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Head Start
Early Childhood Education

Head Start was found to have potentially positive effects on general reading achievement and no discernible effects on mathematics achievement and social-emotional development for 3- and 4-year-old children.

Head Start is a national, federally-funded program that provides services to promote school readiness for children from birth to age 5 from predominantly low-income families. These services are provided to both children and their families and include education, health and nutrition, family engagement, and other social services. Head Start program administrators are given the flexibility to design service delivery to be responsive to cultural, linguistic, and other contextual needs of local communities, leading to considerable variability in the services offered. Head Start service models also vary according to family needs, such that children and families may be served through center-based or family child care, home visits, or a combination of programs that operate full or half days for 8–12 months per year.

Findings

1
studies that met standards out of
40
eligible studies reviewed
Outcome Domain Effectiveness Rating Grades Improvement Index
Mathematics achievement No discernible effects PK --
Reading achievement Potentially positive effects PK
 
 
13
Social-emotional development No discernible effects PK --

Last Updated: July 2015

Race

Black
25%
White
25%
Not specified
5%

Ethnicity

Hispanic
44%
Not Hispanic
56%

Gender

Male: 49%
Female: 51%

Delivery Method

whole class icon
Individual

Urbanicity

Rural
Urban


Related Resources

This intervention report was prepared for the WWC by Mathematica Policy Research under contract ED-IES-13-C-0010.

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