New Book on the Science of Scaling Early Childhood and Public Policy

Written by leading experts in early childhood, economics, psychology, public health, philanthropy, and more, newly released The Scale-Up Effect in Early Childhood and Public Policy: Why Interventions Lose Impact at Scale and What We Can Do About It shines light on how to effectively use experimental insights for policy purposes. The book combines theoretical and empirical work across disciplines to explore what threatens scalability—and what enables it—in the early childhood field.


Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center director and LBJ School of Public Affairs Associate Dean for Academic Strategies, contributed the chapter Process to Identify Effective Policies to Strengthen the Prenatal-to-3 System of Care in this comprehensive and forward-thinking guide.


As leaders across the nation and around the world grapple with how to serve young children following the disruption of COVID-19, the volume offers important lessons and recommendations on how to design and select the programs and policies that are more likely to succeed at scale. It does not offer a silver bullet, but it clearly makes the case that everyone—from researchers to policymakers, from funders to practitioners—has a role to play in bringing truly scalable solutions to our most pressing challenges to life.


Osborne’s chapter, Process to Identify Effective Policies to Strengthen the Prenatal-to-3 System of Care, discusses the similarities and differences in identifying effective policies as compared to effective programs, details the process of identifying effective policies, and provides recommendations for policymakers to create an evidence-based policy agenda to strengthen the prenatal-to-3 system of care. The process is the foundation of the rigorous evidence reviews presented in the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Clearinghouse.


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