Children enrolled for a year in an enhanced Head Start program known as Educare show better results on tests of auditory and expressive-language skills, parent-reported problem behaviors, and parent-child interactions than those who were not able to enroll in the program, a study finds.
The report,, tracked more than 200 children younger than 19 months. The children were either enrolled in Educare, a national program that blends federal, public, and private dollars to support children from birth to age 5, or in a control group of children who were not able to enroll in an Educare because the program was full.
There are 21 Educare programs in 18 cities, serving rural, suburban, and urban communities.
The model includes embedded professional development for teachers, the use of data to guide decisionmaking, and high-quality teaching practices. Each school is housed in a new or remodeled center that includes infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms. Schools are open eight to 10 hours a day, and all children attend at least six hours a day. Children enroll as young as 6 weeks of age, with the program’s goal of serving them until they start kindergarten.
A version of this article appeared in the March 08, 2017 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood