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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 presents descriptive statistics on the demographic backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children enrolled in Head Start in fall 2014. 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 children’s characteristics, family demographics, and home environment, the tables show:
- Demographic characteristics (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, home language environment, household composition)
- Parent education and employment status
- Family economic well-being (household income as a percentage of the federal poverty threshold, financial strain, food security)
- Parental depressive symptoms
- Home learning activities, joint book reading frequency, and household routines
- Health care home use
For child cognitive, social-emotional, and health and physical development, 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
- Children’s language of direct assessment
- Language, literacy, and math skills for children
- Reliability of the direct assessments of children’s executive function, social skills, problem behaviors, and approaches to learning
- Children’s executive function, social skills, problem behaviors, and approaches to learning
- Teacher report of children’s disability status and type and IEP/IFSP status
- Parent-reported child health status
- Children’s height, weight, and body mass index (BMI)
The tables provide this information for all Head Start children. For some of these characteristics, the tables also provide the information by gender, race/ethnicity, Head Start exposure, income as a percentage of federal poverty threshold, and primary home language.
Examples of key findings related to children’s characteristics, family demographics, and home environment include the following:
- Sixty-six percent of children are entering Head Start for the first time, whereas 34 percent are returning for a second year.
- Thirty-nine percent of Head Start children live in households where a language other than English is spoken, and 24 percent live in households where a language other than English is primarily spoken to them.
- Forty-seven percent of Head Start children live with both of their biological or adoptive parents.
- More than three-quarters (79 percent) of Head Start children were read to at least three times in the past week by a family member.
Examples of key findings related to child cognitive, social-emotional, and health and physical development include the following:
- On average, Head Start children assessed or primarily assessed in English lag behind other children of the same age in language, literacy, and math skills at the beginning of the program year.
- Children respond correctly on the pencil tapping executive function task 46 percent of the time, on average.
- About 14 percent of all children in Head Start are reported by their teachers to have a disability at the beginning of the program year.
- Using criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 19 percent of children in Head Start are overweight, and 33 percent are overweight or obese.
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. In total, 60 programs, 119 centers, 247 classrooms, and 2,462 children participated in the study in fall 2014.
The statistics found in these tables are estimates of key characteristics of the population of Head Start children 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 in fall of the program year.
N. Aikens, A. Kopack Klein, E. Knas, M. Reid, A. Mraz Esposito, M. Manley, L. Malone, L. Tarullo, S. Lukashanets, and J. West. (2017). Descriptive Data on Head Start Children and Families from FACES 2014: Fall 2014 Data Tables and Study Design. OPRE Report 2017-97. 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