Head Start and Child Care Partnerships Benefit Teachers

Data suggests that child care centers that have entered into formal partnerships with Head Start are having a greater affect on teachers’ professional development opportunities, compensation, and structured curricula and standardized assessments. Staff from state collaborative offices will find the Child Care/Head Start Partnership Study valuable for ascertaining the impact child care partnerships at Head Start centers have on the availability and accessibility of teacher training.


The following is an excerpt from .
Head Start Bulletin

A recent study of Head Start and child care partnerships shows that they are making a difference to child care teachers’ professional development (Chauncey & Schilder 2006).

The Child Care/Head Start Partnership Study (Chauncey et al., 2005) was designed to collect quantitative data from two groups of randomly selected licensed child care centers providers in Ohio. Seventy-eight centers had formal partnership agreements with Head Start and 63 comparison child care centers did not.

Five survey instruments were administered to the partnership center directors, teachers, and parents and to the comparison centers. They were administered once per year in 2002, 2003, and 2004. The surveys included questions about structural indicators of quality and parental perceptions of quality; services provided by the centers; and teachers’ professional development, education, and benefits. The study was conducted by the Center for Children & Families (CC&F), based at Education Development Center, Inc., and funded by the Child Care Bureau (Department of Health and Human Services) and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The report notes that child care teachers at partnering centers:
  • Participated in enhanced training opportunities,
  • Had better compensation
  • Used structured curricula more broadly with standardized assessments
  • Participated in more total hours of professional development than teachers at non-partnering centers, and
  • Were offered more off-site workshops.
Daughter sitting in Mother's lap.
Photo by D. Mentzer. Rosemont Center HS/EHS.

Child care centers that were in partnership longer and received greater Head Start funds were more likely to offer teachers on-site workshops.

This information is excerpted from the research study available at www.ccf.edc.org/projects/partnershipresearch/.

The longitudinal study comparing partnership centers and comparison centers will continue for the purpose of addressing whether reported improvements in teacher practices, along with the additional services, lead to improvements in children’s school readiness.


Chauncey, B. & D. Schilder. Childcare/Head Start Partnerships: Teachers at Partnering Centers Report Benefits of Partnership. 2006. Newton, MA: Education Development Center (EDC).

Schilder, D., B. Chauncey, M. Broadstone, C. Miller, A. Smith, S. Skiffington & K. Elliott. Child care/Head Start partnership study: Final Report Executive Summary. 2005. Newton, MA: Education Development Center (EDC). Available at www.ccf.edc.org/pdf/ExecSumm-122105.pdf.

"Head Start and Child Care Partnerships Benefit Teachers." Head Start Bulletin Professional Development #79. HHS/ACF/OHS. 2007. English.

Last Reviewed: May 2012

Last Updated: November 13, 2014