Improving Outcomes for Children During Their Most Critical Years

Early Childhood and Youth Development


The Texas Policy Lab is committed to helping state and local government agencies improve early childhood outcomes for Texas’ youngest residents in the most critical years of brain development. Projects range from estimating the cost-benefit of preventive programs for infants and toddlers, testing technology-based early language development interventions, designing new initiatives, and providing immediate and responsive data support to estimate essential worker child-care needs in the midst of COVID-19.


Example project:

  • Randomized controlled trial evaluation of Alief ISD’s early language development pilot- The Texas Policy Lab has partnered with Alief ISD’s Family & Community Engagement team to implement the LENA Start Program, which aims to improve language development of 12- to 24-month-old low-income children through parent coaching and direct feedback to caregivers. The evaluation will focus on long-term impacts on academic achievement, as well as the program’s impact on “serve and return” parent-child interactions, recorded by the LENA device, a small wearable device often referred to as a “talk pedometer.”

Active partnerships:

  • Alief Independent School District
  • Texas Department of Family & Protective Services
  • Harris County Judge’s Office


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