It is important for Head Start to have information about children’s and families’ strengths and needs over the course of the program year. We examine Region XI Head Start children’s growth in cognitive skills (in language, literacy, and mathematics), social-emotional skills, and executive function during the program year to learn about their progress toward being ready for school.
Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OPRE)
Licensing is traditionally viewed as providing the foundation (or the floor) of quality in early care and education (ECE) settings. States and territories are responsible for licensing child care programs, and a license serves as permission to legally operate a child care program. The essential purpose of licensing is to provide basic protections to prevent harm to children.
Together with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families, Mathematica and its partners Abt Associates and MDRC are examining the effectiveness of using coaches to help low-income individuals work toward self-sufficiency through the Evaluation of Employment Coaching for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Related Populations. The coaching programs participating in the evaluation implement distinct approaches to employment coaching, as described in these four program snapshots:
Access to reliable transportation is a common challenge in rural communities across the country, especially for low-income families who may have few public transit options, if any. Human services providers, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, regularly encounter this issue with the families they serve. The La Plata County (Colorado) Department of Human Services designed an innovative strategy to address this challenge and coach parents on planning and achieving their goals at the same time.
In 2010, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the first round of five-year grants from the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 1.0) Program to 32 organizations in 23 states; five were tribal organizations. The purpose of the HPOG Program is to provide education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand.
If a single mother earns $25,000 per year, can she receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if she decides to attend a training program? If she does qualify for a subsidy, how much will she have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including the ages of the children, the number of people in the family, income, and where they live. Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes.
A well-articulated theory of change and logic model are important tools in service delivery. These tools support programs in understanding and improving how a program functions. They provide a foundation for meaningful planning and monitoring of activities. A theory of change and logic model rely on and help support the use of data within an organization. As programs are beginning to articulate a theory of change, data can help service providers understand the needs of individuals with whom they work, their target population. Data can also help inform realistic goals for program progress.
The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or LI2) process is an approach that practitioners might use as part of the change and continuous quality improvement process. LI2 was developed by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child.
The Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation is a random assignment impact study and in-depth process study of five Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) grantees funded by ACF’s Office of Family Assistance (OFA). To maximize its contributions to the evidence base and to inform future program and evaluation design, STREAMS is examining the full range of populations served by HMRE programs, including adult individuals, adult couples, and youth in high schools.
Research shows that parents and children tend to fare better on a range of outcomes when they live in low-conflict, two-parent families. Recognizing the potential benefits of healthy relationships for low-income families, Congress has funded three rounds of grants for Healthy Marriage (HM) programs since 2006. The Office of Family Assistance (OFA), in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S.