Performance Improvement 2013-2014. What are the Family Backgrounds and Developmental Outcomes of Children Completing Head Start?


This third study described children and families as they completed Head Start after one or two years of program participation. The study examined the family backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children and also the progress in children's outcomes between Head Start entry and exit.

With the exception of letter–word knowledge, children assessed in English scored below norms across language, literacy, and math measures at both Head Start entry and exit. However, children made progress toward norms across areas, and they scored at the norm on letter–word knowledge at program exit. Teachers reported that children showed growth in their social skills from program entry to exit, and they also rated children as having fewer problem behaviors by program exit, as well as more positive approaches to learning and stronger executive functioning skills. There were no changes in children's body mass index between the beginning and end of the program, nor were there differences in parent reports of children's general health status between program entry and exit. The majority of children were reported by their parents as being in excellent or very good health at Head Start entry and exit. About one-third of children were overweight or obese at Head Start entry and exit.

Report Title: Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Children's Progress During Head Start
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Maria Woolverton, 202-205-4039
Performer: Mathematica
Record ID: 10074 (July 8, 2013)

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"PerformanceImprovement2014.pdf" (pdf, 671.65Kb)

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