Head Start: Challenges in Monitoring Program Quality and Demonstrating Results  

Head Start's mission, goals, and objectives provide an overall performance assessment framework that emphasizes compliance with applicable laws and regulations and achievement of program results. Program directors and management staff can use this report to further their understanding of how local goals and objectives can be aligned in achieving compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

 


Head Start, one of the most popular federal early childhood programs, has delivered comprehensive services to about 16 million low-income preschoolers during the past 33 years. Since its inception, Head Start costs have totaled $35 billion, and its annual funding has increased substantially in recent years.

This report evaluates how the Department of Health and Human Services ensures that Head Start programs are held accountable for complying with laws and regulations and for achieving program results. GAO discusses (1) the extent to which Head Start's mission, goals, and objectives provide an overall framework that emphasizes compliance with applicable laws and regulations and achievement of program results; (2) how well Head Start's processes ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and (3) how well Head Start's processes ensure the ability to determine whether the program's purposes have been achieved. For more on this report >>> [PDF, 701KB]

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Head Start: Challenges in Monitoring Program Quality and Demonstrating Results. HEHS-98-186. GAO. 1998. English. [PDF, 701KB].

Last Reviewed: November 2012

Last Updated: August 27, 2014