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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Poverty presents risks to children's health and education, and these risks have been targeted by policy and intervention for decades. Increasingly, such action is focusing on early childhood as a critical period in the creation and maintenance of socioeconomic disparities in health and education, reflecting the insights of theoretical models from psychology and sociology as well as econometric cost-benefit analyses of extant programs. This chapter makes the case for other kinds of advances in this area with a review of past research and theory, statistical analysis of nationally representative data on American children, and qualitative analysis of data from parents and teachers in a single public pre-K setting. Such advances include expanding the conception and measurement of poverty to include nonincome aspects of parents’ human capital, like maternal education, and recognizing that the potential feedback between health and education requires that efforts to address one should also consider the other.

Keywords: poverty, health, early education, maternal education, preschool

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