Head Start Research Conference
Mathematica's early childhood experts shared their knowledge and experience at Head Start's 12th National Research Conference. This year's conference theme was "Collaboration and Coordination: Understanding Systems Supporting Young Children and Their Families."
Our researchers presented findings on a range of topics related to Head Start and other early care and education programs. Presentations featuring data from Mathematica's Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) included a paper on the associations between Head Start teacher and classroom characteristics and classroom quality as well as a paper on strategies for determining the most appropriate assessment approaches for dual language learners. In the area of data use and quality, our experts discussed using assessments to individualize instruction and look at whether children's outcomes are more strongly related to classroom quality in higher-rated programs. Tapping our research on evidence-based home visiting, we considered the effect of program fidelity and amount of program participation on children's outcomes and discussed research-based measures of home visiting programs, processes, and practices. We also described our creation and psychometric testing of a measure of caregiver-child interactions for infants and toddlers, which built on our experience in measurement development. Additional topics included patterns of housing instability for Head Start children, children's transitions to kindergarten, reporter ratings of children’s behavior, and models of partnerships between Head Start and community-based child care.