Early childhood is a time of great change and growth. As such, signficiant disadvantages in the lives of young children can undermine their development and limit their future economic and social mobility. While many leaders in the field of early childhood education are engaged in efforts to improve the quality of early childhood development programs, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery systems, encourage innovation, and enhance the skills and compensation of the early childhood workforce, this paper introduces a new and complimentary approach–research and development–that the authors hope will catalyze a new era in policies and practices related to early childhood. A shared focus on both evidence-based care and research and development is essential and will result to more effective interventions.
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