The initial conceptualizations of the Head Start program placed families in a central position within the Head Start program philosophy. This is emphasized by the program’s formal focus on families, particularly parents, within the Program Performance Standards. These Performance Standards detail a set of requirements that include family goal setting, parent involvement in child development and education, and parent involvement in health, nutrition, and mental health education.
With low-income populations shifting in both makeup and physical location, and with changes in the availability of work and services for these families, the typical activities of Head Start families have changed over the past decade. The goal of this poster is to provide updated information on the activities of parents in their roles as the primary nurturers of their Head Start children, with a focus on three areas: 1) changes in households; 2) fathers’ presence in the households; and 3) the working status of parents. These data were collected through the administration of a comprehensive interview to the primary caregivers of selected Head Start children (See the ‘Design and Implications’ poster).