Researchers profiled the 3- and 4-year-old Head Start children and families who were newly enrolled in the program in fall 2006 and were still attending in spring 2007. The study obtained information on the children's characteristics, family demographics, and home life, including language background, educational environment of the home, family routines, and socioeconomic risk status. It included information on parent involvement in Head Start and level of satisfaction with their own and their children's Head Start experiences. It also chronicled children's developmental progress over the Head Start year, considering whether these outcomes vary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, or risk status.
Changes in children's skills and development during the program year reflect a range of influences, including maturation, program and family influences, and other influences in children's lives. Researchers found that both 3- and 4-year old children demonstrated more social skills, cooperative classroom behavior, and positive approaches to learning on average by the end of the program year. They also found that the majority of children were rated as having excellent or very good health.
Report Title: A Year in Head Start: Children, Families and Program
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Maria Woolverton, 202-205-4039
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc
Record ID: 9720 (Report completed October 15, 2010)