image Visit coronavirus.govVisit disclaimer page for the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.
View ACF COVID-19 Responses and Resources

Native Language and Culture Experiences among Children in Region XI Head Start Classrooms & Programs: Findings from the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015

August 25, 2020
Topics:
Child Care, Early Head Start, Head Start, Home Visiting
Projects:
American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES) | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
This is the cover of Native Language and Culture Experiences among Children in Region XI Head Start Classrooms & Programs: Findings from the American Indian and Alaska Native FACES 2015
Download report (pdf)
  • File Size 4mb
  • Pages 14
  • Published 2020

Introduction

The American-Indian Alaska Native Head Start Family and Children Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES 2015) was planned over two years, with advice from members of a work group comprised of Region XI Head Start Directors, ACF partners, University-based tribal early childhood researchers, and the study research organization. In the Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016, data were collected from children, families, and Head Start Programs. Using data from AI/AN FACES 2015, this research brief provides nationally-representative descriptive information about children’s Native language and culture experiences in their Region XI Head Start classrooms and programs.

Research Questions

  1. 1 What Native language experiences did children in Region XI Head Start have in their classrooms and programs?
  2. 2 What Native cultural experiences did children in Region XI Head Start have in their classrooms and programs?

Purpose

The purpose of this brief is to describe the Native language and cultural experiences of children in Region XI Head Start. The findings provide insight on areas such as children’s classroom peer and staff racial composition, programs’ staff tribal and community memberships, teachers’ Native language use, and children’s Native language and cultural experiences and resources in classrooms.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • The majority (85%) of Region XI children are in classrooms where half or more of the children are AI/AN, including 65% who are in classrooms where over three-quarters of children are AI/AN, and 20% who are in classrooms where 50-74% of children are AI/AN.  
  • The majority (84%) of Region XI children are in classrooms where at least one of the classroom’s staff (lead teacher, assistant teacher, or paid aide) is AI/AN. 
  • The majority of Region XI children have teachers, center directors, or program directors who are tribal or community members
  • Almost half (47%) of Region XI children are in classrooms in which their teacher speaks a language other than English, either at home or in the classroom. 
  • Based on classroom observations by trained observers, nearly two-thirds (62%) of Region XI children are in classrooms where a Native language was used during the time of observation.
  • The majority of Region XI children (86%) are in classrooms with at least one of these AI/AN cultural materials present. 
  • Nearly three-quarters of Region XI children are in Head Start centers or programs that have a cultural or language elder or specialist available to support their Native language and culture efforts.  Almost half are in classrooms that have a cultural or language elder or specialist.

Methods

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 information reported by the teacher, center director, program director, or classroom observer who completed the fall and spring surveys for the 1,049 children participating in the study.  All findings are weighted to represent the children enrolled in Region XI Head Start programs in fall 2015 and who were still enrolled in spring 2016.

Citation

Sarche, M., Barnes-Najor, J., Abramson-Martin, L., Amaya-Thompson, J., Cameron, A., Charles, T., Godfrey, A., Kaufman, C., Petticrew, E., Richardson, M., Sauve, M., Shuey, D., and Whitaker, J. (2020). Native Language and Culture Experiences among Children in Region XI Head Start Classrooms & Programs: Findings from the American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015. OPRE Report #2020-01 Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glossary

AI/AN FACES 2015
American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2015
Region XI Head Start
Head Start programs operated by federally recognized AI/AN tribes for children and families.
Last Reviewed: August 21, 2020