Understanding implementation in early head start programs: Implications for policy and practice

Diane Paulsell, Ellen Eliason Kisker, John M. Love, Helen H. Raikes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The primary goal of the National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project is to assess program implementation and the quality of key child development services in the study's 17 research programs. The evaluation team developed rating scales based on the Head Start Program Performance Standards and a process for rating key program elements, then synthesized a large amount of information about program implementation and quality into a concise set of ratings. The team used these ratings to examine programs' progress over time, interpret program impacts, and provide feedback to programs and technical assistance providers on implementation strategies. In this article, we present the rating scales and methods developed for assessing implementation and quality, describe the levels of implementation and quality attained four years after programs were funded, and discuss implications for policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-35
Number of pages22
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding implementation in early head start programs: Implications for policy and practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this