At a Glance
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start
Project Time Frame:
Reaching Out to Kith and Kin Caregivers in Early Head Start
Although young children's care before they enter school influences school readiness in important ways, the quality of care provided in different settings can vary widely. Low-income families tend to rely heavily on care provided by family, friends, and neighbors—"kith and kin" caregivers—especially for their infants and toddlers.
In 2004, the Head Start Bureau funded 23 Early Head Start programs to participate in the Enhanced Home Visiting Pilot Project, an initiative to develop and implement strategies for improving the quality of infant-toddler child care provided by kith and kin caregivers of Early Head Start children. Mathematica with its subcontractor, the Urban Institute, conducted an evaluation of the pilot project. Designed to be descriptive, the evaluation focused on learning about program operations and service delivery strategies, rather than assessing the pilot's effects on child care quality and children's outcomes. The evaluation:
The evaluation collected and analyzed information from three main sources: (1) interviews and focus groups conducted during two rounds of site visits to pilot sites (summer 2005 and spring 2006), (2) a management information system designed for use by the pilot sites, and (3) observational assessments of the quality of the caregiving environments and child-caregiver interactions.
"Strategies for Supporting Quality in Kith and Kin Child Care: Findings from the Early Head Start Enhanced Home Visiting Pilot Evaluation" (July 2006)