This issue brief explains that the economic health and social well-being of the United States are significantly enhanced when parents have the tools they need to help their children start school prepared to learn, develop thesocial skills necessary to pay attention and work in teams, and grow up to be productive adults. It explores the physical development of the infant brain and the impact of stimulus, and the benefits of parent education programs. Findings from studies on the effectiveness of parenting programs are shared, and 10 parenting programs that are strong enough to have a possible economic impact are described, including: the Nurse Family Partnership, DARE to be You, Incredible Years, Triple-P Positive Parenting Program, Reach Out and Read, Families and Schools Together, HIPPY, Family CheckUp, Parent Education and Support for Teen Mothers, and Early Head Start. It is noted that cost savings produced by the Nurse Family Partnership is approximately $32,875 per family in 2007 dollars. Finally, the link between participation in a high-quality parenting program and lower crime rates is discussed. 3 references.
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