Children in Early Head Start and Head Start: A Profile of Early Leavers

November 20, 2014

This brief explores the child- , family- , and program-level factors that may be associated with whether children leave Early Head Start or Head Start before their eligibility ends. The brief utilizes data from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) and from the 2009 cohort of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES 2009). Analyses show that most families who enrolled stayed for as long as they were eligible. However, some families left early: 35 percent in Early Head Start and 27 percent in Head Start. Early leaving was only related to a few of the child, family, and program characteristics examined.

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

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Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES)


The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is proposing to collect data for a new round of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES). Featuring a new “Core Plus” study design, FACES will provide data on a set of key indicators, including information for performance measures. The design allows for more rapid and frequent data reporting (Core studies) and serves as a vehicle for studying more complex issues and topics in greater detail and with increased efficiency (Plus studies).

The FACES Core study will assess the school readiness skills of Head Start children, survey their parents, and ask their Head Start teachers to rate children’s social and emotional skills. In addition, FACES will include observations in Head Start classrooms, and program director, center director, and teacher surveys. FACES Plus studies include additional survey content of policy or programmatic interest, and may include additional programs or respondents beyond those participating in the Core FACES study.

Previous notices provided the opportunity for public comment on the proposed Head Start program recruitment and center selection process (FR V.78, pg. 75569 12/12/2013; FR V.79, pg. 8461 02/12/2014) and the data collection (FR V. 79, pg. 11445 02/28/2014). This 30-day notice describes the first set of planned data collection activities for the FACES Core study. Classroom and child sampling information collection, direct child assessments, parent surveys, and teacher child reports for the Core study are included in this clearance package.

Methods for Core data collection start with site visits to 120 centers in 60 Head Start programs to sample classrooms and children for participation in the study. Field enrollment specialists (FES) will request a list of all Head Start-funded classrooms from Head Start staff and will ask for the teacher’s first and last names, the session type (morning, afternoon, full day, or home visitor), and the number of Head Start children enrolled. Then for each selected classroom the FES will request the names and dates of birth of each child enrolled.

Approximately two weeks later, assessors will go to the 60 Head Start programs to directly assess the school readiness skills of 2,400 children sampled to participate in FACES. Parents of sampled children will complete surveys on the Web or by telephone about their children, activities they engage in, and family background. Head Start teachers will rate each sampled child’s social and emotional skills (approximately 10 children per classroom) using the Web or paper-and-pencil forms.

The purpose of the Core data collection is to support the 2007 reauthorization of the Head Start program (Pub. L. 110-134), which calls for periodic assessments of Head Start’s quality and effectiveness. As additional information collection activities are fully developed, in a manner consistent with the description provided in the 60-day notice (79 FR 11445) and prior to use, we will submit these materials for a 30-day public comment period under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 79 Issue 93

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Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Children’s Progress During Head Start – FACES 2009 Child Outcomes Report


This report describes the family backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children as they completed the program and also describes progress in children’s outcomes between Head Start entry and exit. It focuses on the population of children who entered Head Start for the first time in fall 2009 and completed one or two years of the program in spring 2010 or spring 2011 before entering kindergarten. This report on children’s kindergarten readiness is the third in a series of reports describing data from the 2009 cohort of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES 2009). Previous FACES 2009 reports described the characteristics of children and their families and programs as they entered Head Start in fall 2009 and at the end of one year in the program.

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families.

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