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Knowledge Center
Center for Policy, Data, and Research
Curating knowledge, generating analyses, and strengthening dialogue

Data Sets

The following data sets have been used repeatedly in research studies to examine program outcomes and impacts on children and families who participated in Head Start and Early Head Start. Many are publicly available for research purposes.

Head Start Data Sets

Program Information Report

Each year, the Office of Head Start gathers data from programs about services, staff, children, and families ranging from the cumulative children enrolled to teachers with masters degrees to families who secured housing. PIR data sets dating back to 2000 are available for download through the Head Start Enterprise System.

Head Start Impact Study

The Head Start Impact Study gathered data about a nationally representative set of Head Start children enrolled in 2002 and 2003. Data is available for secondary analyses. Third grade data is now available as well.

Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

The Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project gathered data about children, families, and programs during the initial implementation phase of Early Head Start and followed children through the fifth grade.

Head Start FACES and Baby FACES

Conducted every 3 years, most recently in 2012, the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) gathers information about indicators of program quality, children's learning, and families' experiences. Baby FACES gathers data about Early Head Start in the intervening years. FACES data from 1997, 2000, 2003, 20062009, and 2014 is available.

National Survey of Early Care and Education

The National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) gathered data about a wide range of families, child care providers, and the early care and education workforce in 2012, among them Head Start programs and staff.

Longitudinal Data Sets

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort

Managed by the Institute of Education Sciences, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) includes a nationally representative sample of about 14,000 children born in 2001. Data is available through 2008 and includes their early learning experiences.

Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study

Hosted by Princeton University and Columbia University, the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study is following a group of about 5,000 children born in large U.S. cities between 1998-2000 to at-risk families.

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

The Department of Labor hosts data sets from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and 1997, which were conducted with young men and women born in 1957-64 and 1980-84 respectively.

Panel Study of Income Dynamics

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) directed by the University of Michigan began in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals and has since gathered information about those individuals, their families, and their descendants.


Data Sources

Additional data is available about the broader early learning landscape and the context in which Head Start children and families live.

The State of Preschool

Since 2001, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has published an annual state-by-state overview of early learning opportunities, policies, and trends.

KIDS COUNT Data Center

A product of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the KIDS COUNT Data Center and annual KIDS COUNT Data Book provides census and other data on child well-being and ranks states on key measures.

Diversity Data Kids

Maintained by the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Diversity Data Kids offers "Child Opportunity Maps" as well as a series of analyses of Head Start data.

Latino Kids Data Explorer

Created by the National Council of La Raza, the Latino Kids Data Explorer provides data about the experiences of Latino children at the state and national levels.