ERIC Number: ED478226
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The National Evaluation of Early Head Start: Early Head Start Works. Policy Brief.
Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, Washington, DC.
Congress created Early Head Start in 1995 to support healthy prenatal outcomes and enhance intellectual, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers to promote later success in school and in life. This policy brief summarizes findings of the Congressionally mandated National Evaluation of Early Head Start and offers policy recommendations for the program. The brief first outlines policy recommendations, including maintaining per child spending while serving more families, and protecting the National Head Start Program Performance Standards and Early Head Start's comprehensive approach to serving children and families. Next, the brief highlights findings from the National Evaluationa rigorous, large-scale, random-assignment evaluation that concluded that Early Head Start is making a positive difference in areas associated with children's success in school, family self-sufficiency, and parental support of child development. Findings include the following: (1) Early Head Start children had more-positive interactions with parents and were more attentive to objects during play; (2) Early Head Start programs had a substantial impact on African American families and a favorable pattern of impact on Hispanic and White families; (3) Early Head Start had a favorable impact on child-father interactions; and (4) Early Head Start participation resulted in fewer subsequent births. The brief concludes by reiterating the mission of Early Head Start, noting that key to the program's success is its emphasis on the implementation of the Head Start Program Performance Standards, and noting that while Early Head Start serves over 63,000 low-income families in 708 community-based programs, only 3 percent of all eligible children are served. (Contains 11 footnotes.) (HTH)
Descriptors: Family Programs, Family Support, Infants, Low Income Groups, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Public Policy, Toddlers
Zero to Three, P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172. Tel: 800-899-4301 (Toll Free); Fax: 703-661-1501; Web site: http://www.zerotothree.org. For full text: http://www.zerotothree.org/policy.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, Washington, DC.