Program directors often state that they do not expect the program to affect the families who drop out. Workgroup members investigated how fathers influence child and family outcomes in Early Head Start and beyond; the personal and contextual factors in the lives of fathers that contribute to their involvement in and enjoyment of fathering; whether services for fathers affect their involvement in their children's lives; program and individual characteristics that are associated with program participation; and the cultural, demographic, and regional variations in father involvement in programs and in children's development. These presentations and papers can be viewed under the Early Head Start Reports section below. The evaluation team also directly measured the service use by both comparison and program groups, which provided family-level data on service use for the impact analysis. Evaluation is now universally recognized as an essential part of any effective education and training system. Elementary School Follow-up 2005-2010 In the Elementary School Follow-Up phase, children and families were assessed when the children were fifth graders or attending their sixth year of formal schooling. Local researchers also assisted in the collection of cross-site data collection for the national evaluation.
As the map below indicates, the programs that participated in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation project are located in Russellville, Arkansas; Venice, California; Denver, Colorado two programs ; Marshalltown, Iowa; Kansas City, Kansas; Jackson, Michigan; New York City; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Sumter, South Carolina; McKenzie, Tennessee; Logan, Utah; Alexandria, Virginia; Kent, Washington; Sunnyside, Washington; and Brattleboro, Vermont. In an age where child care is noted to be largely poor in quality, it is important to know the quality as well as the quantity of child care received by both the program and comparison group families. Comprehensive data from multiple sources were used to examine the effects of participation in Early Head Start. Typically, only the book itself is included. Fathers and mothers were interviewed when their children were 1, 3, 6, 14, and 24 months of age to provide an in-depth look at the evolving nature of fatherhood and father involvement in children's lives. In many program evaluations, the implementation and the impact studies are conducted by two different research organizations. A subset of families were interviewed when the children were 3 years old and in the spring before kindergarten.
Several unique features will enable the Early Head Start study to answer questions many previous evaluations have been unable to address. Comparison group families were not eligible for Early Head Start services but were free to avail themselves of other services in the community. This approach makes it difficult for the impact researchers to interpret site-level effects or to effectively use program implementation data in the impact analysis. Father studies within Early Head Start were coordinated by the Early Head Start Research Consortium's Father Studies Workgroup. Fatherhood Research: Four Study Strands The father studies were added to the evaluation research design in response to efforts within Early Head Start to involve fathers in program activities and in response to the federal Fatherhood Initiative. Only by systematically assessing program implementation against the Performance Standards is it possible to determine whether the program is being carried out in each site as it was designed.
The early intervention literature suggests that these variations will result in different patterns and timings of effects. The second round of site visits was conducted in fall 1997, approximately one year after they began serving families. They expect impacts on those families with whom they had consistent and continuous contact over a period of several years. Evaluation Design and Components The Early Head Start Research and Evaluation project consisted of three phases: the Congressionally-mandated Birth to Three Phase, the Pre-Kindergarten Follow-up Phase, and the Elementary School Follow-up Phase. The first round of site visits was conducted in summer and early fall 1996, about a year after programs were funded. The locations are Russellville, Arkansas; Venice, California; Denver, Colorado two programs ; Marshalltown, Iowa; Kansas City, Kansas; Jackson, Michigan; New York City; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Sumter, South Carolina; McKenzie, Tennessee; Logan, Utah; Alexandria, Virginia; Kent, Washington; Sunnyside, Washington; and Brattleboro, Vermont. One might argue that the Early Head Start evaluation was conducted too soon to detect strong program impacts.
Roggman Fatherhood Research The Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project conducted research relating to the role low-income fathers play in the lives of their infants and toddlers, in their families, and in the Early Head Start programs in which they participate. The board also voted Wilcox an extra cushion should they choose to fire him before his contract expires. In general, previous evaluations have not examined in detail the effects on children in light of different configurations of these child development service variables. For example, some programs deliver child development services through child care and others use a home visitation approach. Study Objectives The father studies increased our understanding of how fathers and mothers, in the context of the family, influence infant and toddler development. The availability of services varies from community to community. But he and the board have yet to develop clear plans for ensuring that all students get strong teachers, rigorous classes and an education that prepares them for college and careers.
Supplemental Materials What is included with this book? The Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project assessed how programs worked with low-income families to enhance children's development and well-being, but data collection originally centered on mothers as the primary source of information. The Early Head Start father studies were among the first to investigate involvement of low-income fathers in children's lives, together with mother involvement, in the context of both an intervention program for infants and toddlers and a longitudinal study. A researcher with knowledge of the local program and community can add interpretations to local findings that might not be apparent at the national level and provide local researchers' further interpretation of site-specific findings in a way that is useful to the programs. This study also included interviews that contain qualitative questions and videotaped observations. Wilcox for delaying disclosure of the results of lead testing in schools, a decision he first , then described as a lesson in how to do better. Information on family service use was collected at 6, 15, 26 months after enrollment and at the time of exit from the program. A major task of the Technical and Enterprise Councils in the training field is to ensure that their programs are subject to assessment within an overall evaluation strategy.
The two major problems of implementation, however, are lack of time and a perceived lack among middle and senior managers of the special skills necessary for an evaluation to have external validity. The district launched a , with immediate disclosure of results. . At a , Wilcox bristled when board member Ericka Ellis-Stewart responded to a report on student suspensions with a request for more details, noting that such requests take his staff away from other duties. The Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers recommended taking level of program implementation into account. The Early Head Start Research and Evaluation project, a rigorous, large-scale, random-assignment evaluation of Early Head Start, was designed to carry out the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers for a strong research and evaluation component to support continuous improvement within the Early Head Start program and to meet the 1994 reauthorization requirement for a national evaluation of the new infant-toddler program. The third round of site visits was conducted in late summer 1999.
The practitioner study used survey and qualitative methods to study father involvement in program activities as part of an iterative process that builds on the depth and complexity of research questions from one phase to the next. Too often, local program interpretations are missing from national evaluations. The sites were selected purposively based on the following criteria: 1 in aggregate, programs had to provide a national geographic distribution that represented the major programmatic approaches and settings and reflected diverse family characteristics thought to be typical of Early Head Start families nationally; 2 programs had to have a viable research partner; and 3 programs had to be able to recruit twice as many families as they could serve. Early Head Start program approaches vary in important ways. This study also collected data on father-child interactions in a subsample of families in 7 sites, using videotaping procedures comparable to those used to assess mother-child interactions at 2 and 3 years and in the spring before kindergarten as part of the Early Head Start national evaluation.