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Center for Disabilities Studies : Early Childhood : Delaware Early Childhood Longitudinal Study

Delaware Early Childhood Longitudinal Study

This study was prompted by questions from the Interagency Resource Management Committee regarding the cost and benefits of early intervention programs. In the spring of 1997, the Center for Disabilities Studies, in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Education; Department of Health, and Social Services; and Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families undertook the study. The Center for Disabilities Studies designed a study to follow children who would enter kindergarten in the fall of 1997. This target group was composed of children who received early intervention services as children with special needs or Head Start at the age of four as well as those who did not. CDS continues to follow this group of children through the years, gathering information on their yearly Delaware State Testing Program (DSTP) scores in order to ascertain the effects of early intervention services on future school performance.

Based on data from the study, reports to date highlight a general consensus that early intervention is effective for students with disabilities and those living in poverty. However, the long-term impact of early intervention remains controversial, and continued research is necessary.

See the following reports:

Gamel-McCormick, M., Amsden, D.J. (2002) Investing in better outcomes: The Delaware early childhood longitudinal study.

Gamel-McCormick, M., Amsden, D.J., Hartranft, D. (2005). Investing in better outcomes: Reaping continued dividends the Delaware early childhood longitudinal study follow-up with fifth graders.