Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department



Cvrcek, Tomas

Committee Member

Bodenhorn, Howard

Committee Member

Tamura, Robert


This thesis considers the relationship between participation in Early Head Start programs and school readiness for children from low-income families. The work uses longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Research and Evaluation (EHSRE) project that followed 3001 families in 17 Early Head Start Centers from 1996-2010. In the project, data was collected about children's school readiness in three phases: 0-3 years, Pre-K and fifth grade.
In the sample data set, families were randomly assigned to either a treatment group of Early Head Start participants or a control group. Empirical analysis was conducted that compares the test scores of the treatment group with those of the control group for all three phases. The results indicate that children in the treatment group score higher on tests in the early phase of 0-3 years. As children enter Pre-K and fifth grade, the effects of Early Head Start fade out and the scores of the two groups do not show statistically significant differences. The services that showed the greatest impact for children's school readiness are center care and parents reading to children.

Included in

Economics Commons