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

Project Overview

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. Building on the findings from the Survey of Early Head Start Programs, and similar in design to the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), Baby FACES has five main goals:

  • Provide descriptive information about Early Head Start services offered, their frequency and intensity;
  • Identify key characteristics of families currently served in Early Head Start;
  • Investigate how programs individualize services to meet family needs;
  • Learn how Early Head Start children and families are faring over time; and
  • Explore associations between the type and quality of Early Head Start services and child and family well-being.

The study employs a longitudinal cohort design that identifies a representative sample of 89 Early Head Start programs in 2009 and two cohorts of families: (1) a perinatal group, and (2) a group of infants about 1 year old. Data are collected annually, in the spring, until the sample children reach 3 years of age and complete the Early Head Start program, with a supplemental interview about transition activities with some parents when the children are 3 ½. The study has a wide group of experts in Early Head Start and early childhood development serving as consultants.

The point of contact for this project is Amy Madigan.

Project Team

Federal Project Officer:

Amy Madigan
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Administration for Children and Families, DHHS
370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, 7th Floor W
Washington, DC 20447

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.:

Cheri Vogel, Project Director
Kimberly Boller, Principal Investigator
Laura Kalb, Survey Director

Research Team and Technical Workgroup Members:

Ellen Eliason Kisker, Twin Peaks Partners, LLC
Judith Jerald, Save the Children
Brenda Jones Harden, University of Maryland
Tammy Mann, Campagna Center
Catherine Ayoub, Harvard University
Lisa Berlin, University of Maryland
Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Columbia University
Margaret Burchinal, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Judith Carta, University of Kansas
Michael Foster, University of Alabama
Carol Hammer, Temple University
Helen Raikes, University of Nebraska
Lori Roggman, Utah State University

  • Measuring Infant/Toddler Language Development: Lessons Learned About Assessment and Screening Tools

    Published: July 17, 2015

    Using data from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES), this brief explores how well several parent- and staff-reported language screening and assessment tools perform in a low-income Early Head Start population. Specifically, the brief examines the reliability of the tool or the ability of the tool to produce scores that are stable regardless of when the tool is administered, where it is administered, and who administers it. It also explores the validity...

  • Early Head Start Home Visits and Classrooms: Stability, Predictors, and Thresholds of Quality

    Published: June 29, 2015

    Using information collected as part of the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES), this report and accompanying brief provide a descriptive picture of classroom and home visit quality in Early Head Start. Baby FACES captures classroom and home visit quality using two observational measures: Classroom Assessment Scoring System, Toddler Version and the Home Visit Rating Scale-Adapted measures. Specifically, the report and brief examine average levels of quality...

  • Toddlers in Early Head Start: A Portrait of 3-Year-Olds, Their Families, and the Programs Serving Them

    Published: May 28, 2015

    This report describes findings from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES), a longitudinal study in 89 Early Head Start programs around the country. Baby FACES follows two cohorts of children through their time in Early Head Start, starting in 2009, the first wave of data collection. The Newborn Cohort includes pregnant mothers and newborn children (194 are in this group) and the 1-year-old Cohort includes children who were approximately 1 year...

  • The Faces of Early Head Start: A National Picture of Early Head Start Programs and the Children and Families They Serve

    Published: May 4, 2015

    This practitioner-friendly booklet, Friendly Baby FACES, presents data from all three waves of Baby FACES, but primarily focuses the 1-year-old cohort at the second wave of data collection. The booklet explores program features and services, family characteristics, and children’s development at age 2. Specifically, Friendly Baby FACES explores the following questions... 

  • Imputing Attendance Data in a Longitudinal Multilevel Panel Data Set

    Published: April 9, 2015

    This report is geared toward a research audience and presents results from a series of analyses aimed at figuring out the methods for handling missing data that generate the most accurate estimates of child care center attendance. This topic is important given that proper linking of child care dosage to developmental outcomes requires accurate data on attendance. However, if a fair amount of data is missing, the accuracy of attendance estimates may be compromised. In order to address...

  • Toddlers in Early Head Start: A Portrait of 2-Year-Olds, Their Families, and the Programs Serving Them

    Published: February 19, 2015

    This report describes findings from the second wave of data collection for the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) conducted by Mathematica Policy Research. Baby FACES is a longitudinal study in 89 Early Head Start programs around the country. Baby FACES follows two cohorts of children through their time in Early Head Start, starting in 2009, the first wave of data collection. The Newborn Cohort includes 194 pregnant mothers and newborn children...

  • Children in Early Head Start and Head Start: A Profile of Early Leavers

    Published: November 20, 2014

    This brief explores the child- , family- , and program-level factors that may be associated with whether children leave Early Head Start or Head Start before their eligibility ends. The brief utilizes data from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) and from the 2009 cohort of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES 2009). Analyses show that most families who enrolled stayed for as long as they were eligible. However, some families left...

  • Observed Quality and Psychometric Properties of the CLASS-T in the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey

    Published: June 5, 2014

    In this technical brief, we report on the use of the Toddler Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS-T) in the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES). We begin by providing a brief overview of the Baby FACES study, including its methodology and approach to data collection. Next, we provide a descriptive snapshot of quality in center-based settings drawing on observations conducted in Early Head Start classrooms serving 2- and 3-year-old children in Baby FACES...

  • Baby FACES 2009: Learning As We Go: A First Snapshot of Early Head Start Programs, Staff, Families, and Children, Volume I: First Report

    Published: February 15, 2011

    The Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, or Baby FACES, is the latest contribution to an…

  • Baby FACES 2009: Learning As We Go: A First Snapshot of Early Head Start Programs, Staff, Families, and Children, Volume II: Technical Appendices

    Published: February 15, 2011

    We designed the Baby FACES sample to be representative of the population of Early Head Start programs at the…

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