EARLY HEAD START
Early Head Start (EHS) programs support low-income families with children under the age of 3. The comprehensive family-centered services promote child development and help parents achieve self-sufficiency with regard to stable housing, continued education, and financial security. QCC works with 14 Quality Rated Family Child Care Learning Homes in Georgia to support quality improvement efforts, provide training to educators and staff, access community resources, and engage parents with educational programs.
To learn more about Early Head Start or to see if you are eligible for a program in your area, call 1-877-255-4254.
Program Benefits Children and Families
A national study found positive results regarding the benefits of EHS for children and families, including:
- At the end of the program, 3-year-old Early Head Start (EHS) children performed significantly better on a range of cognitive, language, and social and emotional development measures than a randomly assigned control group. Additionally, the parents of the 3-year-olds scored significantly higher than control group parents on many aspects of home environment, parenting behavior, and progress toward self-sufficiency.
- Two years after the end of the program, prior to children entering kindergarten, positive impacts of EHS remained in areas of children’s social and emotional development, parenting, and parent well-being. Furthermore, those children who experienced EHS followed by formal early childhood education experiences (e.g., center-based child care, Head Start, or state pre-kindergarten) tended to have the best overall outcomes at the start of school.
- By fifth grade, there was some evidence of sustained impacts of EHS on children’s social and emotional well-being, although we did not see the broad pattern of impacts for child and family outcomes found at earlier ages. Nonetheless, positive impacts persisted for some subgroups of children and families. For example, EHS demonstrated sustained impacts on children’s social and emotional development, parent support for education, and parent mental health among African-American families.
National evaluation conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and Columbia University's Center for Children and Families, in collaboration with the Early Head Start Research Consortium. For more information, visit the evaluation project website.