interventions: impacts on health, schooling, and socioeconomic outcomes

Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso Foundation, Eurochild member, has recently published an ebook on the returns of the childhood interventions throughout the life.

The first years of life are crucial for health and well-being throughout the life course. During our childhood years, we are more malleable and receptive to external influence and this implies that there is an opportunity to promote the development of cognitive, social and emotional skills.

This is the focus of the Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso Foundation's latest eBook publication. A systematic review of the literature and research on interventions with a health component, most of them developed in the United States of America (US) or Europe. This publication shows the study carried out by the researchers of NOVA School Business & Economics - Prof. Judite Gonçalves and Dr. Filipe Valadas.

There are childhood interventions a little bit all over the world. The first were implemented in the US in the ‘60s. As those programs multiplied, so did the literature on their impact. The review analysed 39 studies (selected from 250 studies).

Did you know that childhood interventions have positive outcomes throughout life?

The evidence indicates that the intervention programs in childhood show positive economic returns to society, which will be even greater the sooner in the gestation or life of the children the intervention begins.
Cost-benefit analyses of three programs in the USA with education and health components that systematically follow children 0- 5 years and 3-9 years point to returns ranging from $ 5.98 to $ 10.83 per dollar long-term benefits (i.e., when these children reach 21-26 years of age).

Among the benefits considered are: gains in the economic income / fiscal return of participants and mothers; gains in education and health costs; less reliance on social support; lower costs in the justice system, education or social security.

The complete report, in Portuguese, is available here. The Executive Summary is also available in English in the same report.