UChicago Center Launches Home Visiting Program to Support Chicago Children, Parents

CHICAGO, Feb. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Chicago’s Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) is partnering with Ireland-based Preparing for Life (PFL) to launch an innovative home visiting program to support Chicago families and help their children flourish and thrive.

The program will provide comprehensive support for parents—with home visits, prenatal education, evidence-based parenting programs and case management—for up to five years. The goal is to bolster children’s early development and school readiness.

The program will help parents give their children a strong start in life, while yielding data to help better understand how caregivers can best enhance their child’s development.

Through this outreach initiative, Chicago-area families will benefit from extensive expertise in multiple areas. PFL has run one of the most successful evidenced-based home visiting programs in Ireland for more than 12 years. CEHD, a pioneer in the use of innovative economic analysis of early interventions, has studied the impact and benefits of the PFL program. Now they will merge their expertise with a local group to serve and support Chicago children and families.

Babies learn from birth; the social, emotional and cognitive skills they build early are the foundation for success in school and life. "Skills beget skills. Abundant research shows that early interventions to support this development pay off with long-lasting benefits in education, employment, earnings and health," said James J. Heckman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who directs CEHD. "Early intervention is the most efficient way to promote better outcomes as adults."

Home visiting is a well-established approach to support families and help them provide an optimal environment for child development. Partnering with a local early childhood organization to provide this support, CEHD will use advanced economic analysis to assess the impact of this support and learn more about which approaches work best and why.

Niall Sexton, Programme Manager with Preparing for Life in Dublin welcomed the announcement: "PFL has had a long lasting relationship with CEHD for many years and we are very excited to be part of this international collaborative project. We are really looking forward to working in partnership with families, community services and the CEHD to help build long lasting outcomes for children and pats in Chicago."

For more information, see http://cehd.uchicago.edu/homevisiting.

About the partners: The Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago works to understand the circumstances under which people thrive and reach their fullest potential. Preparing for Life is a program of Northside Partnership, a community based non-profit established to support social and economic regeneration Dublin City, Ireland.

Becky Harles


SOURCE University of Chicago Center for the Economics of Human Development