Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) Spring 2009-Spring 2012 (ICPSR 36074)

Published: Oct 12, 2015 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Cheri Vogel, Mathematica Policy Research; Kimberly Boller, Mathematica Policy Research


Version V1

The Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) is a descriptive study of Early Head Start programs designed to inform policy and practice at both national and local levels. In 2007, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), United States Department of Health and Human Services, contracted with Mathematica Policy Research and its partners to implement this six-year longitudinal study in 89 Early Head Start programs around the country. Baby FACES followed two cohorts of children through their time in Early Head Start, starting in 2009, the first wave of data collection through age 3, with the final round of data in spring 2012. The Newborn Cohort includes pregnant mothers and newborn children (194 are in this group). The 1-year-old Cohort includes children who were approximately age 1 (782 were aged 10 to 15 months).

Vogel, Cheri, and Boller, Kimberly. Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) Spring 2009-Spring 2012. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-10-12. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36074.v1

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (Contract Number: HHSP23320072914YC)

United States

The data are restricted from general dissemination. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement form and specify the reasons for the request.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2009 -- 2012 (Spring 2009 to Spring 2012)
2009 -- 2012

The Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, or Baby FACES, is a longitudinal descriptive study of Early Head Start that captures information on Early Head Start families and children, teachers and home visitors, and programs. Research questions for Baby FACES address four aims:

  1. Describing Early Head Start and program services and staff
  2. Describing the population served by the program
  3. Relating program services to child and family outcomes
  4. Assessing the properties of measures used in the study.

From a nationally representative sample of 89 programs, the researchers enrolled parents of children who were in two age cohorts in spring 2009: newborns, which include pregnant women and children up to 8 weeks old, and 1-year olds, which include children ages 10 to 15 months. Researchers gathered detailed information from program directors on program operations, services, management, and characteristics of staff and enrolled families. In addition, targeted information was gathered on participant families from parent interviews, Staff-Child Ratings, study children's teachers or home visitors, individual interviews with those teachers and home visitors, and observations of study children's classrooms and home visits. At ages 2 and 3 researchers conducted direct child assessments to measure cognitive and language development and record their interactions with their parent. Exit interviews were conducted with parents of children who left the program before their eligibility ended. For those (in the 1-year-old Cohort only) who stayed until age 3, a matriculation interview was conducted at age 3 and a half to learn where they went after Early Head Start. Finally, researchers collected weekly information from program staff on services offered and received by study families while enrolled in Early Head Start.

The Baby FACES sample is representative of the population of Early Head Start programs at the national level. Within programs, the families being served by Early Head Start represent the population of parents of newborn and 1-year-old children enrolled in Early Head Start in spring 2009. To achieve the goal of an efficient, representative national sample of sufficient size to detect developmental or programmatically meaningful differences over time and within key subgroups, the researchers used a stratified clustered sample design. All children receiving center and/or home-based services from a probability sample of 89 Early Head Start programs (including those receiving services through partnership arrangements) were chosen. The most recent Head Start Program Information Report data was used as a sampling frame, which at the time of sampling covered program year 2006-2007. Consent rate for programs was 93.7 percent.

In spring 2009, 1,217 children were selected into the Baby FACES sample. From this sample, 109 children were ineligible for the study, and 132 eligible children's parents did not consent to participate in the study. Therefore, there were 976 children in the study at baseline. By spring 2010, the researchers obtained consent for six additional children, but consent was rescinded for three 1-year-old Cohort children who were part of the baseline sample. Children who left the Early Head Start program from which they were sampled were considered no longer eligible at follow-up, and this was by far the main driver of sample attrition over time. There were 971 children who had parental consent at the end of the study and who were eligible for at least one round of data collection.

Longitudinal: Cohort / Event-based

Head Start programs, families and children, teachers, and home visitors.

Teachers, Program, Parents, Children
observational data, survey data

Of the 89 programs recruited into the study, there was a consent rate of 93.7 percent. Within those programs the researchers approached families of children in the age cohort windows and obtained consent from 88.5 percent of them (976 of 1,103). The initial sample consisted of 80 percent 1-year-old Cohort members and 20 percent Newborn Cohort members. The consent rate within cohorts was similar: 88.8 percent for the 1-year-old Cohort and 87.4 percent for the Newborn Cohort.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Vogel, Cheri, and Kimberly Boller. Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) Spring 2009-Spring 2012. ICPSR36074-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-04-30. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36074.v1

2015-10-12 New Provider ID variables were added to the Newborn and One-Year-Old Constructed Variable Data Files. The User Guide was updated to reflect these changes.

2015-05-27 Minor edits to the two Exit Interview data files and the User Guide were performed. A variable search function was added to the study homepage.

2015-04-30 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

In 2009, the researchers created a program-level weight, D1WT, which can be used for analysis of the 89 participating programs (for example, data from the program director interview). The program-level weight is also a building block for the child-level weights. This weight accounts for the initial probability of selection of each program within stratum, whether it was released into the sample, its eligibility status, and its participation status.

After the spring 2010 data collection and processing, the researchers decided to focus primarily on age-specific weights, rather than year-specific weights (2009, 2010, etc.), and to focus each weight either on child-level data (such as staff-child reports and child assessments) or staff-level data (such as staff interviews and observations. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal weights were then constructed for the child-level data. The child-level cross-sectional weights were created by running stepwise logistic regressions separately by cohort. Child-level longitudinal weights were also created for specific planned analyses of Baby FACES data over time. Like the cross-sectional weights, these were also constructed separately by cohort, adjusted for parental consent, and then adjusted for completion.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.