The National Head Start Impact Study was a longitudinal study involving approximately 5,000 three and four year old preschool children across 84 nationally representative grantee/delegate agencies in communities where there were more eligible children and families than can be served by the program. The children participating were randomly assigned to either a treatment group (which had access to Head Start services) or a comparison group (which did not have access to Head Start services, but could receive other community resources).
Providing access to Head Start led to improvements in the quality of the early childhood settings and programs children experienced. However, while children given access to Head Start showed benefits after a year in Head Start compared to children in the control group, there were only a few statistically significant differences in outcomes between these two groups at the end of grade one for the sample as a whole.
Report Title: Head Start Impact Study: Final Report http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/impact_study/reports/impact_study/hs_impact_study_final.pdf
Report Title: Head Start Impact Study: Executive Summary http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/impact_study/reports/impact_study/executive_summary_final.pdf
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Jennifer Brooks, 202-205-8212
Performer: Westat, Inc.
Record ID: 9705 and 9706 (Report completed January 15, 2010)