Migrant Seasonal Head Start Supplement to the National Agricultural Workers’ Survey – Briefs from the 2015 Report

Publication Date: December 4, 2015


These briefs explain the criteria that the National Agricultural Workers Survey uses to identify families who are eligible for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) and provide a general overview of the contents within the forthcoming Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Supplement Report.

MSHS-eligible families primarily work in agricultural production and harvesting, have a child younger than six years old, and earn less than 100% of the federal poverty level. In addition to providing information on these families, the briefs also describe farmworker families who have young children and earn either 101-130% or 131-200% of the poverty level.

The first brief focuses on the household complexity of migrant and seasonal families. Findings include:

  • Across income levels, migrant and seasonal families with preschool-aged children tend to have an additional child who is 6-17 years  old;
  • One in five MSHS-eligible families has six or more relatives living in the household;
  • MSHS-eligible families and higher-income families often have at least two preschool-aged children; and
  • Migrant and seasonal farmworker families also tend to house additional residents who are not part of the ‘economic household’.

The second brief covers the language and literacy backgrounds of the parents in these families. Findings include:

  • The proportion of migrant and seasonal families who have Spanish as their dominant language is similar across the different income groups (84%-90%);
  • The majority of migrant and seasonal families who speak Spanish also read Spanish ‘well’;
  • Nearly half of MSHS-eligible families speak no English;
  • Over half of MSHS-eligible families are unable to read any English; and
  • A minority of migrant and seasonal parents speak English primarily.
Current as of: