Early Head Start Programs, Staff, and Participating Infants/Toddlers and Families

Early Head Start Programs, Staff, and Participating Infants/Toddlers and Families

Baby FACES 2022 Data Tables, OPRE Report 2023-249
Published: Aug 31, 2023
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Cassandra Baxter

Yuri Feliciano

Anna Beckham

Ellen Litkowski

Barbara Carlson

Hanzhi Zhou

Judy Cannon

Brandan Pierce

Axelle Clochard

Francisco S. Yang

Matthew Martinez

Sally Atkins-Burnett

Key Findings
  • Families served by Early Head Start are ethnically and linguistically diverse. The median family household income in the past year is about $26,400. About 36 percent of families have medium or high levels of demographic risk. In spite of those challenges, families and children are faring well and managing their stress. Parents report positive relationships with their children, and are responsive and sensitive to their child’s needs.
  • About 30 percent of families reported dealing with challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, most commonly employment issues and keeping the family safe from COVID-19. Most of these families have received support from their Early Head Start program to address these challenges.
  • Early Head Start teachers and home visitors are well educated and experienced. Most teachers (60 percent) and home visitors (83 percent) have at least a college degree and infant/toddler experience (average of 8 years for teachers and 6 years for home visitors).
  • Early Head Start teachers and home visitors receive professional development from their programs. Most teachers and home visitors (over 70 percent) have participated in a wide range of professional development activities (including individual or group supervision meetings and classroom/home visit observations with feedback) and received training on a variety of topics. A majority of teachers (80 percent) and home visitors (75 percent) have coaches, and most of them meet with their coaches at least once a month.
  • Generally, Early Head Start classrooms are in the mid-range of quality. On average, Early Head Start teachers provide stronger support for children’s social-emotional development (with a mean of 4.5 out of 7) than for their cognitive development (with a mean of 3.2 out of 7) or language and literacy development (with a mean of 3.8 out of 7). Teachers say they have positive relationships with infants and toddlers. Teachers and parents also report positive relationships with each other.
  • Early Head Start home visits are in the adequate range of quality, with a mean of 4.1 out of 7. Early Head Start home visitors are stronger in relationship building with families (with a mean of 5.1 out of 7) than being responsive to family strengths (with a mean of 3.7 out of 7), facilitating caregiver-child interactions, or collaborating with caregivers (with a mean of 4.0 out of 7). On average, about half (54 percent) of the time during the observed home visits is spent on child-focused activities. Play is the most commonly conducted activity during home visits (80 percent of the home visits). Parents and home visitors report strong working relationships with each other.

Early Head Start programs provide a comprehensive array of two-generation, family-centered services to infants, toddlers, pregnant women, and their families. These include child development services, child care, parenting education, case management, health care and referrals, and other family support services. In 2021, Early Head Start served more than 192,000 children and families throughout the nation (Office of Head Start [OHS] 2022).

The Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) 2022 provides a wealth of information about Early Head Start programs, center-based or home-based services, teachers and home visitors, and the children and families they serve. Specifically, Baby FACES 2022 describes the children and families participating in Early Head Start, the services they receive, and the staff who serve them. It also describes how programs support staff to ensure they provide high-quality services and how the quality of those services relate to the well-being of children and families.

This report shares key information about the design, methods, and findings of Baby FACES 2022. These data can inform program planning, technical assistance, and future research.

How do you apply evidence?

Take our quick four-question survey to help us curate evidence and insights that serve you.

Take our survey