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


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,
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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"PerformanceImprovement2014.pdf" (pdf, 671.65Kb)

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