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

Project Overview

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 programs. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., assisted ACF in compiling and analyzing existing data to develop a report for Congress.

Throughout the study, we use the term “dual language learners” (DLLs) to encompass “limited English proficient” (LEP), as defined in the Head Start Act. Data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES), and the Head Start Program Information Report (PIR) were analyzed to describe the characteristics and well-being of children and families who speak a language other than English at home enrolled in Head Start programs and the services they receive as a result of their participation.

The point of contact is Ann Rivera.

Evaluation Team

Jennifer Brooks was the Federal Project Officer for this project. In addition to Jennifer Brooks, the following staff in the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) contributed to the study: Anne Bergan, Wendy DeCourcey, Rachel Cohen, Ann Rivera, Maria Woolverton, and Sharon Yandian.

Analysis of data for the project was conducted through a contract with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) of Princeton, New Jersey. Jerry West was the project director and Nikki Aikens from MPR and Carol Scheffner Hammer from the Temple University served as Co-Principal Investigators. Lisa Lopez from the University of South Florida served as a senior consultant for the project.

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