Summary

The purpose of this project was to inform policy debates by documenting the achievement levels of students at the grade 12 level who participated in the Better Beginnings, Better Futures program between the ages of 4 and 8. Evaluation of participant students occurred at the grade 6 and 9 levels and showed that participants were demonstrating improved outcomes in the areas of school functioning, health promotion, and health risk prevention. Longitudinal studies like this support youth development projects based on the premise that there are many levels of influence on child development, including family characteristics, community, socioeconomic status and program participation. The long-term success of child preparedness programs can be used to guide policy decisions relating to early childhood development programs throughout the country.