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Head Start and Early Head Start cost and braided funding study


Our study will produce policy-relevant information for the Office of Head Start, HS and EHS grantees, federally funded technical assistance (TA) providers, and ECE policymakers. We will produce fact sheets and a policy report describing (a) how grantee characteristics, characteristics of children and families attending HS, and state policy contexts are associated with different braided-funding approaches; (b) how these factors relate to HS service delivery costs; and (c) how these factors relate to HS service quality. We will submit a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal that presents a regression analysis showing the relationships among grantee, child and family, and state policy variables; number and types of funds HS grantees access; and how these relate to quality indicators.


We propose a study with two components. For the first component, we will analyze the Family and Adult Child Experiences Survey (FACES), which contains a nationally representative sample of HS grantees. We will document how grantee characteristics (such as size and urbanicity) and child and family characteristics (such as race and ethnicity) are associated with the number and types of funding sources grantees braid. This analysis will inform the second component of the study, which will examine the how grant recipient characteristics, characteristics of children and families served, and state policy context variables are associated with the likelihood that the grant recipients braid funds and with HS costs. State context variables will be from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) database and the National Institutes for Early Education Research (NIEER) State of Preschool Report. We will analyze Public Information Report (PIR) data to capture grantee characteristics and the characteristics of children and families served. We will combine these data with coded data from a sample of proposals and budget narratives in the Head Start Enterprise System (HSES). We hypothesize that grantee characteristics, characteristics of children and families served, and state policy contexts (such as pre-K funding and CCDF policies) are related to the number and types of funding streams HS grantees braid and reported costs. These, in turn, are associated with quality. We will also perform exploratory analyses of a sample of applications submitted by HS and EHS to OHS to understand costs and approaches to braiding funds.


Information produced from this research is vital for federal policymakers, HS grant recipients and TA providers seeking to deliver HS as part of a mixed-delivery system. The project will result in a report, fact sheets, a manuscript, and presentations at key policy research conferences, as well as collaboration with other OPRE grantees. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects
Principal Investigator(s):
United States

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

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