The Role of Early Head Start Programs in Addressing the Child Care Needs of Low-Income Families with Infants and Toddlers: Influences on Child Care Use and Quality
Mathematica collected data on child care settings used by program and control group families when children were 14, 24, and 36 months of age. Findings demonstrate the important role programs played: Early Head Start families were receiving not only more child care but substantially more good-quality center child care than they would have without the intervention. Nearly two-thirds of Early Head Start 3-year-olds spent at least 30 hours a week in child care. Early Head Start children were three times more likely to be in good-quality center care than were control group children at 14 and 24 months of age, and about 1½ times more likely to be in good-quality centers at 36 months. Furthermore, they were in classrooms with ITERS scores about one point higher than classrooms attended by control group children at 14 and 24 months of age.