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ERIC Number: ED558548
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 85
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Resource Guide for Head Start Programs: Moving beyond a Culture of Compliance to a Culture of Continuous Improvement. OPRE Report 2015-02
Derrick-Mills, Teresa; Winkler, Mary K.; Healy, Olivia; Greenberg, Erica
Administration for Children & Families
Head Start has long focused on assessing and improving program quality to ensure that the children served receive the best possible preparation for school and life. Most research has been focused inside the classroom--the classroom environment, teacher qualifications, and teacher interactions. Of course, the classroom is important because that is where children spend most of their time, but what is done in the classroom isn't entirely--or primarily--the teacher's decision. The management and leadership of the program typically make the decisions about which curriculum and assessments to use, the equipment and materials to provide, and how to interact with the children. Thus, it is important to study, understand, and provide guidance for those managers and leaders in their decisions. Accordingly, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) contracted with the Urban Institute in 2012 to conduct the Head Start Leadership, Excellence, and Data Systems (LEADS) project. The LEADS project's goal is to understand the factors in organizational and management systems that promote effective early childhood education practices and outcomes. The LEADS project has three primary products: (1) a literature review and conceptual framework drawing from the work of other disciplines that have studied data use for quality improvement; (2) documentation of promising practices in Head Start programs around data use for continuous quality improvement; and (3) this resource guide to translate the research into information community-based Head Start programs can use. The purpose of this resource guide is to help leadership, management, supervisory, and data-focused staff in Head Start and Early Head Start programs: (1) understand how data, including the data they already collect, can help them achieve their program goals; (2) learn techniques for fostering a culture of learning in their organization; and (3) increase their ability to identify and address gaps and continuously improve their programs. This document provides guidance on enhancing data use for quality improvement by drawing upon LEADS project research on data use in other fields, promising practices observed in Head Start programs, and existing Head Start technical assistance and training materials. Fostering data use and a learning culture is hard work; it helps to have multiple resources from which to draw. The following are appended: (1) Aligning this Resource Guide with Existing Head Start National Center Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO) Technical Assistance Materials; (2) Continuous Quality Improvement: Conceptual Framework; (3) Head Start Frameworks for Continuous Program Improvement; and (4) Resource List.
Administration for Children & Families. US Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Washington, DC 20447. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Administration for Children and Families (DHHS), Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; Urban Institute
Grant or Contract Numbers: HHSP23320095654WC|HHSP2337038T