This study first reviewed the challenges of studying Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs and then piloted a selection of assessment and research methods. Challenges highlighted included family mobility, bilingual language development, geographical distribution, age range served (i.e., zero to five years) and extensive program schedule variations (e.g., start dates range from Spring to Winter; length of open seasons ranges from 6 weeks to 12 months).
Methods piloted included interviews of staff, teachers, and parents; direct assessment and ratings of the children; and tracking of a small sample to ascertain viable options for longitudinal follow-up. Additional piloting work, building on these early efforts, will be required for identification of reliable and practical methods for studying MSHS programs and families.
Report Title: Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Research Design Development Project, Executive Summary, July 2004 http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/migrant_designproj/index.html
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Wendy DeCourcey, 202-260-2039
Performer: Westat, Inc.
PIC ID: 8864