Performance Improvement 2013-2014. What Were the Characteristics of Children Who Entered Head Start for the First Time in the Autumn of 2009?

01/01/2014

The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey was launched in 1997 as a periodic, longitudinal study of program performance. Successive nationally representative samples of Head Start children, their families, classrooms, and programs provide a rich source of ongoing information on the children and families served by Head Start and on the programs and staff providing these services. This study provided a portrait of children entering head Start for the first time in fall 2009, as well as of their family backgrounds and the classrooms and programs that serve them.

Sixty-one percent of first-time Head Start children are 3 years old when they enter the program, 36 percent are Hispanic/Latino, and 33 percent are African American. Twenty-six percent of newly entering Head Start children in 2009 live in households in which a language other than English is primarily spoken to them, with Spanish being the most prevalent non-English primary language. Forty-seven percent of children live with at least one parent who is working full time. Many Head Start children live in households that receive federal assistance; the most common type received in 2009 is through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which increased from 44 percent of children's households in 2000 to 64 percent in 2009. Newly-entering Head Start children score below norms across developmental areas, including language, literacy, and mathematics development at program entry.

Report Title: Head Start Children, Families, and Programs: Present and Past Data From FACES, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/faces/reports/present_past.pdf
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Maria Woolverton, 202-205-4039
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research
Record ID: 9850 (February 13, 2012)

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