Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and the National Agricultural Workers’ Survey, 2009-2021

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation worked in conjunction with the Office of Head Start and the Employment and Training Administration to develop, pilot, and implement a Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Supplement to the National Agricultural Workers’ Survey (NAWS) from 2009-2016. Even after the supplement was discontinued, the NAWS continues to provide extensive reports of demographic data regarding migrant and seasonal agricultural young children whose families are eligible for MSHS.

The NAWS is sponsored by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (DOL). The NAWS was originally established in 1988, and collects demographic, employment, and health characteristics of the U.S. crop labor force. Topics covered include work histories and tasks, as well as health and household information. Special reports are released periodically from the survey and a public-use data set is available. Special reports produced from the NAWS cover various issues including child labor, farmworker health, and emergency housing. For more information, please see the DOL/ETA website (https://www.doleta.gov/naws/ Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page ).

MSHS Supplement. The MSHS Supplement to the NAWS was initiated in 2009 and discontinued in 2016. The supplement asked questions regarding farmworkers' child care preference and knowledge of MSHS.

MSHS-eligible Reports. The NAWS team also provides periodic analyses of demographic data on MSHS-eligible families. This includes details on employment, health, and services utilization of MSHS-eligible agricultural workers. To refine the NAWS sample to those eligible for MSHS, respondents were limited to those who worked more than 50% of the time on agricultural crops, had children in their household younger than six, and had a household income that was 100% of the poverty level or less. The analyses are conducted by JBS Aguirre, International, working under contract with ETA/DOL.

Point(s) of contact: Wendy DeCourcey, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Related Resources

Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs provide child development services to migrant and seasonally laboring families while parents engage in difficult and often dangerous agricultural work. Just like...

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