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Increasing access to Head Start through text messages

In this follow-up study, we revised the text message program to be more effective for Head Start families. Parents who applied for Head Start in the 2019-20 OneApp were randomly assigned to receive formal text message reminders, personalized text message reminders, or no reminders. Our main findings from this study are summarized below: - Head Start applicants who received text reminders, either formal or personalized, verified eligibility at significantly higher rates (58.2% and 57.1%, respectively) than parents who did not receive texts (48.6%). - Two-thirds of Head Start applicants who received personalized text messages responded (67.4%), indicating a desire to engage with NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) staff for help. - Even with text message reminders, Head Start applicants still verified at significantly lower rates than applicants to school-based pre-K programs. Sixty-eight percent of school-based pre-K applicants receiving formal text reminders ultimately verified, compared with only 58% of Head Start applicants receiving those same communications. This study provides compelling evidence that simple, low-cost text supports, paired with clear, accessible resources, can help families navigate the early childhood enrollment process and increase their likelihood of successfully enrolling their child in their desired seat. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Fact Sheets & Briefs
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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