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This report includes key information on the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2014 (FACES 2014) study design and a set of data tables that present descriptive statistics on the demographic backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children enrolled in Head Start in fall 2014 who were still enrolled in spring 2015. The tables also detail aspects of their home environment and family life. Data are drawn from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES 2014).
The purpose of this report is two-fold: (1) to provide information about the FACES study, including the background, design, methodology, measures, and analytic methods, and (2) to report detailed descriptive statistics and related standard errors in a series of tables on children and their families. The data provide descriptive information from parent surveys, teacher child reports, and direct child assessments.
Key Findings and Highlights
The data tables provide descriptive information on Head Start children and their families.
For fall 2014 child characteristics and family environments for children still enrolled in spring 2015, the tables show:
- Demographic characteristics (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, home and classroom language environment, household composition)
- Parent education and employment status
- Household income as a percentage of the federal poverty threshold
For child characteristics and family environments in spring 2015 and fall-spring change, the tables show:
- Parental depressive symptoms (spring)
- Home learning activities, joint book reading frequency, and household routines (spring; fall-spring change)
For child cognitive, social-emotional, and health and physical development in spring 2015 and fall-spring change, the tables show:
- Reliability of the direct assessments of children’s language (English receptive vocabulary, English expressive vocabulary, Spanish receptive vocabulary, conceptual expressive vocabulary), literacy (letter-word knowledge, early writing), and math development (spring)
- Children’s language of direct assessment (spring; fall-spring change)
- Language, literacy, and math skills of children (spring; fall-spring change)
- Reliability of children’s executive function, social skills, problem behaviors, and approaches to learning (spring)
- Children’s executive function, social skills, problem behaviors, and approaches to learning (spring; fall-spring change)
- Teacher report of children’s disability status and impairment type and IEP/IFSP status (spring; fall-spring change)
- Parent-reported child health status (spring; fall-spring change)
- Children’s height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) (spring; fall-spring change)
The tables provide this information for all Head Start children. For some of these characteristics, the tables also provide the information by Head Start exposure and primary home language.
Examples of key findings related to child characteristics and family environments include the following:
- Among children still attending Head Start in the spring, 65 percent are completing their first year of Head Start, whereas 35 percent are completing their second program year.
- Forty percent of Head Start children who are still attending in the spring live in households where a language other than English is spoken, and 25 percent live in households where a language other than English is the primary language spoken to them.
- Forty-nine percent of Head Start children who are still attending in the spring live with both of their biological or adoptive parents.
- Children are more likely to be read to everyday in the fall of the program year than in the spring (40 percent versus 35 percent).
Examples of key findings related to child cognitive, social-emotional, and health and physical development include the following:
- Children gain between 1.6 and 2.2 standard score points in both English receptive and expressive vocabulary, letter-word knowledge, and early math, but do not make gains in early writing skills relative to same-age children in the general population.
- On average, teachers report improvement in aspects of children’s social-emotional skills during the Head Start program year. Children demonstrate better social skills on average by the spring of the Head Start year than in the fall and more positive approaches to learning.
- Children improve their performance on a measure of executive function over the Head Start program year.
- Children’s body mass index (BMI) categories do not significantly change during the year.
The FACES sample provides information at the national level about Head Start programs, centers, classrooms, and the children and families they serve. We selected a sample of Head Start programs from the 2012-2013 Head Start Program Information Report, with two centers per program and two classrooms per center selected for participation. Within each classroom, we randomly selected 12 children for the study. One-hundred seventy-six programs, 346 centers, 667 classrooms, and 2,206 children (in 60 programs) were still study participants in spring 2015. Of these 2,206 children, 1,921 had at least one parent survey completed and either one or both of the following: (1) a fall and spring child assessment or (2) a fall and spring teacher child report.
The statistics found in these tables are estimates of key characteristics of the population of Head Start children in spring 2015 and their parents and families. The data used to report on child and family characteristics and child outcomes are weighted to represent all Head Start children who were enrolled in Head Start in fall 2014 and were still enrolled in spring 2015.
N. Aikens, A. Kopack Klein, E. Knas, J. Hartog, M. Manley, L. Malone, L. Tarullo, and S. Lukashanets. (2017). Child and Family Outcomes During the Head Start Year: FACES 2014-2015 Data Tables and Study Design. OPRE Report 2017-100. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey