FACES 2006: Study Design

Publication Date: March 15, 2007


The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), first launched in 1997 as a periodic, longitudinal study of program performance, is Head Start’s ongoing flagship research initiative. Successive samples of Head Start children, their families, and programs provide descriptive information on the characteristics and experiences of the population served; staff qualifications, credentials, and opinions; Head Start classroom practices and quality; and child and family outcomes. FACES includes a battery of child assessments across multiple developmental domains; interviews with children’s parents, teachers, and program managers; and observations of classroom quality. In 2005, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR) and its partners—Educational Testing Service, Juárez and Associates, and General Support Services—to design and conduct FACES 2006.

This summary highlights basic features of the FACES 2006 study design for those interested in learning more about the study and for those who may be interested in using the data for future analyses. It describes the sample and sampling design as well as the study components, including the composition of the child assessment; classroom observation; and the parent, teacher, and Head Start staff interviews. It then outlines features of the FACES 2006 study and design that differ from previous cohorts. Finally, it offers an overview of the dissemination plans for the FACES data and study findings.


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