Where Can I Find That Number? Things To Know About The Head Start PIR Database
Sep 06, 2007
How many four-year olds does Head Start serve in a year? What percent of teachers in Migrant Head Start programs have a postsecondary degree or credential? In which states and territories do all Early Head Start programs ensure that every pregnant mother they serve has access to prenatal and postpartum care?
To answer these questions, you need a national database the Program Information Reports (PIR) collected by the Office of Head Start. Each grantee reports data on child enrollment (and pregnant women, in the case of Early Head start), staff qualifications, and family services. These reports are then compiled into a database.
The PIR is the only national database of Head Start programs. It can track national trends over time, analyze specific program elements, and provide state policymakers key information about their state and region. Whether you want state-by-state data, a national summary of Head Start, quick facts on Early Head Start, or information on teacher qualifications, the PIR has the answers.
How accurate is the PIR? In a 2005 study, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported conducting 29 tests of internal data consistency on the PIR 18 failed. Head Start regional office staff told GAO they have about 6 weeks to check each electronic PIR report against the program s records, and that time is short for verifying even basic data items. Even with these limitations, the depth of information in the PIR data allows state policymakers, researchers, grantees and other partners to gather useful information about the children and families served in local programs.
And speaking of information, in the Head Start 2005-2006 program year:
- 546,393 four-year-olds enrolled in just Head Start for some portion of the year (not including Migrant or Early Head Start),
- 84 percent of Migrant Head Start teachers have a Child Development Associate credential or higher, and
- All the Early Head Start programs in Delaware, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Vermont, and the Virgin Islands had all pregnant women receive prenatal and postpartum care.