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Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project
United States. Administration for Children and Families,
Education Resources Information Center

This project involves both a cross-site national study and local longitudinal studies of low-income families with young children in Early Head Start sites in 17 communities in the United States. The project was funded in two waves: Birth to Three (1996-2001) and Pre-Kindergarten Follow-Up (2001-2004). The five major components of the project are: an implementation study, an impact evaluation, local research studies, policy studies, and efforts toward continuous program improvement. The implementation study assessed the level and quality of implementation of EHS at each site, as well as variations across sites, with regard to five program areas: child development and health care; family partnerships; community involvement and partnerships; staff development; and program management. Results include a profile of each of the 17 research programs, their services and expected outcomes. The information gathered was critical for the development of the impact evaluation analyses and the identification of pathways to full implementation. The impact evaluation followed a random assignment, longitudinal design to examine how child, parent and family outcomes were influenced by EHS programs, as well as by variations in program approaches and community contexts, program implementation and services, and the characteristics of children and their families. The third component involves 16 local research projects conducted by 15 university-based researchers who partnered with Early Head Start research programs. Designed to investigate the unique outcomes and program functions of each Early Head Start program, these longitudinal studies continue through the second phase of the project, Pre-Kindergarten Follow-up (2001-2004). The policy studies component focuses on issues related to welfare reform, health and disabilities, child-care and fatherhood. The component of continuous program improvement consists of reports and presentations disseminating new information that can help all Early Head Start programs to increase their ability to meet the needs of families.

Major Research Projects

Evaluating implementation of quality rating and improvement systems
Paulsell, Diane, 2013
In T. Halle, A. Metz, & I. Martinez-Beck (Eds.), Applying implementation science in early childhood programs and systems (pp. 269-293). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes

A discussion of early care and education quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), and an application of implementation science and systems theory to QRIS design, monitoring, and implementation


Family-sensitive caregiving: A key component of quality in early care and education arrangements
Bromer, Juliet, 2011
In M. Zaslow, I. Martinez-Beck, K. Tout, & T. Halle (Eds.), Quality measurement in early childhood settings (pp. 161-190). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes

A presentation of a model for the assessment of early childhood education and care providers' attitudes towards, knowledge about, and practices with families with young children

Reports & Papers

Home Visit Rating Scales-Adapted
Roggman, Lori A., 2009
Unpublished instrument


Quality child care for infants and toddlers: Case studies of three community strategies
Paulsell, Diane, 2003
Washington, DC: Zero to Three.

A study of child care quality and it impact on infants and toddlers presenting a set of in-depth case studies of three types of collaborative infant-toddler child care initiatives located in four diverse communities, with findings collected during intensive three-day sight visits to the case study communities

Reports & Papers

Quality child care for infants and toddlers from families with low incomes: Lessons learned from three communities
Paulsell, Diane, 2003
Zero to Three, 23(4), 4-10

An examination of community-level strategies to improve child care quality and affordability, based on case studies of three communities with Head Start programs in El Paso County in Colorado, Buncombe County in North Carolina, and the program in Kansas City, Kansas and Sedalia, Missouri


Supporting Quality in Home-Based Care
Paulsell, Diane, 2007
Mathematica Policy Research

The purpose of this project is to provide useful information for policymakers and administrators who aim to develop or fund initiatives for home-based caregivers and researchers seeking to build the knowledge base about home-based care. The project had three primary objectives: (1) to systematically gather information from existing research on home-based child care and on initiatives that aim to support these caregivers; (2) to synthesize the available evidence on home-based care; and (3) to propose next steps for designing and evaluating initiatives that aim to improve the quality of care in these settings

Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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