Researchers in numerous countries have demonstrated that early childhood is the most crucial developmental phase in a person’s life. Development is affected not only by genetic factors, but also by a child’s environment. This is particularly true for children from socially and/or culturally disadvantaged families.
The longitudinal study being conducted in Bremen with the title “BRISE: Bremen Initiative to Foster Early Childhood Development” includes a number of targeted interventions for children during the first seven years of life. With a total of 1,000 children and families participating, the initiative will begin during the last few months of pregnancy and continue until children reach first grade. It will focus on children from socially or culturally disadvantaged families, and will support and evaluate their cognitive and social development from birth to school entry. The reference group is comprised of children whose families report taking advantage of programs offered in the city of Bremen.
The study seeks to identify the effects of coordinated interventions on early childhood development. It will also look at how programs might be modified to increase their impact and thus promote equality of opportunity in Bremen – and beyond.