FACES 2009 Study Design

Publication Date: June 15, 2011


The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) was first launched in 1997 as a periodic, longitudinal study of program performance. Successive nationally representative samples of Head Start children, their families, classrooms, and programs provide descriptive information on the population served; staff qualifications, credentials, and opinions; Head Start classroom practices and quality measures; 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 2008, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded Mathematica Policy Research and its partners—Educational Testing Service and Juárez and Associates—to design and conduct FACES 2009.

This summary highlights basic features of the FACES 2009 study design for those interested in learning more about the study or who have an interest in using the data for future analyses. It describes the sample and sampling design as well as study components, including the composition of the child assessment; classroom observation; and the parent, teacher, and Head Start staff interviews. It then identifies new features of the FACES 2009 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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