Performance Improvement 2006. Role of Early Head Start Programs in Addressing the Child Care Needs of Low- Income Families with Infants and Toddlers


The report describes child care use and quality of child care received by children enrolled in Early Head Start (EHS) in 17 diverse sites (3001 children enrolled at baseline). The data was collected in conjunction with the EHS Research and Evaluation project, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Columbia University National Center for Children and Families, and the EHS Research Consortium of researchers from 15 universities, when children were 14, 24, and 36 months of age, and periodically after enrollment into the research project. Findings include: (1) Enrollment in EHS increased the probability of children experiencing good quality center care. EHS children were three times more likely to be receiving their primary care in a good quality center than were control group children when they were 14 and 24 months old (and approximately one and a half times more likely to be in good quality center care at 36 months); (2) A high proportion of EHS parents placed their children in child care during the evaluation period. Nearly two-thirds of EHS children aged three spent at least 30 hours per week in some kind of child care arrangement, and child care use increased from the children’s 14-month to 36-month assessment; (3) EHS increased the percentage of families using any child care at any age; (4) EHS increased the average number of hours per week that children were in care, and decreased the number of weekend and evening hours that children needed care.

PIC ID: 8252; Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation; Federal Contact: Cohen, Rachel Chazan, 202-205-8810; Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton, NJ

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