Publications

When Brain Science Meets Public Policy


More Than Just Pre-K: The Positive Economic Impact of Preschool in Los Angeles County
Executive Summary
Issue Brief  

When Brain Science Meets Public Policy: Rethinking Young Child "Neglect" from a Science-Informed, Two-Generation Perspective

Rates of child neglect remain high and constant in the United States. Taking steps to reduce these rates will require reframing how we view neglect: through a mulit-generation lens using the best science available.

Designing for Outcomes through a Two-Generation Lens—Good Science and Good Common Sense

Focusing on policies, practice guidance, program design and systems development related to the family “as a unit,” as well as brain development and research on the impact of adversity and toxic stress could create policies with the greatest extent possible.  Creating policies, guiding practice and making investment through a two (or more) generation lens, frankly, brings us much closer to the families we are charged to serve and in a much more respectful and responsive manner. 

Rethinking the Governance of Early Childhood Systems

 This report summarizes what states are doing to promote the development and management of high quality, demonstrably effective early childhood systems. It focuses on one of the central challenges in the systems-building process: the critical role and structure of governance when service delivery involves many agencies; and two potential models of governance are suggested.

Strategies for Building Executive Function Skills in the Early Years

Executive function skills include three components: planning, monitoring, and self-control.  This paper explores the development of these critical life management skills, identifies evidence-based and promising practices that foster them, and suggests four strategic opportunities for policy makers.

Pay For Success

    Pay for Success in the U.S. - Summaries of Financed Projects

    Today, there are more than 50 Pay for Success projects in development in the U.S.  This chart presents parties, financing, evaluation, timeframe and expected impact for the five Pay for Success transactions that have been implemented in the United States so far.  

    Denver Social Impact Bond Initiative: Permanent Supportive Housing

      Chicago Parent-Child Center Initiative

      Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago expanded the Child-Parent Center preschool model to increase the number of students receiving high-quality early education.

        Massachusetts Recidivism Reduction and Employment Initiative

        Massachusetts has implemented the Roca model of training and re-engagement as a juvenile justice intervention.  The goal is to reduce recidivism of young male ex-offenders.  

          New York City Rikers Island Recidivism Reduction Initiative

          New York City implemented the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience program’s Moral Reconation Therapy to reduce recidivism of young people ages 16-18 entering the juvenile justice system through Rikers Island.

            New York State Recidivism Reduction and Employment Initiative

            New York State implemented the Center for Employment Opportunity’s transitional employment model to reduce recidivism and promote the employment of recently released ex-offenders on parole.

              Utah High Quality Pre-School Initiative

              Utah's Salt Lake County and Park City have implemented a High Quality Pre-School Program to increase success in school and reduce the need for special education services.

                Cuyahoga County Partnering for Family Success Program

                Cuyahoga County, Ohio has implemented the Partnering for Family Success Program to aid children and families at the intersection of homelessness and the child welfare system.  This is currently the only count level PFS deal. 

                Pay for Success Financing for Child Care: Challenges and Opportunities

                In this policy brief, we explore whether PFS financing could be used to supplement (not replace) core government funding for childcare for infants and toddlers, in order to increase access to and the quality of this vital service.  Many interventions targeted at young children appear to be well suited to PFS financing because of the growing research base showing that effective early childhood programs produce long-term benefits for children and communities.

                Climbing the Pay for Success Learning Curve: How a working group helped South Carolina understand and prepare for PFS financing


                In September 2013, South Carolina had expressed interest in using PFS to improve child and maternal health, and in the intervening months, government officials, service providers, local foundations, academics, legislators, and potential investors came together to delve into the subject of PFS financing from many angles.  The nonprofit Institute for Child Success (ICS) convened the working group that sparked this transformation.

                Pay for Success Financing  for Early Childhood Programs: A Path Forward


                ICS believes that PFS holds enormous promise for improving children’s lives and has already conducted a feasibility study of its potential to scale up early childhood programs in South Carolina, in particular the Nurse-Family Partnership, a successful program for low-income first-time mothers.  In this brief we share lessons we learned from analyzing the feasibility of PFS for the Nurse-Family Partnership and address how PFS financing might apply to the broader field of early childhood interventions.    

                ICS September 2013 Feasibility Study

                The Economic Impact of Early Care and Education  


                Tax Reform, Revenue Adequacy, and Early Childhood Education in North Carolina (Issue Brief)

                Early care and education (ECE) programs serve as workforce supports for working parents, and support healthy child development, while contributing significantly to the economy as an industry.  The return on investment is strong, but providing adequate, stable, and sustainable funding is vital for the long-term academic and developmental outcomes of children and the economic health and strength of the state 

                The Economic Impact of Early Care and Education in North Carolina

                The early child care and education (ECE) industry incorporates a continuum of services that employ over 118,000 North Carolinians and generates more than $1.9 billion in economic productivity annually. The availability and quality of care has tremendous impacts on the long-term economic health and prosperity of the state.  

                The Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Child Achievement and Long-Term Educational Attainment

                Using longitudinal data, this study directly links EITC receipt throughout all ages of childhood to both contemporaneous achievement and long-run educational attainment, with the greatest effects seen for boys and minority children.  

                A Stronger Foundation: How a Refundable State EITC Can Support Child and Workforce Development  

                The Earned Income Tax Credit, the nation’s most effective poverty alleviation program, is a tax credit for working-poor families. The intense burden and isolation of poverty that takes a toll on young children’s developing brains can be mitigated by the EITC, fostering better long-term outcomes.   

                The Economic Impact of Early Care and Education in South Carolina

                There are more than 8,000 early care and education (ECE) businesses employing 23,432 people and drawing $266 million in federal grants into South Carolina each year.  These ECE businesses make it possible for thousands of women to work and earn over $1 billion each year they would be unable to earn of paid child care were unavailable.   

                Financing Early Care and Education: Options for South Carolina

                Public investment in ECE yields high returns for children, families, and society, but these returns require large upfront expenditures while returns can take years to accumulate.  There are many options for South Carolina to foot these expenditures including: changes in retail sales and use taxes, implementing sin taxes and tax credits, and providing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, among others.


                 

                Building Stronger Early Childhood Systems

                The Current State of Young Hispanic Children in South Carolina: Projections and Implications for the Future

                In coming decades, the population of the United States and the state of South Carolina is projected to evolve into a highly diverse young population contrasting a largely non-Hispanic white older population. Considering this demographic shift and in order to ensure the well-being of the nation in the future, the growing Hispanic population must be taken into account as new policies are developed. This report is a compilation of recent data, and its implications, from the United States and South Carolina regarding various aspects of young Hispanic children and their families, in addition to recommendations for decision makers.  

                 

                Integration of Home Visiting and the Family Centered Medical Home: A case study of Carolina Health Centers, Greenwood, SC

                This paper introduces home visiting and family-centered medical homes and addresses why they should collaborate.  It provides a snapshot of one collaborate and explains how this model may be applied to other locations.   

                Related issue brief: Comprehensive Health Care with Home Visits for New Families: Home Visitation Integration with the Family Centered Medical Home at Carolina Health Centers

                Researchers have found that when children and their families have a stronger connection to a medical home, children experience better pediatric health outcomes and experience improved health care use.  Home visiting integration with the PCMH can create a system of high-quality well-child care, with the potential to promote child health and well-being as well as to reduce disparities in health and health care.  

                Endnotes for the issue brief

                 

                Investing in Early Childhood: The Path to a More Prosperous South Carolina

                The challenges South Carolina’s children face extend well beyond the academic realm, and it may be best to discuss the well-being of children within a comprehensive framework encompassing health, safety, and educational components.  When we fully attend to the domains of healthy childhood development, we can expect to see children grow up to be productive workers, responsible citizens and parents, and fully participating members of our society. However, when we fail to attend to the developmental domains of our children, all South Carolinians pay an excessive price: a diminished, insecure, and less prosperous society.   

                Investing in Early Childhood Reference Sheet

                Public 4K in South Carolina: An overview of existing programs and considerations for decision makers 

                The state currently offers several avenues for 4K, including South Carolina’s school district-based HalfDay Child Development Program, both public-school and private center-based sites of the Child Development Education Pilot Program (CDEPP), and federally-funded Head Start programs, with the majority of students served through non-CDEPP public 4K.  Opportunities still exist to fine-tune policies and practices to ensure high-quality for students most in need of 4K.

                Early Childhood Ideal Systems: Components Of A Ready Community Assets And Gap Analysis Tool

                This paper outlines a study, commissioned with Clemson University in the fall of 2012, to conduct a review of literature and gather data in order to accomplish two major aims: to identify what is the ideal systems/ready community that provides optimal support for healthy child development and school readiness based on a thorough review of the research literature using multiple sources; and to determine how the existing Greenville County system and services compare to the ideal one or benchmark system, identifying gaps and recommended steps to close those gaps.  

                School Readiness: Moving Toward a Shared Definition, Standardized Assessment, and Unifying Language (Brief)

                Early care and learning settings are fragmented in South Carolina as they have a variety of funding streams, mandates, and standards by which they are measured.  A statewide definition of school readiness that is connected to early learning and K-12 standards, and that early care and learning stakeholders agree upon, is essential to unifying the diverse early care and learning system.  

                School Readiness: Moving Toward a Shared Definition, Standardized Assessment, and Unifying Language  (Full Document)
                       References

                Additional Publications

                Data Books

                South Carolina Early Childhood Annual Data Report

                Printable Databook for 2014

                This databook is a catalog of readily accessible information in the public domain for use by anyone (citizens, parents, service providers, public officials, foundations, and others) with an interest in early childhood indicators of family environment, physical health, emotional well- being and cognitive development. 

                Reports

                2014 Annual Report

                2013 Annual Report

                2012 Annual Report 

                Common Agendas

                2015 South Carolina Early Childhood Common Agenda

                2014 South Carolina Early Childhood Common Agenda

                This report summarizes what states are doing to promote the development and management of high quality, demonstrably effective early childhood systems. It focuses on one of the central challenges in the systems-building process: the critical role and structure of governance when service delivery involves many agencies; and two potential models of governance are suggested. In this policy brief, we explore whether PFS financing could be used to supplement (not replace) core government funding for childcare for infants and toddlers, in order to increase access to and the quality of this vital service.  Many interventions targeted at young children appear to be well suited to PFS financing because of the growing research base showing that effective early childhood programs produce long-term benefits for children and communities This paper introduces home visiting and family-centered medical homes and addresses why they should collaborate.  It provides a snapshot of one collaborate and explains how this model may be applied to other locations.  In September 2013, South Carolina had expressed interest in using PFS to improve child and maternal health, and in the intervening months, government officials, service providers, local foundations, academics, legislators, and potential investors came together to delve into the subject of PFS financing from many angles.  The nonprofit Institute for Child Success (ICS) convened the working group that sparked this transformation.  Presentation given by ICS Senior Fellow Megan Golden on the feasibility of home visiting programs.  She explains why nurse family partnership is well suited for Pay for Success financing.

                Articles

                Pay-for-Success Financing: A New Vehicle for Improving Population Health?
                Population Health News
                by Megan Golden

                Taking Pay for Success Financing to the South
                Stanford Social Innovation Review
                by Joe Waters & Megan Golden

                Press Releases

                July 8, 2013 - Institute for Child Success Presents at White House

                November  19, 2013 - Institute for Child Success Adds to Advisory Council

                March 3, 2014 - Institute for Child Success Honors Legislators

                   


                Our vision: the success of all young children

                Proposing smart public polices, grounded in research

                Advising governments, nonprofits, foundations, and other stakeholders on strategies to improve outcomes

                Sharing knowledge, convening stakeholders, embracing solutions, and accelerating impact

                Fostering the next generation of leaders

                Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the Institute for Child Success (ICS) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and policy organization dedicated to the success of all young children