A Year in Head Start: Children, Families and Programs

Published: October 15, 2010
Head Start
Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), 1997-2018 | Learn more about this project

This brief profiles the 3- and 4-year-old Head Start children and families who were newly enrolled in the program in fall 2006 (see Tarullo et al. 2008) and are still attending in spring 2007. The first section of the report provides background on the study methodology and sample. The next offers information on the children’s characteristics, family demographics, and home life, including language background, educational environment of the home, family routines, and socioeconomic risk status. It includes information on parent involvement in Head Start and level of satisfaction with their own and their children’s Head Start experiences. The following section chronicles children’s developmental progress over the Head Start year, considering whether these outcomes vary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, or risk status. Changes in children’s skills and development during the program year reflect a range of influences, including maturation, program and family influences, and other influences in children’s lives. Presented next are the characteristics of their teachers and classrooms, including measures of observed quality. Finally, the last section examines the relationships among child, family, and classroom factors and children’s outcomes.