A Global Call for Two-Generation Approaches to Child Development and Caregivers' Livelihoods

Teresa Eckrich Sommer, Emily Franchett, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Joan Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interest in two-generation approaches to improve the developmental outcomes of children and their caregivers and the economic well-being of families has increased amid persistent child and family poverty worldwide. Grounded in a dual developmental science perspective and the theory of linked lives, these approaches maximize developmental potential by addressing the interrelated educational, economic, and developmental needs of children and their caregivers. They offer coordinated, aligned, and simultaneous services for at least two generations in the same family. In this article, we propose that from a global perspective, two-generation approaches that harness synergies among children and their caregivers are likely to be more effective than single-generation approaches in alleviating poverty and improving human development. We identify five models in different geographic regions of the world that promote the development of young children (0–6 years), the education and livelihood of their caregivers, and the well-being of both, which we group by type of program: quality child care, early childhood development + nonformal education for parents, and cash transfers + parenting. We close with a call for more research on two-generation programs and policies globally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild Development Perspectives
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • early child development
  • family well-being
  • human development
  • multi-generation
  • two-generation
  • whole family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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