In 1997, Head Start launched the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a study with a nationally representative sample of Head Start programs to describe the characteristics, experiences, and outcomes for children and families served by Head Start. It also explores the relationships among family and program characteristics and outcomes. In 1997, the FACES design included a nationally representative sample of 3,200 3- and 4-year old children and their families in 40 programs. The FACES 2000 sample includes 2,800 children and their families in 43 different Head Start programs across the nation.
Each cohort of FACES employs a nationally stratified sample of Head Start programs, centers, classrooms, children, and parents. FACES 2000 features four phases of data collection and follows 3- and 4-year-old children from program entry, through one or two years of program experience, with followup in the Spring of kindergarten. The FACES 2000 battery has four main components: the direct child assessment, parent interview, teacher and staff interviews, and classroom observations. Although there is no non-Head Start comparison group in FACES, the use of assessment measures with national norms permits comparisons between the skills of children in the sample and children of the same ages in the norming samples.