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ERIC Number: ED517211
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 62
Abstractor: ERIC
Head Start Children Go to Kindergarten. ACF-OPRE Report
West, Jerry; Malone, Lizabeth; Hulsey, Lara; Aikens, Nikki; Tarullo, Louisa
Administration for Children & Families
The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), was first launched in 1997 as a periodic longitudinal study of program performance. This report is the fourth in a series that uses data from the FACES 2006 cohort to describe the population of 3- and 4-year-olds who entered Head Start for the first time in fall 2006, their families, and their classrooms. Guided by the FACES conceptual framework (Figure 1), earlier reports documented the diversity in the Head Start population in terms of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, the skills that children have when they first enter the program, and the gains in these skills over one or two years of program participation. The current report describes the group of children who first entered Head Start in fall 2006 either as a 3- or 4-year-old, completed one or two years in the program, and attended kindergarten the year after graduating from Head Start. As in the earlier reports, the authors profile the demographic characteristics of this group and describe their home and family life, drawing comparisons where appropriate to the characteristics of the population of children and families when they first entered Head Start or after completing one year in the program. New to this report is a description of the schools and kindergarten classrooms Head Start graduates attend. The authors describe broad characteristics of their schools such as size, student body composition, and school type. They describe children's kindergarten classrooms and teachers, including information on characteristics such as the length of the school day (full- versus half-day kindergarten), class size, child-to-staff ratio, and teachers' experience and degrees. They once again document children's gains in a broad set of skills from program entry to Head Start graduation and to the end of the kindergarten year, and investigate the associations between children's skills when entering and leaving Head Start, their skills at the end of Head Start, and their progress through the spring of their kindergarten year. The findings in the report are intended to answer five research questions: (1) What are the child/family demographics and home environment characteristics of children who complete Head Start and enroll in kindergarten? How involved are their parents in their schools and education?; (2) What are the characteristics of the schools and kindergarten programs children attend after completing Head Start? What are the characteristics of their kindergarten classrooms and teachers?; (3) What developmental gains do children make during Head Start and beyond? How do their skills compare to those of their peers; (4) Are children's school readiness skills at the end of Head Start related to developmental outcomes at the end of kindergarten? Are there cross-domain relationships between children's language, literacy, math, and social-emotional skills?; and (5) What child/family and Head Start characteristics relate to children's development at the end of Head Start and the gains they make from the time they enter Head Start through the spring of kindergarten? Does their growth in school readiness skills vary by their skills when first entering Head Start? The remainder of the report is organized into six sections. First, the authors provide background on the study methodology and sample. Second, they offer information on children's characteristics, family demographics, and home life, including language background, educational environment of the home, family routines, and socioeconomic risk status. They include information on parents' involvement with their children's elementary schools, the level of satisfaction with their children's schools, and parents' beliefs about how well Head Start prepared their children for kindergarten. Third, they describe the schools Head Start children attend for kindergarten, their kindergarten classrooms, and their teachers. They include information on the background of the children in their classrooms as well as educational experiences in the classroom. Fourth, they chronicle children's developmental progress from the time they completed Head Start through the end of kindergarten, considering whether these outcomes vary by gender, race/ethnicity, or risk status. Fifth, they explore the associations between children's school readiness skills as they complete Head Start and their developmental outcomes at the end of kindergarten. Sixth, they investigate associations of child/family and Head Start characteristics with children's development at the end of Head Start and their developmental progress from Head Start entry to the end of kindergarten. They also explore the relationship of children's relative skills at program entry (that is, low, average, or high ability) to their development progress during this time period. (Contains 2 tables, 26 figures and 70 endnotes.) [For related report, "The Data Tables for FACES 2006: Head Start Children Go to Kindergarten. ACF-OPRE Report", see ED517212.]
Administration for Children & Families. US Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Washington, DC 20447. Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Administration for Children and Families (DHHS), Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey; Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement