Since the inception of the program in 1965, families have played an essential role in the Head Start philosophy. The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) is an effort by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to develop a descriptive profile of families participating in the Head Start program and services that are provided to families, as well as to develop, test, and refine Program Performance Measures for Head Start. The findings in this technical report are focused on providing descriptions of the characteristics and experiences, including Head Start experiences, of children and families served by Head Start grantees as well as information about programs and staff. Findings related to the child assessments and classroom observations will be included in the FACES Technical Report II.
Head Start FACES was designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the Head Start program from a variety of perspectives. The project assessed Head Start’s role in enhancing child development and school readiness, in strengthening families, and in providing quality family services in the areas of education, health, and nutrition. A conceptual model was proposed to guide and inform the project design, theorizing that Head Start programs serve a population of families with diverse characteristics, strengths, and needs.