Head Start View all reports on this topic

Topic Overview

Research sponsored through Head Start funding over the past decade has provided valuable information not only to guide program improvement in Head Start itself, but also to guide the field of early childhood programming and early childhood development. Dozens of Head Start programs have collaborated with researchers in making significant contributions in terms of program innovation and evaluation, as well as the use of systematic data collection, analysis and interpretation in program operations.

Projects on this Topic

  • American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs Assessment (AI/AN EC Needs Assessment) Design Project, 2014 – 2016

    The American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs Assessment (AI/AN EC Needs Assessment) design project seeks to lay a foundation for understanding the need for early childhood services in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. This project will outline a series of designs for future studies that will inform a national assessment of the unmet need for early childhood care, education, and home visiting services (prenatal to age 5) in tribal communities...

  • American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES)

    The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) is a major source of information on Head Start programs and the children and families they serve. Since 1997, FACES has conducted studies in a nationally representative sample of Head Start programs, but has historically not included Region XI, whose programs are designed to serve predominantly AI/AN children and families. AI/AN FACES, is designed to fill this information gap.

  • An Exploratory Study: Implications of Immigration Enforcement Activities for the Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families, 2012-2014

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has initiated this project to explore...

  • Assessing Early Childhood Teachers’ Use of Child Progress Monitoring to Individualize Teaching Practices, 2012-2015

    This contract supports the development of a literature review, a conceptual model, and a tool designed to measure teachers’ use of child assessments for individualizing instruction to support optimal development in early childhood settings...

  • Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education Project (ECE-ICHQ), 2014-2019

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), has contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to launch the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High-Quality ECE (ECE-ICHQ) project...

  • Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Next Generation, 2015 - 2022

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project demonstrated that applying behavioral insights to challenges facing human services programs can improve program operations and outcomes at relatively low cost. The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency Next Generation project will continue ACF’s exploration of the application of behavioral science to the programs and target populations of ACF. This next generation project, launched in September 2015...

  • Center for Early Care and Education Research: Dual Language Learners, 2009-2014

    The Center for Early Care and Education Research: Dual Language Learners (CECER-DLL) is a cooperative agreement awarded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The primary goal of the Center...

  • Child and Family Development Research – Annual Report

    OPRE’s child and family development work includes research and evaluation projects primarily concerned with child care and child welfare. This portfolio additionally examines the culturally diverse experiences of children and families served by ACF programs.

    Research focuses on five major areas, including: Child Care, Head Start and Early Head Start, Child Welfare, Cultural Diversity, Cross-Cutting Early Childhood Research...

  • Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis (CCEEPRA), 2005-2018

    The Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project is a contract awarded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation to Child Trends. The purpose of this contract is to support the provision of expert...

  • Child Care and Early Education RESEARCH CONNECTIONS, 2013-2018

    Child Care & Early Education Research Connections (RC) promotes high-quality research in child care and early education and the use of research findings in policymaking. This easy-to-use website offers a free, comprehensive, and up-to-date collection of scholarly research, policy briefs, government reports, datasets, and instruments from a wide range of disciplines and sources. Interactive tools allow users to refine searches, download full text documents, build customized tables...

  • Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Implementation Research and Evaluation Planning Grants 2016 - 2018

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) plans to solicit applications for a second cohort of Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Implementation Research and Evaluation Planning Grants: Phase I/Cohort 2 (#HHS-2017-ACF-OPRE-YE-1217). These cooperative agreements would fund grants to help states plan for an evaluation of the implementation of regulations from the CCDBG Act of 2014. These planning grants may be followed by implementation grants with a second competitive application. Projects should be led by CCDF Lead Agencies, but grantees are expected to work with researchers either within their organization or through a partnership with an outside research organization such as a university or research firm. External research partnerships do not have to be formalized at the time of application. Please see: grant opportunity page for more information on the forecasted funding opportunity announcement. A set of grants were funded in Fiscal Year 2016 for Phase I/Cohort 1

  • Creating a Culture of Continuous Quality Improvement in Child Care and Head Start Settings, 2016 - 2019

    The purpose of this project is to leverage implementation science to close the gap between knowledge and practice in early childhood programs. ACF is interested in understanding how child care and Head Start programs can improve the quality of services received by young children, and also how such quality improvement can be institutionalized to create a culture of ongoing quality improvement at the program level...

  • Early Care and Education Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Program, 1998-2016

    The Head Start Graduate Student Research grant program is designed to build research capacity in and knowledge of effective early childhood interventions with low-income children and families. The grant program does this by providing support for dissertation research conducted by graduate students working in partnership with local Head Start or Early Head Start programs. Many former grantees have become leading researchers who continue to conduct research that informs and improves Head Start/Early Head Start, other early childhood intervention practices, and our understanding of low-income populations.

  • Early Childhood Secondary Data Analysis Project, 2012-2016

    The purpose of this task order is to expand the knowledge base on early childhood development and programming by supporting secondary data analysis using archived datasets funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE)...

  • Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Study (Baby FACES), 2007-2014

    The Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Study (Baby FACES) continues a series of ongoing descriptive studies aimed at maintaining an up-to-date, extensive knowledge base to support Early Head Start policies and programs...

  • Early Learning Mentor Coach Study (ELMC), 2011–2014

    The Early Learning Mentor Coach Study (ELMC) was a descriptive study of professional development grants awarded competitively to Head Start programs. The Head Start Early Learning Mentor and Coach grants were funded in September of 2010 to 131...

  • Evaluation of the Head Start Designation Renewal System (DRS), 2012-2015

    In the fall of 2011, the Office of Head Start (OHS) significantly expanded its accountability provisions with the establishment of the Head Start Designation Renewal System (DRS). In response to requirements in the Improving Head Start for School...

  • Head Start CARES (Head Start Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion), 2007-2015

    The Head Start CARES (Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion) is a large-scale group-randomized trial of three social-emotional program enhancements within Head Start classrooms. The project includes an...

  • Head Start Coaching Study: Design Phase, 2012-2014

    The project will develop design options for a research study providing evidence for the most efficient practices in coaching within the context of Head Start professional development systems. Coaching is one mechanism through which professional..

  • Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), 1997-2018

    This project will implement a redesigned Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a nationally...

  • Head Start Health Managers Descriptive Study, 2011-2016

    The goals of the Head Start Health Manager Descriptive Survey include 1) to describe the characteristics of Health Managers and related staff in Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) programs; 2) to identify the current landscape of health...

  • Head Start University Partnership Grants: Dual-Generation Approaches, 2013-2018

    The overall goal of this year’s Head Start University Partnerships research grant program is to contribute to the knowledge base regarding the role that Head Start can play in promoting family well-being, including health, safety, financial...

  • Head Start University Partnership Research Grants: Strategies for Developing Head Start Teacher Effectiveness, 2008-2011

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) awarded seven cooperative agreements in April 2008 under the Head Start University Partnership Research Grants: Strategies for Developing Head Start...

  • Hispanic Research Work Group, 2011-2014

    ACF’s Hispanic Research Work Group brings together experts in a wide range of content areas relevant to ACF’s mission to assist ACF/OPRE in identifying research priorities concerning low-income, Hispanic families.

  • Home Visiting Career Trajectories, 2016 - 2019

    The goal of the Home Visiting Career Trajectories project is to examine the state of home visiting careers to understand how people enter the field, the perceived and actual pathways for professional advancement and tenure, and reasons for field attrition.  This work aims to address the paucity of data on the home visiting workforce that can be used to learn how to best recruit and retain high quality staffThe project has two purposes. First, it will provide information on the state of the...

  • Human Services Research Partnership: U.S. Virgin Islands, 2014-2017

    The Human Services Research Partnership of the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) will explore issues related to social service needs and public welfare systems in the territory. This cooperative agreement will support a partnership among researchers, local...

  • Human Services Research Partnerships: Puerto Rico, 2013-2016

    The Research Partnerships are intended to improve understanding of the most promising human services approaches to improve the quality of life in the region, with particular focus on topics related to the Head Start and Temporary Assistance for...

  • Methods Inquiries, 2013-2017

    OPRE plays a central role in advancing understanding and disseminating knowledge about research and evaluation methods and tools that are, or could be, used to enhance knowledge about program and policy effectiveness. The purpose of the Methods...

  • Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Study 2015-2019

    The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Study is a four-year study that will examine the MSHS programs and practices, and the children and families served by the MSHS program. MSHS provides early childhood support for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. The study will examine program practices in multiple domains, including enrollment, recruitment and dual language support. The study will also explore the wellbeing of children and families receiving services...

  • Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Supplement to the National Agricultural Workers' Survey

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation worked in conjunction with the Office of Head Start and the Employment and Training Administration to develop, pilot and implement a Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Supplement to the National...

  • National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), 2010-2015

    The National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) documents the nation's current utilization and availability of early care and education (including school-age care), in order to deepen the understanding of the extent to which families'...

  • Network of Infant Toddler Researchers (NITR)

    The Network of Infant Toddler Researchers (NITR) was founded by OPRE in 2011 in order to bring together leading researchers studying pregnancy and the first three years of life. OPRE convened NITR to answer questions of interest to ACF and programs...

  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Services, 2015 - 2017

    This project, launched in September 2015, will investigate how existing work on racial and ethnic disparities could inform more accurate identification and interpretation of ethnic and racial differences in programs administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

  • Research Center to Support Secondary Analyses of Head Start Impact Study Data, 2011-2015

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) awarded one cooperative agreement in August 2011 as part of the funding announcement “Research Center to Support Secondary Analyses of Head...

  • Secondary Analysis of Data on Child Care and Early Education 2015 - 2017

    The eighteen projects funded under the grant program for Secondary Analyses of Data on Child Care and Early Education are conducting  analyses of existing data sets  to answer critical research questions that will inform both policymakers and future research. Topics include associations between subsidy receipt and long-term child achievement, access to early care and education for low-income families, and links between subsidy rates and child care quality...

  • Study of Coaching Practices in Early Care and Education Settings, 2016 - 2019

    This contract was awarded to Mathematics Policy Research and will explore how coaching practices are implemented and vary in early care and education (ECE) classrooms serving children supported by Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) subsidies or Head Start grants. This project aims to advance understanding of how core features of coaching are implemented in ECE classrooms, how they may vary by key contextual factors...

  • Study of Coordination of Tribal TANF and Child Welfare Services Grants, 2011-2016

    The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) is undertaking a descriptive study to document the approaches and strategies utilized by tribal organizations awarded cooperative agreements under the Coordination of Tribal TANF and Child Welfare...

  • Study on the Status of Dual Language Learners in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs, 2008-2012

    In response to a requirement in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-134), ACF initiated this project in 2008 to develop a report on limited English proficient (LEP) children and their families participating in Head Start...

  • Toxic Stress and Self-Regulation Reports

    OPRE has commissioned a series of four inter-related reports titled Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress from a team at the Center for Child and Social Policy at Duke University. The team is also preparing a brief focused on implications of these reports for adolescence and young adulthood. The first report, Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from an Applied Developmental Perspective provides a comprehensive framework for understanding...

  • Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, 2011 - 2016

    The Tribal Early Childhood Research Center (TRC) seeks to address gaps in early childhood research with American Indian and Alaska Natives through partnerships with tribal Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, and home visiting programs. The goals of the TRC are to engage in a participatory research process and to build capacity for researchers to work effectively with early childhood programs in tribal communities.  The grant award...

  • Variations in Implementation of Quality Interventions: Examining the Quality-Child Outcomes Relationship in Child Care and Early Education (VIQI) 2016 - 2021

    The VIQI study will test how different levels and features of classroom quality relate to children’s developmental outcomes. The study will look at the relationship of initial child care and early education (CCEE) classroom quality to changes in observed quality and children’s outcomes through a rigorous experimental design...