This study gathered data about the characteristics, services, and well-being of Head Start children and families who speak a language other than English at home, which included approximately a quarter of all children served by Head Start.
Dual language learners were represented across all regions and program types, although they were most common among programs in the West and South. Most of these children lived in two parent families and had at least one parent working full-time, yet they were still likely to be poor. The services DLL children received were comparable to other children in Head Start – for instance, their programs typically exceeded child-staff ratio and group size requirements and offered a mix of full- and part-day services. The children's home language was used in most Head Start classrooms. In terms of development, on average, DLLs entered Head Start below their same-age peers and, while they made significant progress during their time in Head Start, they had not caught up by the time they left the program. Of particular concern, DLLs entered Head Start at greater risk of being overweight or obese, and these weight problems became greater during the time the children were in the program.
Report Title: Report To Congress On Dual Language Learners in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Lauren Supplee, 202-401-5434
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc
Record ID: 10076 (April 18, 2013)