Education and social services systems in the United States frequently fail to provide adequate support for low-income children in early childhood.
Children from low-income households often enter kindergarten a full developmental year behind their peers and more than 80 percent of children from low-income families struggle with reading throughout elementary, middle and high school. Children who grow up in low-income households are more likely than their higher-income peers to experience poverty and other adverse outcomes well into adulthood.
This CWP project is a partnership between Columbia University researchers and the organization Room to Grow, which offers coaching to parents, free baby and toddler items, and community connections during the first three years of a child’s life. The project is conducting a critical study that is following 317 mothers and children from birth, when they first enter the Room to Grow program, through age three-and-a-half.
The study aims to measure changes in vocabulary development, executive function, child behavior, parent-child interaction, parental efficacy, maternal mental health and well-being, and the safety of the home environment, among other areas. In addition, the team will link the data gathered to school and other available records to track the participants’ progress over time.
The team will disseminate their findings to guide policy decisions and provide evidence for practitioners in education, philanthropy and related fields, providing critical insights about combating poverty and income inequality both in the U.S. and worldwide.
In Partnership With:
- 41%of children in the United States are living at or near the poverty line
- 80%or more of children from low-income families struggle with reading throughout elementary, middle and high school
Jeanne Brooks-GunnColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Jeanne Brooks-Gunn is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She is a Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia’s...
Akilah KingRoom to GrowProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Akilah King is the CEO of Room to Grow. She joined Room to Grow in 2015 and has held several roles in the areas of program operations, external relations, and evaluation.
Jane WaldfogelColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Jane Waldfogel is the Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems, co-director of the Columbia Population Research Center, and a visiting...
Christopher WimerColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Christopher Wimer is co-Director of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at the Columbia School of Social Work. He conducts research on the measurement of poverty and disadvantage...