Colorado

Head Start, which serves nearly 1 million low-income children, is the nation’s largest federally sponsored early childhood education program. Designed to narrow the gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers, Head Start provides comprehensive programming during the preschool period to improve children’s social competence and academic readiness for...

Despite skyrocketing health care spending, many people in the United States do not receive the health care they need. In addition to the tens of millions of Americans who lack health insurance, those with insurance often get inadequate care because the fractured American health care system makes it difficult for individuals to make appropriate health care choices. Lack...

The welfare system has been transformed over the past two decades, notably through the introduction of stricter work requirements and time limits on cash assistance in the 1990s. At the same time, government at both the federal and the state level invested in offering financial work supports of unprecedented scope to low-income parents. A top priority on the national...

To prepare young people for productive and satisfying adult lives in the competitive global marketplace, local high schools and employers are being asked to develop effective school-to-work programs. These programs have an important place in the school reform movement, because they change the nature of high school for their students by utilizing the experiences and...

For low-income youth who lack basic skills and drop out of school, finding employment at a living wage is a challenge. Developed by MDRC as a nonresidential alternative to Job Corps, JOBSTART was an unusual collaborative effort to help disadvantaged young people join the economic mainstream. The idea guiding this...

In the mid-1980s, three developments long in the making — a dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock childbearing, the high cost of providing welfare to young poor women who become mothers, and the difficulties faced by their children — became a focus of concern among policymakers and the public alike. Little was known at the time about how to help young mothers receiving...

Especially in low-income neighborhoods, schools are an attractive setting for after-school programs for many reasons, including their physical facilities and their convenience. Indeed, the vision of some youth development experts is to transform public schools into full-service youth and community centers that open early in the morning and stay open into the early...

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