Ensuring High Quality Assessments in the Baby’s First Years RCT
In response to Covid-related complications, we request funding that will enable us to postpone for 12 months the collection of our capstone lab-based measurements of child functioning in the Baby’s First Years (BFY) RCT. BFY has randomly assigned 1,000 low-income mothers with infants to receive for 40 months either i) $333/month or ii) $20/month. Comparing outcomes for families and children in the high- and low-payment groups allows us to estimate the causal impact of a child allowance-type unconditional cash transfer on family functioning and child well-being. The study is currently collecting data around the time of the children’s 2nd birthday, building on a balanced and high-response-rate sample at the end of the age-1 data collection. We had initially planned to conduct high-quality, neuroscience-lab-based measurement of child cognitive and brain functioning when children were 3 years old (beginning in July, 2021), but Covid-related complications have led us to propose pushing back this crucial data collection by 12 months – to around the time of the children’s 4th birthdays. The requested funding would pay for a portion of the costs of tracking study participants for an additional 12 months, plus some non-PI staff time to oversee these tracking efforts.