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- What are the knowledge, skills, and physical health of Region XI Head Start children in the spring of the program year?
- How do these compare to the fall of the program year?
It is important for Head Start to have information about children’s and families’ strengths and needs over the course of the program year. We examine Region XI Head Start children’s growth in cognitive skills (in language, literacy, and mathematics), social-emotional skills, and executive function during the program year to learn about their progress toward being ready for school. We also consider children’s physical health at the end of the program year, as it can influence children’s readiness for school.
This research brief describes the developmental progress of Region XI Head Start children as they complete a program year (from fall 2015 to spring 2016), using recent data from the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES 2015).
The purpose of this brief is to describe Region XI Head Start children’s development and progress during the program year. The findings provide insight on areas of growth, as well as areas that could be targeted for support and improvement. This includes areas where children do not make progress during the program year.
Key Findings and Highlights
- Children make gains in language, literacy, and math skills across the program year, although they score lower than other children of the same age nationally.
- Children show growth in their social skills, exhibit more positive approaches to learning, and have stronger executive function skills across the program year.
- At the end of the Head Start year, the majority of Region XI children are in excellent or very good health, and most children are normal weight – but 40 percent of children are overweight or obese.
The AI/AN FACES 2015 sample provides nationally representative information about Region XI Head Start children, their families, programs, centers, and classrooms. We selected a sample of Region XI Head Start programs from the 2012–2013 Head Start Program Information Report, with one to two centers per program and two to four classrooms per center. Within each classroom, we selected all children for the study. In total, 21 programs, 36 centers, 73 classrooms, and 1,049 children participated in the study.
The sample used for this brief includes 820 children who were enrolled in Region XI Head Start in fall 2015 and were still enrolled in spring 2016. All findings are weighted to represent this population.
Bernstein, S., L. Malone, and the AI/AN FACES 2015 Workgroup. “A Year in Region XI Head Start: Children’s Growth and Development from the American Indian and Alaska Native Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015 (AI/AN FACES 2015).” OPRE Report #2018-72. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018.
- AI/AN FACES 2015:
- American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015