A Portrait of Head Start Classrooms and Programs: FACES Spring 2017 Data Tables and Study Design

April 25, 2019
Topics:
Child Care, Early Head Start, Head Start
Projects:
Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), 1997-2022 | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
A Portrait of Head Start Classrooms and Programs: FACES Spring 2017 Data Tables and Study Design Cover
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  • File Size 3mb
  • Pages 174
  • Published 2019

Introduction

This report includes key information on the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2014-2018 (FACES 2014) study design; in addition, a set of data tables presents descriptive statistics for the characteristics of programs, centers, classrooms, and teachers serving Head Start children and families in spring 2017. Data are drawn from the spring 2017 round of FACES 2014.

Purpose

The purpose of this report is two-fold: (1) to provide information about the FACES study, including the background, design, methodology, measures, and analytic methods, and (2) to report detailed descriptive statistics and related standard errors in a series of tables on the programs, their staff, and classrooms. The data provide descriptive information from classroom observations and staff surveys about Head Start’s efforts to help children and families meet their goals, and local efforts to meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

Key Findings and Highlights

The data tables provide descriptive information on Head Start programs, centers, classrooms, and teachers.

For programs and centers, the tables show the following:

  • Structural characteristics of Head Start programs (such as enrollment, agency types, sources of revenue) and centers (staffing and turnover)
  • Program and center director background characteristics
  • Areas in which directors would like more support
  • Training and technical assistance efforts in programs (including professional development offered to staff)
  • Characteristics of mentoring in programs
  • Whether a parent support curriculum is used
  • Elements of programs’ data systems

For classrooms and teachers, the tables show:

  • The quality of Head Start classrooms
  • Teachers’ classroom practices
  • Curricula and assessment tools used in the classrooms
  • Mentoring and training teachers receive
  • Teachers’ background characteristics, depressive symptoms, attitudes, and job satisfaction

The tables provide this information for all Head Start programs. For some of these characteristics, the tables also provide the information by agency type (community action agency, school system, other) and program size (child enrollment).

Examples of key findings related to programs and centers include the following:

  • On average, centers employ about four lead teachers, defined as the head or primary teacher in the classroom. The average lead teacher turnover in centers was 22.3 percent in the 12 months before spring 2017.
  • Nearly all program directors (95 percent) and more than three-quarters of center directors (79.1 percent) have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • All Head Start programs store their data in an electronic database.
  • Most programs have mentors or coaches who work in classrooms with teachers (77.9 percent). Of the programs that have mentors or coaches, most use practice-based coaching (79.3 percent) and report all coaching occurs in-person (81.0).

Examples of key findings related to classrooms and teachers include the following:

  • On the Instructional Support domain of the CLASS, classrooms score 2.1 on average, which falls in the low range based on developer cut points (scores of 1 or 2 on the 1 to 7 scale). On the Emotional Support domain of the CLASS, classrooms score 5.5 on average, which is in the mid range (scores of 3, 4, or 5). On the Classroom Organization domain of the CLASS, classrooms score 4.8 on average, which is in the mid range (scores of 3, 4, or 5).
  • Most teachers (79.6 percent) report having a mentor, most commonly an education coordinator or specialist (43.4 percent of those with a mentor).
  • Nearly three-quarters of lead teachers (71.8 percent) have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

Methods

The FACES 2014 sample provides information at the national level about Head Start programs, centers, classrooms, and the children and families they serve. In 2014, we selected a sample of Head Start programs from the 2012-2013 Head Start Program Information Report, resulting in 176 participating programs. We collected program-, center-, and classroom-level data in these programs in spring 2015. In spring 2017, we updated the sample of programs to ensure that it was nationally representative of all Head Start programs at that time, with two centers per program and two classrooms per center selected for participation. In spring 2017, 178 programs, 350 centers, and 647 classrooms participated in the study.

The statistics found in these tables provide national estimates of key characteristics of Head Start programs, centers, classrooms, and teachers in spring 2017. We weight program and center director survey data to represent all Head Start programs or centers, respectively. We weight teacher data on their characteristics to represent all teachers in Head Start and weight teacher data that describe Head Start classrooms and classroom observation data to represent all Head Start classrooms.

Citation

S. Bernstein, C. Bush, N. Aikens, E. Moiduddin, J.F. Harding, L. Malone, L. Tarullo, J. Cannon, K. Filipczak, and S. Lukashanets. (2019). A Portrait of Head Start Classrooms and Programs: FACES Spring 2017 Data Tables and Study Design. OPRE Report 2019-10. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glossary

FACES
Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey
Last Reviewed: April 22, 2019