U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
The programs’ offerings include child development services delivered in home visits or child care settings, case management, parenting education, health care, referrals, and family support.
Sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Mathematica has launched a five-year descriptive study of Early Head Start. The Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) includes two rounds of data collection to a large nationaly representative sample of EHS programs. The information we collect will guide program technical assistance, management, and policy. Baby FACES 2018 and 2020 build on the success of an earlier study (Baby FACES 2009), but uses a different design and answers different questions. It will provide information about Early Head Start programs in the context of the adoption of the new Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and the new Head Start Program Performance Standards.
The study team and expert consultants developed a conceptual framework for the Early Head Start program and subframeworks that focus on the aspects of the program that will be the focus of the study. ACF’s priority for Baby FACES 2018/2020 is understanding the processes in classrooms and home visits that support responsive relationships.
To address this overarching research question and many other more specific ones, we are selecting repeated nationally representative cross-sectional samples of programs, centers, classrooms, home visitors, children, and families (in spring 2018 and again in 2020). In the 2018 wave of data collection, we collected data from 137 programs, centers, classrooms and teachers, home visitors, and enrolled children. From this sample, we interviewed program directors, center directors, teachers, home visitors, and parents; conducted classroom observations; and collected staff reports on study children. The 2020 data collection will be similar in design but will also include observations of home visits and video-recorded parent-child interactions.
Mathematica's partners in the study are Virginia Marchman, Stanford University; Jon Korfmacher, the Erikson Institute; and Margaret Burchinal, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, as well as many early childhood development and measurement experts who serve as consultants.