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This paper provides an overview of the science of early childhood and summarizes the disparities and the opportunity gaps stemming from inequalities. It also describes categories of programs, services and policies for children birth to age 3 that might affect the extent of inequality and provide supportive early life experiences.


Acknowledgments: American Institutes for Research Kristin Flanagan Kim Helfgott Karen Manship Susan Muenchow Deborah Parrish Victoria Rankin Emily Weinberg External Contributors Iheoma U. Iruka, Buffett Early Childhood Institute,University of Nebraska Deborah Johnson, Michigan State University Christine Leow, Independent Research Consultant We are grateful to C. Cybele Raver, Hans Bos and Heather Quick, who reviewed earlier versions of this paper, and to the many staff in AIR’s early childhood practice area who provided input and guidance.