Early Head Start View all reports on this topic

Topic Overview

Since the program was first authorized in 1994, Early Head Start research has examined the program’s implementation, its impacts on children and families, and a variety of special topics such as infant and toddler mental health, fatherhood and child welfare. With a particular focus on partnerships between the research community and local programs and the Office of Head Start, the results of this body of research help to identify and build on program strengths, continuously refine and improve practices, and promote healthy growth and development of low-income children.

Projects on this Topic

  • American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs Assessment (AI/AN EC Needs Assessment) Design Project, 2014 – 2017

    The American Indian and Alaska Native Early Childhood Needs Assessment Project (AI/AN EC Needs Assessment) seeks to lay the foundation for understanding the need for early childhood services in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.  The project outlines a series of designs for future studies that will inform a national assessment of the unmet need for early childhood care, education, and home visiting services (prenatal to age 5) in tribal communities...

  • American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES)

    The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) is a major source of information on Head Start programs and the children and families they serve. Since 1997, FACES has conducted studies in a nationally representative sample of Head Start programs, but has historically not included Region XI, whose programs are designed to serve predominantly AI/AN children....

  • An Exploratory Study: Implications of Immigration Enforcement Activities for the Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families, 2012-2014

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in collaboration with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has initiated this project to explore...

  • Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education Project (ECE-ICHQ), 2014-2019

    The goal of this project is to create an instrument to measure implementation and costs of providing ECE services at centers for children from birth to age 5. The project has two focuses:...

  • Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) Next Generation, 2015 - 2022

    The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project demonstrated that applying behavioral insights to challenges facing human services programs can improve program operations and outcomes at relatively low cost. The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency-Next Generation (BIAS-NG) project continues ACF’s exploration...

  • Child and Family Development Research – Annual Report

    OPRE’s child and family development work includes research and evaluation projects primarily concerned with child care and child welfare. This portfolio additionally examines the culturally diverse experiences of children and families served by ACF programs.

    Research focuses on five major areas, including: Child Care, Head Start and Early Head Start, Child Welfare, Cultural Diversity, Cross-Cutting Early Childhood Research...

  • Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project, 2005-2018

    The Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project is a contract awarded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation to Child Trends...

  • Child Care and Early Education RESEARCH CONNECTIONS, 2013-2018

    Child Care & Early Education Research Connections promotes high quality research in child care and early education and the use of that research in policy making. This easy-to-use website offers a free, comprehensive, and up-to-date collection of scholarly research, policy briefs, government reports, datasets, and instruments from a wide range of disciplines and sources. Interactive tools allow users to refine searches...

  • Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Implementation Research and Evaluation Planning Grants 2016 - 2018

    In 2016, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) began the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Implementation Research and Evaluation Grants program. The goal of this grant program is to provide CCDF Lead Agencies the opportunity to plan for and evaluate the initiatives and policies that they intend to implement in response to the goals of the CCDBG Act of 2014...

  • Culture of Continuous Learning (CCL) Project: A Breakthrough Series Collaborative for Improving Child Care and Head Start Quality, 2016 - 2019

    The purpose of this project is to explore how child care and Head Start programs can improve the quality of services received by young children, while institutionalizing continuous quality improvement activities. The project will design and assess the feasibility of implementing a specific approach to continuous quality improvement (CQI), the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC),...

  • Development of a Measure of the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT), 2010-2014

    The goal of this project was to develop a new measure that will assess the quality of child care settings, specifically the quality of caregiver-child interactions for infants and toddlers in non-parental care. The new measure is sensitive to the...

  • Early Care and Education Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Program, 1998-2017

    The Head Start Graduate Student Research grant program is designed to build research capacity in and knowledge of effective early childhood interventions with low-income children and families. The grant program does this by providing support for dissertation research conducted by graduate students working in partnership with local Head Start or Early Head Start programs. Many former grantees have become leading researchers who continue to conduct research that informs and improves Head Start/Early Head Start, other early childhood intervention practices, and our understanding of low-income populations.

  • Early Childhood Secondary Data Analysis Project, 2012-2017

    The purpose of this project was to expand the knowledge base on early childhood development and programming by supporting secondary data analysis of archived datasets funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE). Key project tasks included:...

  • Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Study (Baby FACES), 2007-2020

    The Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Study (Baby FACES) continues a series of ongoing descriptive studies aimed at maintaining an up-to-date, extensive knowledge base to support Early Head Start policies and programs. Building...

  • Early Head Start University Partnership Grants: Buffering Children from Toxic Stress, 2011-2016

    Early experiences influence life-long health and well-being. A growing cluster of research on early adversity, trauma and toxic stress underscores the importance of both reducing stressors on the children and families ACF serves and helping them cope with these experiences. The Buffering Toxic Stress Consortium is...

  • Early Head Start University Partnerships: Building the Evidence Base for Infant/Toddler Center-based Programs, 2015 - 2020

    The overall goal the Early Head Start University Partnerships research grant program is to contribute to the knowledge base regarding how Early Head Start (EHS) and other early care and education programs can promote and improve early child development by supporting both parenting and caregiving. Researchers are working in partnership with one or more EHS center-based programs and/or EHS-Child Care Partnership programs...

  • Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), 1997-2022

    In 1997, the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) was launched to provide descriptive, nationally representative information on the characteristics, experiences and development of Head Start children and families, and the characteristics of the Head Start programs and staff who serve them...

  • Head Start University Partnership Grants: Dual-Generation Approaches, 2013-2018

    The overall goal of this year’s Head Start University Partnerships research grant program is to contribute to the knowledge base regarding the role that Head Start can play in promoting family well-being, including health, safety, financial...

  • Hispanic Research Work Group, 2011-2014

    ACF’s Hispanic Research Work Group brings together experts in a wide range of content areas relevant to ACF’s mission to assist ACF/OPRE in identifying research priorities concerning low-income, Hispanic families.

  • Home Visiting Career Trajectories, 2016 - 2019

    The goal of the Home Visiting Career Trajectories project is to examine the state of home visiting careers to understand how people enter the field, the perceived and actual pathways for professional advancement and tenure, and reasons for field attrition. This work aims to address the paucity of data on the home visiting workforce that can be used to learn how to best recruit and retain high quality staff. The project has two purposes. First, it will provide information on the state of the home visiting sector and the career trajectories of home visitors and recommendations on strategies to build a pipeline of high-quality home visitors and supervisors. Second, it will provide information on the professional development system that supports early childhood home visiting, including training and technical assistance supports. To accomplish these goals, the research team will access pre-existing administrative and survey data and collect new data as necessary.

  • Human Services Research Partnership: U.S. Virgin Islands, 2014-2018

    The Human Services Research Partnership of the U.S. Virgin Islands (VI) will explore issues related to social service needs and public welfare systems in the territory. This cooperative agreement will support a partnership among researchers, local...

  • Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security, 2015 - 2018

    ACF launched the Integrated Approaches to Supporting Child Development and Improving Family Economic Security project in September 2015. The goal of the project is to improve understanding of approaches that intentionally combine intensive, high quality, adult-focused services with intensive, high-quality, child-focused programs. Conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, this project will provide options for evaluating these emerging models...

     

  • Methods Inquiries, 2013-2021

    OPRE plays a central role in advancing understanding and disseminating knowledge about research and evaluation methods and tools that are, or could be, used to enhance knowledge about program and policy effectiveness. The purpose of the Methods Inquiries project is to organize...

  • Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Study 2015-2019

    The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Study is a four-year study that will examine the MSHS programs and practices, and the children and families served by the MSHS program. MSHS provides early childhood support for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. The study will examine program practices in multiple domains, including enrollment, recruitment and dual language support. The study will also explore the wellbeing of children and families receiving services...

  • Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Supplement to the National Agricultural Workers' Survey, 2009-2018

    The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation worked in conjunction with the Office of Head Start and the Employment and Training Administration to develop, pilot and implement a Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Supplement to the National...

  • National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), 2010-2015

    The National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) documented the nation's utilization and availability of early care and education (including school-age care) in 2012...

  • Network of Infant Toddler Researchers (NITR)

    The Network of infant/toddler Researchers (NitR) consortium brings together leading applied researchers with policymakers and technical assistance providers responsible for overseeing and supporting early childhood programs...

  • Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant & Toddler Care (Q-CCIIT PD Tools), 2015 - 2020

    The Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT) observation tool was developed between 2010-2014 to assess the quality of early care and education (ECE) settings for infants and toddlers in non-parental care—specifically, the support that caregivers provide for the social-emotional, language and literacy, and cognitive development of infants and toddlers. The Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care...

  • Secondary Analysis of Data on Child Care and Early Education 2015 - 2017

    The eighteen projects funded under the grant program for Secondary Analyses of Data on Child Care and Early Education are conducting  analyses of existing data sets  to answer critical research questions that will inform both policymakers and future research. Topics include associations between subsidy receipt and long-term child achievement, access to early care and education for low-income families, and links between subsidy rates and child care quality...

  • Study on the Status of Dual Language Learners in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs, 2008-2012

    In response to a requirement in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-134), ACF initiated this project in 2008 to develop a report on limited English proficient (LEP) children and their families participating in Head Start...

  • The Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, 2013-2018

    The purpose of the Study of Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-child care) Partnerships is to gain a better understanding of EHS‐child care partnerships aimed at supporting quality improvement, child development...

  • Toxic Stress and Self-Regulation Reports

    OPRE has commissioned a series of four inter-related reports titled Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress from a team at the Center for Child and Social Policy at Duke University. The team is also preparing a brief focused on implications of these reports for adolescence and young adulthood. The first report, Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from an Applied Developmental Perspective provides a comprehensive framework for understanding...