The Head Start Program
CHFD 210 Childhood Educational Development
Dr. Lisset Pickens
March 16, 2014
Preschool is a highly debated area of a child’s educational journey. One of the primary goals of preschool is to prep the child for traditional elementary school. There are several contemporary models of education that are designed to help children be successful throughout their school years. The Head Start Program was one of those programs. The Head Start Program was designed by President Johnson to aid in assisting lower income families who had children attending traditional education the following school year. The program was initially only eight weeks, but under the Clinton administration the first Early Head Start grants are given and in October of 1998; Head Start was reauthorized to expand to full-day and full-year services (http://www.ilheadstart.org).” (University of Michigan, 2005) This program gives a “head start” to those children who “come from backgrounds where funds, parenting, and health are lacking.” (University of Michigan, 2005) This paper will focus on a study performed to assess the success of the Head Start Program for children suffering from economically hardships as well as how children performed in Head Start, no preschool, or other preschool programs.
The study conducted analyzed the children’s demographics, economical status, and results from various tests. The control variable used was choosing two head start locations to include data from. The locations were Trenton, NJ and Portland, OR. The locations had to have certain specific criteria. They had to have yearlong programs, represent from divers locations, and have willing community representatives. There were a total of 969 students assessed. There were four assessment tests given to the children throughout the duration of the study. (The Peabody picture vocabulary test, the Caldwell preschool inventory, the motor inhibition test, and the eight-block sorting task were the four tests.) The results indicated that the Head Start students “gained significantly more than students in either the No Preschool or the Other Preschool comparison groups....