This cluster focuses on understanding how a child’s environment influences their life course. Research in this cluster explores the role of socioeconomics inequalities in childhood and their consequences for later labour market outcomes such as employment and wages. Growing up in poverty can lead to poorer outcomes in the short-term, including greater vulnerability at school entry, cognitive and social skills, and emotional and behavioural problems. Subsequently, this can affect major long term public and social policy issues such as academic achievement, employment, crime, and psychological well-being. Research in this cluster examines methods for ameliorating such social inequalities in children’s development through early intervention programmes. A particular focus is placed on using experimental and quasi-experimental methods to identify the causal impact of different social policies and programmes targeting at-risk families. A unique contribution of this cluster is to apply rigorous statistical methods to improve the internal and external validity of impact evaluations. Finally, our research explores the impact of parental investment such as childcare and breastfeeding on children’s development.