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October 19, 2012
By Jason Ching
Hyun-Joo Jeon is an assistant professor of human development and family studies with an emphasis in early childhood education. She began teaching at the University in fall of 2012.
Since I was a graduate student at Iowa State University, I have been involved in the National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation project examining the effectiveness of the Early Head Start program. The study followed 3,001 families and children from their earliest years to the age of 10. I have been investigating characteristics of relations among child and family, early intervention and child care experiences and developmental outcomes for children from low-income families.
I hope the research helps better our understanding of learning and the development of children who have developmental risk factors. As it stands, children from low-income families are more likely to have a developmental delay and to receive early intervention and special education services.
Although the data are still being analyzed, findings demonstrate that in children who received early intervention services, their school readiness skills did not differ from children who did not have any developmental delays. But children who had suspected developmental delays earlier but had not received early intervention services were not doing well. These show the importance of early intervention for low-income children who have developmental delays.
I would like to continue studying children who have developmental risks. In particular, I want to study how these developmental risks affect not just academics but also social/emotional development and creativity in children.
Tovah Goodman contributed to this story.