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  • Individual Author: Tran, Victoria; Minton, Sarah; Haldar, Sweta; Giannarelli, Linda
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    If a child’s parents both work full-time and together earn $25,000 per year, can the family receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if one of the parents is a full-time student and not working? If the family does qualify for a subsidy, how much will they still have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including: the ages of the children; the number of people in the family; income; where they live. Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes. They use the money to administer child care subsidy programs for low-income families. This brief provides a graphic overview of some of the CCDF policy differences across States/Territories. It includes information about eligibility requirements; family application, terms of authorization, and redetermination; family payments; and policies for providers. (Author introduction)

    If a child’s parents both work full-time and together earn $25,000 per year, can the family receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if one of the parents is a full-time student and not working? If the family does qualify for a subsidy, how much will they still have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including: the ages of the children; the number of people in the family; income; where they live. Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes. They use the money to administer child care subsidy programs for low-income families. This brief provides a graphic overview of some of the CCDF policy differences across States/Territories. It includes information about eligibility requirements; family application, terms of authorization, and redetermination; family payments; and policies for providers. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Madill, Rebecca; Bui Lin, Van-Kim; Friese, Sarah; Paschall, Katherine
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    As of 2015, about one in five children in the United States lived at or below the federal poverty level. Many children living in poverty face multiple risk factors that are negatively associated with school readiness and later achievement. High-quality early care and education (ECE) can help close the gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers by improving school readiness, reducing risk for grade repetition and special education placement, and increasing high school graduation rates. Importantly, the quality of care matters: ECE settings that offer well-organized, developmentally appropriate learning opportunities allow children to make the greatest gains. The present study asked how low-income children’s access to ECE might differ from that of their higher-income peers, and how child care subsidy policies might be helping to close the gap. (Author introduction)

    As of 2015, about one in five children in the United States lived at or below the federal poverty level. Many children living in poverty face multiple risk factors that are negatively associated with school readiness and later achievement. High-quality early care and education (ECE) can help close the gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers by improving school readiness, reducing risk for grade repetition and special education placement, and increasing high school graduation rates. Importantly, the quality of care matters: ECE settings that offer well-organized, developmentally appropriate learning opportunities allow children to make the greatest gains. The present study asked how low-income children’s access to ECE might differ from that of their higher-income peers, and how child care subsidy policies might be helping to close the gap. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Griffen, Andrew S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    To explore the role of child care policies in the development of early cognitive skills, this paper jointly estimates a cognitive achievement production function and a dynamic, discrete choice model of maternal labor supply and child care decisions. Using counterfactuals from the model, I investigate how the design of two child care programs, Head Start and child care subsidies, affects the formation of cognitive skills through maternal work and child care decisions. The results suggest large impacts on cognitive skills from expanding Head Start to current noneligibles and negligible impacts of subsidies on cognitive skills of current eligibles. (Author abstract)

    To explore the role of child care policies in the development of early cognitive skills, this paper jointly estimates a cognitive achievement production function and a dynamic, discrete choice model of maternal labor supply and child care decisions. Using counterfactuals from the model, I investigate how the design of two child care programs, Head Start and child care subsidies, affects the formation of cognitive skills through maternal work and child care decisions. The results suggest large impacts on cognitive skills from expanding Head Start to current noneligibles and negligible impacts of subsidies on cognitive skills of current eligibles. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bernstein, Sara; Malone, Lizabeth; Klein, Ashley Kopack; Bush, Charles; Feeney, Kathleen; Reid, Maya; Lukashanets, Serge; Aikens, Nikki
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    AI/AN FACES 2015 is the first national study of Region XI AI/AN Head Start children and their families, classrooms, and programs. This set of tables presents data on the demographic backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children enrolled in Region XI AI/AN Head Start programs during the 2015–16 Head Start year. The tables also detail aspects of their home environment and family life. Data on children’s classrooms, teachers, centers, and programs, including aspects of classroom quality and practice, teacher and director characteristics, and characteristics of the center and program environments, provide context for children’s experiences. We also provide information on the AI/AN FACES 2015 study methodology and collaborative design process, sample, and measures.

    The study design, implementation, and dissemination has been informed by extensive collaboration with a workgroup comprised of Region XI Head Start directors, early childhood researchers with experience working with tribal communities, Mathematica researchers, and federal...

    Introduction

    AI/AN FACES 2015 is the first national study of Region XI AI/AN Head Start children and their families, classrooms, and programs. This set of tables presents data on the demographic backgrounds and developmental outcomes of children enrolled in Region XI AI/AN Head Start programs during the 2015–16 Head Start year. The tables also detail aspects of their home environment and family life. Data on children’s classrooms, teachers, centers, and programs, including aspects of classroom quality and practice, teacher and director characteristics, and characteristics of the center and program environments, provide context for children’s experiences. We also provide information on the AI/AN FACES 2015 study methodology and collaborative design process, sample, and measures.

    The study design, implementation, and dissemination has been informed by extensive collaboration with a workgroup comprised of Region XI Head Start directors, early childhood researchers with experience working with tribal communities, Mathematica researchers, and federal government officials from the Office of Head Start and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. The AI/AN FACES 2015 child sample was selected to represent all children enrolled in Region XI Head Start in fall 2015, drawing on participants from 21 randomly selected Region XI programs from across the country. AI/AN FACES 2015 includes a battery of child assessments across many developmental domains; surveys of children’s parents, teachers, and program managers; and classroom observations.

    The study is conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and its partner—Educational Testing Service—under contract to the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Purpose

    The purpose of this report is two-fold: (1) to provide information about the AI/AN FACES 2015 study, including the background, design, methodology, measures, and analytic methods, and (2) to report detailed descriptive statistics in a series of tables on children, their families, and their classrooms, centers, and programs. The data provide descriptive information from parent surveys, direct child assessments, teacher child reports, teacher surveys, classroom observations, and center and program director surveys.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    The data tables provide descriptive information on Region XI Head Start children, their families, classrooms, centers, and programs.

    For children’s characteristics, family demographics, and home environment, the tables show:

    • Demographic characteristics (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, home language environment, household composition)
    • Parent education, employment status, household income as a percentage of the federal poverty threshold, household financial strain, and food security
    • Parent’s tribal language use and parent cultural connections and identity
    • Community activities with the child in the past month
    • Home learning activities, joint book reading, and storytelling frequency
    • Child’s health care home use
    • Parent health behaviors and depressive symptoms
    • Parent neighborhood characteristics and neighborhood problems

    For children’s cognitive, social-emotional, and health and physical development, the tables show:

    • Reliability of assessments of child cognitive and social emotional measures
    • Language, literacy, and math skills of children
    • Children’s executive function, social skills, problem behaviors, and approaches to learning
    • Parent-reported child health status, and children’s height, weight, and body mass index

    For children’s classroom, center, and program cultural and language environment, the tables show:

    • Children’s classroom AI/AN composition and race/ethnicity of children’s classroom staff
    • Staff’s connection to community in children’s classrooms
    • Children’s classroom exposure to cultural items and practices
    • Culture and tribal language exposure, and cultural curricula and assessment tools in children’s classrooms and centers

    For children’s classroom, teacher, center, and program characteristics, the tables show:

    • The quality of Region XI Head Start children’s classrooms
    • Curricula and assessment tools used and frequency of reading, language, and math activities in children’s classrooms
    • Mentoring and training received by children’s teachers
    • Children’s lead teachers’ background characteristics, depressive symptoms, attitudes, and job satisfaction
    • Structural characteristics of children’s Region XI Head Start programs (such as enrollment, agency type, source of revenue) and centers (staffing and turnover)
    • Children’s center and program director background characteristics
    • Training and technical assistance efforts in children’s programs (including professional development offered to staff)

    The tables provide this information for all Region XI Head Start children. For some tables, information is also provided for only Region XI Head Start children who are American Indian or Alaska Native.

    Methods

    The AI/AN FACES 2015 sample provides information about Region XI Head Start children, their families, classrooms, centers, and programs. We selected a sample of Region XI Head Start programs from the 2012-2013 Head Start Program Information Report, selecting one to two centers per program and two to four classrooms per center. Within each classroom, all children were selected for the study. Twenty-one programs, 36 centers, 73 classrooms, and 1,049 children participated in the study.

    The statistics in these tables are estimates of key characteristics of the population of Region XI Head Start children and their families in fall 2015 and spring 2016 and of children’s classrooms, centers, and programs in spring 2016. The data used to report on fall 2015 characteristics are weighted to represent all children enrolled in Region XI programs in fall 2015. The data used to report on spring 2016 characteristics and on fall-spring change are weighted to represent all children enrolled in Region XI programs in fall 2015 and who were still enrolled in spring 2016. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Malone, Lizabeth; Bernstein, Sara; Atkins-Burnett, Sally; Xue, Yange
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    AI/AN FACES 2015 is the first national study of Region XI AI/AN Head Start children and their families, classrooms, and programs. To date, the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) has been a major source of descriptive information on Head Start and preschool children ages 3 to 5 years old who attend the program. FACES gathers data from Regions I-X, the 10 geographically based Head Start regions, with the most recent round conducted in 2014.

    The AI/AN FACES 2015 study presents a new opportunity to explore the psychometric performance of commonly used measures of preschoolers’ cognitive and social-emotional development. The reliability and validity of a measure are not inherent but depend on its use. Norming samples for most child assessment measures do not include large numbers of AI/AN children and as a result little is known about measure performance when administered to AI/AN children. Concerns exist about whether scores from these measures accurately reflect the children’s abilities, skills, and knowledge. Previous...

    Introduction

    AI/AN FACES 2015 is the first national study of Region XI AI/AN Head Start children and their families, classrooms, and programs. To date, the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) has been a major source of descriptive information on Head Start and preschool children ages 3 to 5 years old who attend the program. FACES gathers data from Regions I-X, the 10 geographically based Head Start regions, with the most recent round conducted in 2014.

    The AI/AN FACES 2015 study presents a new opportunity to explore the psychometric performance of commonly used measures of preschoolers’ cognitive and social-emotional development. The reliability and validity of a measure are not inherent but depend on its use. Norming samples for most child assessment measures do not include large numbers of AI/AN children and as a result little is known about measure performance when administered to AI/AN children. Concerns exist about whether scores from these measures accurately reflect the children’s abilities, skills, and knowledge. Previous smaller studies have used these measures with AI/AN children, but none were large enough to test the measures’ psychometric performance. Child outcomes measures in AI/AN FACES 2015 were aligned with those in FACES 2014. Therefore, this alignment allows us to learn how standardized child development measures performed when administered to a large sample of AI/AN children.

    This report describes the performance of cognitive and social-emotional measures of preschoolers’ development for AI/AN children, using recent data from AI/AN FACES 2015 and FACES 2014.

    Purpose

    The purpose of this technical report is to present findings from analyses of how preschool cognitive and social-emotional measures performed in AI/AN FACES 2015. We examined the internal consistency of measures when administered to AI/AN children, reviewed descriptive statistics as context of difference in mean ability across groups in the AI/AN FACES 2015 and FACES 2014 samples, conducted analyses of differential item functioning (DIF) within cognitive measures to compare the performance of AI/AN children and White children (including data from FACES 2014), and examined the strength of bivariate correlations between measures of similar constructs and different constructs to assess evidence of concurrent and discriminant validity. The findings, therefore, provide initial evidence on the reliability and validity of the measures for AI/AN preschoolers.

    Key Findings and Highlights

    For most of the measures, findings from these analyses suggest that it is appropriate to report the AI/AN FACES 2015 preschool child outcomes scores, the exception being one of the two measures of executive function (Heads-Toes-Knees-Shoulders or HTKS, which was added to AI/AN FACES 2015 to expand measurement of this construct beyond what is used in FACES 2014).

    • All measures demonstrated acceptable reliability with alphas of 0.70 or above.
    • The strength of correlations between measures is in an expected pattern. Correlations are stronger between measures of similar constructs (for example, receptive and expressive language) than between different constructs (for example, social behavior and language).
    • Among six cognitive measures flagged across reviews, none warrant additional follow-up based on the DIF analyses. Most cognitive measures did not show evidence of performing differently across groups based on DIF analysis. Two cognitive measures (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Fourth Edition and Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test-Fourth Edition) had items demonstrating DIF; however, the number of items with DIF was close to or less than the number we would expect by chance and were balanced overall with some easier for AI/AN children and others easier for White children.
    • None of the teacher- and assessor-reported social-emotional measures exhibited performance concerns based on the current review.
    • Examination of the executive function measures indicated that the pencil tapping task is an appropriate measure for this sample. However, a floor problem was found with the HTKS, indicating the measure provided limited information to distinguish the children in this sample.

    These analyses are based on a specific sample of children—AI/AN children in Head Start programs operated by federally recognized tribes. While this information provides initial evidence of the reliability and validity for these measures of cognitive and social-emotional development, researchers should keep in mind the diversity of tribal communities and the AI/AN population nationwide and in Head Start more generally as compared to Region XI AI/AN Head Start when considering the use of these measures with other AI/AN children.

    Methods

    The AI/AN FACES 2015 sample provides information about Region XI Head Start children, their families, classrooms, centers, and programs. We selected a sample of Region XI Head Start programs from the 2012-2013 Head Start Program Information Report, selecting one to two centers per program and two to four classrooms per center. Within each classroom, all children (both AI/AN and non-AI/AN) were selected for the study. Twenty-one programs, 37 centers, 73 classrooms, and 1,049 children participated in the study.

    The FACES 2014 sample provides information at the national level about Head Start programs, centers, classrooms, and the children and families they serve. We selected a sample of Head Start programs from the 2012-2013 Head Start Program Information Report, with two centers per program and two classrooms per center selected for participation. Within each classroom, we randomly selected 12 children for the study. One-hundred seventy-six programs, 346 centers, 667 classrooms, and 2,206 children (in 60 programs) were still study participants in spring 2015. (Author introduction)

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