418 Katharine B. Stevens – Impact of Pre-K on children – Is the impact negative?

On the latest Tipping Point interview Paul sits down with past guest Katharine B. Stevens, PhD of the newly-formed Center on Child and Family Policy. Katharine is an expert on early childhood issues including pre-K and other programs aimed at improving the lives and outcomes of young children. New Mexico voters will be asked to vote to tap into the Land Grant Permanent Fund to fund “universal” pre-K, but a recent study from Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University which found negative outcomes from the State’s pre-K program.

Major flaws with UPK approach:

Other approaches to improving outcomes for low-income children that we should be spending money on instead:

  • Healthy Steps improves pediatric services provided by Medicaid, aiming to leverage the underutilized potential of the current system.  They just received a $39 million national scale-up grant from Blue Meridian Partners (through an exceptionally rigorous evaluation process).
  • Centering Healthcare Institute improves prenatal care through group medical visits — same cost as existing Medicaid-funded prenatal care but shown to get much better results.