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Head Start, prekindergarten, and academic school readiness: A comparison among regions in the United States

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Description:
Child care programs (including Head Start, prekindergarten [pre-K], and other center-based care) can differ, with patterns of use based on their location. Yet little research has examined how Head Start and pre-K programs affect children's academic school readiness, including vocabulary and reading skills at school entry, in the South as compared to other regions. To examine this further, secondary data (n=2,803) collected in the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study were examined. Overall findings suggest, regardless of region, that Head Start and pre-K participants had higher academic skills at school entry than did their counterparts. In addition, when Head Start was compared to other center-based care and pre-K was compared to other care arrangements, both had larger effects on improving academic skills in the South compared with in other regions. These findings imply that Head Start and pre-K programs should target children who otherwise would receive nonparental non-center-based care. Future research should focus on why the effects of Head Start and pre-K vary between the South and other regions. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States
State(s):
California; Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; Wisconsin

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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