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About NJFS

Families are children’s first teachers, and home is their first school. From birth to age 5, children develop skills that set the foundations for their later success. In the New Jersey Families Study (NJFS), we ask: How do families build skills in their young children and help them get ready to learn? Surprisingly, we know little about the innumerable, yet ordinary, ways that families teach their young children. To fill this gap, the project collected 11,500 hours of in-home video data from 21 families in Mercer County, NJ that consented to having two weeks of their daily lives recorded. These data are unprecedented for their observational scale and granular richness. No one has ever examined home life in the United States with this breadth, intensity, or duration.