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Head Start Impact Study: Final report

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Puma, Michael; Bell, Stephen; Cook, Ronna; Heid, Camilla;
Date Issued: January, 2010
Publisher(s): United States. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Description: This study measures the effects of Head Start enrollment on multiple school readiness outcomes of a nationally-representative sample of nearly 5,000 low-income children. This randomized and controlled trial compares the cognitive and social-emotional development, as well as select academic, literacy, health, and behavior-related outcomes of groups of children either attending Head Start or not attending Head Start. Follow-up data was collected at either kindergarten or 1st grade from of cohorts of children who experienced a year of Head Start either at either age 3 or age 4. Analysis revealed that access to Head Start has benefits for both cohorts in the cognitive, health, and behavioral areas. Social-emotional benefits occurred for 3-year-olds only. Overall, however, the benefits of access to Head Start at age four tend to fade by first grade except in select sub-groups of children.
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Data Collector(s): Westat, Inc.; Decision Information Resources, Inc.
Funder(s): United States. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Source: Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Retrieved from
Note: The project officer is Jennifer Brooks. The contractors are Westat, Chesapeake Research Associates, Abt Associates, Ronna Cook Associates, Urban Institute, and American Institutes for Research. The contributing authors are Gary Shapiro, Pam Broene, Frank Jenkins, Philip Fletcher, Liz Quinn, Janet Friedman, Janet Ciarico, Monica Rohacek, Gina Adams, and Elizabeth Spier.
Topics: Children & Child Development > Child Development & School Readiness

Parents & Families > Involvement In Child Care & Early Education > Parent-Child

Programs, Interventions & Curricula > Programs > Early Head Start/Head Start
Country: United States
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