User Guide to the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Study 2017 Data Tables Report

Publication Date: February 12, 2020
Cover of "User Guide to the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Study 2017 Data Tables Report."

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  • Published: 2020


The MSHS study collected data between February 2017 and February 2018 from a planned representative sample of MSHS programs, centers, teachers, children and families. Data collection included:

  • Surveys from program directors, center directors, teachers and assistant teachers
  • Interviews with parents
  • Direct assessment and parent and teacher ratings of children’s skills
  • Direct classroom observation

The study included a focus on bilingual language in context, with measurement of dual language learners’ skills, their family language context, and bilingual language practices in MSHS classrooms. The full MSHS Study 2017 Data Tables report includes extensive summary findings, and detailed information about the study design and measures. The data is archived for public use at the Child & Family Data Archive.

This User Guide provides guidance to the MSHS Study 2017 Data Tables report including how:

  • The report is organized
  • To quickly find the information of interest, and
  • To read and interpret the data tables.

The brief concludes with a set of tables, organized by source and topical areas. Each topical area references the relevant tables in the report. Tables are primarily organized by source:

  • Child Assessments
  • Classroom Observation
  • Teacher and Assistant Teacher Surveys
  • Program and Center Director Surveys
  • Parent Survey Interviews


The purpose of the brief is to assist consumers of the MSHS Study 2017 Data Tables report in finding and interpreting data of interest to them.

Key Findings and Highlights

The brief answers the following questions:

  • What kind of data does the report include?
  • How is the report organized?
  • How do I navigate the report?
  • What is in an MSHS data table?
  • How do I interpret the information in the tables?
  • What do I want to explore first?

The User Guide concludes with tables listing all topical areas addressed in the MSHS Study, organized by source, and listed with the relevant page numbers from the full Data Tables Report.


This information may help MSHS programs, practitioners and professional development staff access the MSHS Data Tables report and inform their own work. Understanding the characteristics of children and families participating in the national MSHS program may inform local program decisions related to family needs, strengths, and resources as well as children’s developmental contexts. Professional development and technical assistance may be improved and shaped specifically for MSHS based on study findings.


DeCourcey, W and Malin, J. (2020). User Guide to the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Study 2017 Data Tables. OPRE Report #2019-107, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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