The Abecedarian programme provides early education to children (aged 0-8) from disadvantaged background (e.g. low parental education, low family income, absent father). The programme has two core components. First, a preschool or childcare educational programme is provided from infancy until the children enter school (0-5). The childcare centre, which operates all day, year round, offers a planned curriculum and intense interaction with teachers that encourage development in language, motor and social skills. The second component is a school-age programme provided in the first three years of school (5-8). This component is designed to increase family support and the child's learning by having a Home School Resource Teacher offer special curriculum packets with individualised learning activities during biweekly home visits. The resource teacher also helps parents use the learning activities with their children and provides support services such as referrals to community agencies and a summer camp experience.

Target group Children aged 0-8 from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Focus of intervention
    Level of intervention
    • Selective prevention
    Outcomes affected
    • Talking and reading
    • Doing well in school
    • Good behaviour
    Impact of intervention

    Crime: -0.27
    High school graduation: 0.08
    K-12 grade repetition: -0.58*
    K-12 special education: -0.62*
    Test scores: 0.38*

    *statistically significant at p<0.05

    Figure(s) taken from Appendix A of this report.

    Meta-analysis updated in August 2013.

    Risk & protective factors targeted

    Cost-benefit analysis

    Source of benefits

    Contact information

    Frances A. Campbell
    Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Campus Box 8180
    105 Smith Level Road Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180


    Local authorities running the intervention in the UK
    • None known at present

    Please contact us if you are running this intervention in the UK.