Uncategorized

Planning for Full Enrollment Using PIR and Census Data

On February 7th I had the honor of presenting at the Region IV Head Start Association’s 2017 Annual Training Conference. The title of my presentation was “Planning for full enrollment using PIR and Census data.” The synopsis provided in the conference’s program is below.

How many Head Start eligible children are in Region IV? Where do those children live and is Head Start serving them? Using Region IV as a model, attendees will learn how to analyze economic and demographic trends and plan for full enrollment in the context of a community assessment.

The basics of the process presented were:

  • Key data points from the US Census and American Community Survey can be used to track trends in the Head Start eligible population.
  • These data points can be broken down geographically, from the state and county level on down to Census Tracts and zip codes.
  • These data points can then be compared horizontally (that is, over time) with key data from Program Information Reports.
  • Comparisons can then be made vertically (that is, comparing smaller geographies such as counties to the larger geographies that they are part of.)
  • Using these geographical and time based analyses programs can show where the Head Start eligible population is growing, where the population is under served, and where resources should be allocated.

An example of a discovery from this analysis for Region IV is that the region is underfunded when compared to the rest of the United States. Region IV has about 43.5 funded Head Start slots for every 100 estimated eligible children while the United States has just over 50 funded Head Start slots for every 100 estimated eligible children. Tennessee, a state within Region IV, is even more under funded with about 41.5 funded Head Start slots for every 100 estimated eligible children.

region-iv_funded_as_percent_of_eligible
Early Childhood Analytics – Funded Enrollment as a % of Head Start Eligible Children – Tennessee, Region IV and the United States compared. Data sources: 5-year ACS derived estimates from the US Census and aggregated PIR data from the Office of Head Start.

Download the presentation

A full PDF of the presentation along with all background data used to produce the analysis of Region IV can be found at following Google Drive folder. Also included is state by state expanded economic data.

Region IV Presentation Google Drive Folder: Planning for Full Enrollment Using Census and PIR Data.

Your program’s data

I offered to all attendees an overview of their program’s service area at the county level. Contact me with your program’s name and the counties you serve to receive your demographic overview. This overview will include a table showing the follwing 2009-2015 data for your county:

  • Population
  • Percent of the population under the age of 5
  • Estimated number of children under the age of 5
  • Poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5
  • Estimated number of Head Start and Early Head Start eligible children
  • The number of eligible children enrolled in your Head Start program (compare this to the estimated number of Head Start eligible children above)
  • The number of over income children enrolled in your Head Start program
  • Your program’s funded enrollment

Also included will be a bar graph plotting your program’s enrollment and funded enrollment compared to the estimated Head Start eligible population. For an example, see the graph for Region IV below.

head-start-region-iv_enrollment_graph
Early Childhood Analytics – Estimated Head Start eligible population (derived from the 5-Year American Community Survey) compared to Region IV actual enrollment and funded enrollment (from aggregated Program Information Report Data produced by the Office of Head Start)

I provide full Community Assessment planning, analysis and writing as well as accessible, affordable Demographic Reports for Head Start programs. Contact me if you would like a bid proposal for your Head Start program.

Uncategorized

Head Start 5-Year Grant Application Outline & Template

I recently had the privilege of working with an AI/AN Program on completion of their 5-year non competitive grant application. In organizing the grant writing process I followed an outline and instructions provided by a grants specialist from the Office of Head Start. The grants specialist presented at the 2015 NIHSDA Region XI Conference in Sacramento, California. Here is the outline of his presentation. It includes the instructions for the application along with further guidance and explanation from OHS.

I have adapted his presentation to a grant application template with a hyper-linked table of contents and full OHS instructions and guidance for each section included in embedded comments. The template is in Google Docs, and may be copied and used to complete your program’s 5-Year grant application.

In the template you will find all major sections of the grant application narrative (excluding the Budget section, which will be added later), sub-sections, questions, and sub-questions; all of the required topics you must cover in your 5-Year grant.

Grant Outline Screenshot

All topics within the grant application are hyper linked as sections in the table of contents in 5 heading levels (4 heading levels are shown in the above screenshot.) Further OHS instructions are in [brackets] and further explanations of each section are in comments linked to the highlighted text [What are you looking for?] All explanations, instructions, and comments are pulled from the aforementioned 5-Year grant presentation given at the 2015 NIHSDA Conference.

To use the template you can either:

  1. Click on “File” and “Make a Copy”. This allows you to make an exact duplicate of the document in Google Docs. Using the outline in Google Docs stores the file in Google Drive, and sharing settings can be altered to keep the document private, or share it with others to view, comment or collaborate on your 5-Year Grant application. This method is recommended if you are comfortable with using and collaborating on Google Docs.
  2. Click on “File” and “Download as”. This allows you to download the document as a Microsoft Word document (or other format) to store locally on your computer’s hard drive. Due to compatibility issues this may alter the layout of the outline. It also may make it difficult to update the Table of Contents automatically as this is a feature built into Google Docs with a third party application. This method is recommended if you are uncomfortable with collaborating on Google Docs and would like to work in a local copy of your grant application instead of one that is stored online.

If you have questions, comments, or are in need of assistance in completing your 5-Year Grant Application you can contact me.

Uncategorized

Head Start Designation Renewal System 2.0

NHSDA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci write on the Designation Renewal System at Huffington Post:

In 2007, Congress attempted to strengthen the accountability of Head Start programs by requiring open competition for Head Start grants in communities where local programs were not offering high-quality services.

Since 2011, the Office of Head Start has been implementing the Designation Renewal System (DRS) to put that goal into action, but the design of this system has led to a number of unproductive and unintended consequences.

This fall, as the third cycle of DRS closed, the National Head Start Association (NHSA) released Analysis of the Designation Renewal System: Cohorts One to Three, summarizing the outcomes for programs and communities thus far and highlighting opportunities to address those unintended consequences and make the DRS more effective. As the report concluded:

● The DRS still falls short of fully meeting the Congressional intent of targeting competition at poor quality grantees.
● Basic reforms are needed to make the DRS consistent, reasonable, and predictable.
● Conceptual reforms are needed to support programs in working toward high quality, not compliance.

Right now, the DRS requires programs to enter competition if they hit one or more of seven triggers. Overall, 74% of programs going into competition are currently getting their grants back at the end of a grueling 18-month process. Depending on what trigger caused them to compete, programs might be more or less likely than that to get their grant back. This confirms what the Head Start field knows to be true: the triggers for competition were designed in ways that catch low-quality programs but also catch other good programs.

Read More

2012 Data, 2013 Data, Head Start Big Data, Uncategorized, Web App Reports

10 US Metropolitan Areas with the biggest 5 year increase in the poverty rate for young families

At the National level the United States has had a steady poverty rate for young families over the past 5 years. The American Community Survey (produced by the US Census Bureau) publishes a poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. This poverty rate was at 18.3% in 2013 for the US as a whole, up from 17.9% in 2009. At a local level, the picture for young families can look much different.

The United States has 388 Metropolitan Statistical Areas for which the Census Bureau gathers economic and demographic data. Early Childhood Analytics specializes in reports on Head Start eligible populations. We have compiled a list of the change in the poverty rate for young families in each of the these Metro Areas between the years of 2009 to 2013; 2013 being the latest year for which we have data. The top 10 metro areas with the biggest increase in their poverty rate for young families are listed below. This list gives a quick snap shot of how our nation’s young families are faring as well as giving an overview of how many children might be eligible for Head Start services in each area.

In all 10 cases, the poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 increased over the years from 2009 to 2013 while the percentage and total number of children under the age of 5 dropped. This means that there are fewer young children in each of these metropolitan areas from 2009 to 2013, but the portion of these children living in poverty has increased. Additionally, all but one of these metro areas increased in population over the 5 years analyzed.

Metro Area 2009 0-5 Poverty Rate 2013 0-5 Poverty Rate Change from 2009 to 2013
10. Texarkana, TX-AR 20.7% 35% +13.3%
9. Brunswick, GA 12.6% 27.1% +14.5%
8. Goldsboro, NC 20.6% 37.4% +16.8%
7. Bend-Redmond, OR 4.3% 22.2% +17.9%
6. Port St. Lucie, FL 10.5% 28.4% +17.9%
5. Hot Springs, AR 28.1% 46% +17.9%
4. Madera, CA 15.5% 34.4% +18.9%
3. Rome, GA 12.6% 31.6% +19%
2. Salisbury, MD-DE 7.4% 27.3% +19.9%
1. Michigan City-La Porte, IN 24.2% 47.3% +23.1%
Methodology


10. Texarkana, TX-AR Metro Area

The Texarkana, TX-AR Metro Area is comprised of Bowie County, Texas and Miller County, Arkansas. From 2009-2013 it experienced a 13.3% increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. This resulted in a 67% increase in the number of estimated Head Start eligible children over the same 5 year period, from 814 in 2009 to 1,361 in 2013.

Two Head Start programs operate in the Metro Area: Community Services of Northeast Texas and CDI Head Start serving Southwest Arkansas. Both programs have service areas that go beyond the Texarkana Metro Area, making it difficult to estimate the fundeded enrollment assigned specifically to this metro area.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Texarkana, TX-AR Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 135,978 149,579 13,601
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.90% 6.50% -0.40%
Estimated Children Under 5 9,382 9,723 340
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 21.70% 35.00% 13.30%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 814 1,361 547
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Texarkana, AR - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Texarkana, AR – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Texarkana, TX - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Texarkana, TX – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

9. Brunswick, GA

The Brunswick, GA Metro Area is comprised of Glynn, Brantley and McIntosh Counties in Georgia. It includes the cities of Brunswick, St. Simons and Darien. The poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 more than doubled from 12.6% in 2009 to 27.1% in 2013. This was combined with a 10% increase in population over the same time period. As a result, the number of children in the metro area who are estimated to qualify for Head Start services more than doubled, from 342 in 2009 to 775 in 2013; an increase of 432 children.

Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority operates the Head Start program in this area. It’s service area appears to go beyond the borders of the Brunswick, GA Metro Area. It’s funded enrollment is 871 for Head Start and 96 for Early Head Start with a total cumulative enrollment of 1021 Head Start children in the 2013-2014 school year. According to the NIEER Yearbook, Georgia offers a free state funded pre-kindergarten program that has no income requirements. The program is available in all counties, to all children. It is likely that the increased number of young families living in poverty in Brunswick still have plenty of options for enrolling their children in an early childhood education program.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Brunswick, GA Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 102,833 113,411 10,578
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.60% 6.30% -0.30%
Estimated Children Under 5 6,787 7,145 358
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 12.60% 27.10% 14.50%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 342 775 432
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Brunswick, GA Metro Area – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Brunswick, GA Metro Area – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

8. Goldsboro, NC

The Goldsboro, NC Metro Area consists of Wayne County in North Carolina. It has experienced an increase in it’s poverty rate for young families of 16.8 percentage points from 20.6% in 2009 to 37.4% in 2013. Over the same period it’s population grew by 9.4% to 124,262. This growth in population and the poverty rate has driven an increase in the estimated number of children who are eligible for Head Start services from 730 in 2009 to 1,283 in 2013; an increase of 553 children.

Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency operates the Head Start program in this Metro Area with a funded enrollment of 405 Head Start and 152 Early Head Start children. It served a total of 451 Head Start children in the 2013-2014 school year. Though this is well short of the estimated eligible children, the state of North Carolina offers a state funded pre-kindergarten program to at-risk and low-income 4 year olds. The pre-k program reaches all counties in the state and served almost 30,000 4 year olds for the 2012-2013 school year. It is conceivable that there are a number of enrollment opportunties open to the remaining eligible families in Goldsboro through the state funded pre-k program.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Goldsboro, NC Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 113,510 124,262 10,752
Percent Under the Age of 5 7.80% 6.90% -0.90%
Estimated Children Under 5 8,854 8,574 -280
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 20.60% 37.40% 16.80%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 730 1,283 553
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Goldsboro, NC – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Goldsboro, NC – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

7. Bend-Redmond, OR

The Bend-Redmond, OR Metro Area is comprised of Deschutes County, Oregon and includes the cities of Bend and Redmond, Oregon. The Bend-Redmond, OR Metro Area has experienced a serious increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. Over 5 years it went from 4.3% in 2009 to 22.2% in 2013. This caused the Head Start eligible population (defined here as 3 & 4 year olds whose family income is at or below federal poverty guidelines) to grow by 377% from 172 children in 2009 to 823 in 2013.

The area is served by Neighbor Impact Head Start. The program had a funded enrollment of 433 in 2013-2014 and a total cumulative enrollment of 505. This is well short of the 823 estimated Head Start children in the Metro Area. The state of Oregon offers a state funded pre-kindergarten program with a statewide enrollment of 7,184 3 & 4 year olds with similar income eligiblity requirements to Head Start. This state funded program may make up for the difference between the estimated number of Head Start eligible children and the number of enrollment opportunities available to them.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Bend-Redmond, OR Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 156,588 162,547 5,959
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.40% 5.70% -0.70%
Estimated Children Under 5 10,022 9,265 -756
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 4.30% 22.20% 17.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 172 823 650
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Bend-Redmond, OR – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Bend-Redmond, OR – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

6. Port St. Lucie, FL

The Port St. Lucie Metro Area is comprised of St. Lucie and Martin counties in Florida. The Port St. Lucie Metro Area experienced a 17.9 percentage point increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 from 10.5% in 2009 to 28.4% in 2013. This resulted in a 150% increase in the number of young families living in poverty in the Metro Area while the population at large only increased by 7%. The number of estimated Head Start eligible children, which is defined as 3 & 4 year olds living at or below poverty guidelines, rose from 983 in 2009 to 2,459 in 2013.

Martin County School Board Distrcit offers Head Start services in the Metro Area with a funded enrollment of 252 and a cumulative enrollment of 270 for the 2013-2014 school year. Additionally, a Migrant/Seasonal Head Start Program operates in the area with a funded enrollment of 547. The State of Florida also operates an extensive pre-Kindergarten program with not income eligiblity requirements, which may fill in any gaps in services for families in this metro area.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Port St. Lucie, FL Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 403,449 432,973 29,524
Percent Under the Age of 5 5.80% 5.00% -0.80%
Estimated Children Under 5 23,400 21,649 -1,751
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 10.50% 28.40% 17.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 983 2,459 1,476
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Port St. Lucie, FL - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Port St. Lucie, FL – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

5. Hot Springs, AR

The Hot Springs, AR metro area is comprised of Garland County, Arkansas. Over the 5 years from 2009 to 2013 it experienced a 17.9% point increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. It is the only metro area on this list that had a concurrent decline in population over the same 5 year period, albeit a very small decline of less than 1%. The increase in the poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 went from 28.1% in 2009 to 46% in 2013. This resulted in a 49% increase in the number of young families living in poverty. The number of estimated Head Start eligible children went from 647 in 2009 to 963 in 2013.

Community Services Office, Inc. operates the Head Start program in the Metro Area with a funded enrollment of 223 and cumulative enrollment of 308 for the 2013-2014 school year. It is likely that the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Program also serves children in the area. ABC is a state funded pre-kindergarten program for income eligible 4 year olds. ABC has income eligibility requirments that allow them to enroll children whose family income is up to 200% of federal poverty guidelines, allowing them to enroll above and beyond the Head Start eligible population. It seems likely that there is a need for expanded services in the Hot Springs, AR Metro Area.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Hot Springs, AR Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 97,559 96,900 -659
Percent Under the Age of 5 5.90% 5.40% -0.50%
Estimated Children Under 5 5,756 5,233 -523
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 28.10% 46.00% 17.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 647 963 316
Hot Springs, AR - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Hot Springs, AR - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Hot Springs, AR – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

4. Madera, CA

The Madera, CA Metro Area is comprised of Madera County, California. The poverty rate for Madera, CA more than doubled from 15.5% in 2009 to 34.4% in 2013. This resulted in more than 100% growth in the number of young families living in poverty. There were 766 estimated Head Start eligible children in the metro area in 2009 and 1,613 in 2013.

Madera County Board of Supervisors operates a Head Start program in the metro area with a funded enrollment of 372 and a cumulative enrollment of 492 for the 2013-2014 school year. The Central California Migrant Head Start Program also operates in multiple cities in the area serving Migrant Head Start children. The state of California also operates a state funded pre-kindergarten program that serves 3 and 4 year olds whose family income is 75% of poverty guidelines or lower.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Madera, CA Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 147,144 152,255 5,111
Percent Under the Age of 5 8.40% 7.70% -0.70%
Estimated Children Under 5 12,360 11,724 -636
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 15.50% 34.40% 18.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 766 1,613 847
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Madera, CA - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Madera, CA – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

3. Rome, GA

The Rome Metropolitan Area is made up of Floyd County, Georgia. Over the years of 2009 to 2013 the area has maintained a stable overall population while the overall number of small children has dropped. The poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 has increased significantly, from 12.6% in 2009 to 31.6% in 2013. This has caused the estimated number of young families living in poverty to more than double. The number of estimated Head Start eligible children went from 362 to 777 over this time period.

Tallatoona Community Action Partnership Inc. operates a Head Start program in the metro area with a funded enrollment of 578 and a total cumulative enrollment of 668 for the 2013-2014 school year. 2 of the program’s 9 centers are within the metro area, making it possible that the area’s growing Head Start eligible population is under served. The state of Georgia operates a state funded Pre-Kindergarten program for 4 year olds which has no income eligiblity requirements. This may make up for the difference in the areas Head Start funded enrollment and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Rome, GA Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 95,688 95,988 300
Percent Under the Age of 5 7.50% 6.40% -1.10%
Estimated Children Under 5 7,177 6,143 -1,033
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 12.60% 31.60% 19.00%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 362 777 415
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Rome, GA - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Rome, GA – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

2. Salisbury, MD-DE

The Salisbury, MD-DE Metro Area is comprised of the counties of Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties in Maryland and Sussex county in Delaware. The American Community Survey added Sussex County in Delaware to the metro area starting in 2013, making that year’s data not fully comparable to previous years. Still, the general trend in the poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 has been a steady increase, 7.4% in 2009 to 32.4% in 2012. This caused an increase from 224 estimated Head Start eligible children in 2009 to 981 in 2012.

Shore Up Inc. operates the Head Start program in the area with a funded enrollment of 991 and a total cumulative enrollment 1036 in the 2013-2014 school year. It’s service area extends beyond the Salisbury Metro Area, so a portion of it’s enrollment goes beyond the estimated number of Head Start eligible children in Salisbury. The state of Maryland has a pre-kindergarten program that enrolls 3 and 4 year olds whose family incomes are up to 185% of federal poverty guidelines. These enrollment opportunities may make up for any difference between the number of funded Head Start slots and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children in the area.

3-Year American Community Survey Data          
Salisbury, MD-DE Metro Area 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Population 119,911 124,468 125,116 126,211 381,780
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.30% 6.00% 5.70% 6.00% 5.60%
Estimated Children Under 5 7,554 7,468 7,132 7,573 21,380
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 7.40% 13.00% 25.40% 32.40% 27.30%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 224 388 725 981 2,335
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Salisbury, MD - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Salisbury, MD – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

1. Michigan City-La Porte, IN Metro Area

The Michigan City-La Porte, IN Metro Area is comprised of La Porte County, Michigan in it’s entirety. The metro area has experienced a 23.1% increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 from 24.2% in 2009 to 47.3% in 2013. It’s total population and portion of the population under 5 has remained stable over the same time period. The increase in the poverty rate has resulted in an 87% increase in the number of young families living in poverty. The estimated number of Head Start eligible children rose from 665 in 2009 to 1,242 in 2013. It should be noted that the 2013 poverty rate has a 10% margin of error, which is unusually high. This means that the 2013 poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 could be as low as 37.3% or as high as 57.3%.

Community Organization of Social Concerns operates the Head Start program in the area with a funded enrollment of 311 and a total cumulative enrollment of 341 for the 2013-2014 school year. There is no state funded pre-kindergarten program. Unless there are other enrollment opportunities in this metro area, it appears that the growing population of Head Start eligible families is underserved.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Michigan City-La Porte, IN Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 110,728 111,228 500
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.20% 5.90% -0.30%
Estimated Children Under 5 6,865 6,562 -303
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 24.20% 47.30% 23.10%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 665 1,242 577
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Michigan City-La Porte, IN - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Michigan City-La Porte, IN – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

Methodology

Estimates are taken from the 3-Year American Community Survey, an ongoing survey conducted by the US Census Bureau that tracks economic characteristics, demographic characteristics, social characteristics and other characteristics of the US population through a representative sampling. The number of children under the age of 5 living in poverty is estimated by taking the total population, multiplying it by the percentage of children under the age of 5 in the population, and multiplying the result by the percentage of families with children under the age of 5 whose income in the past 12 months was below poverty.

Uncategorized

Choosing between the ACS 1-Year, 3-Year & 5-Year for Head Start programs

By Vincent Rinehart

Data from the American Community Survey


The Census Bureau is releasing 2013 1-Year American Community Survey estimates today.

What is the American Community Survey?

From the Census website:

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides data every year — giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. Information from the survey generates data that help determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year.

The ACS is critical to Head Start programs. It provides specific data regarding age, sex and income that can be used to estimate the number of Head Start eligible children in a service area. This data is provided at the country, state, county, community and even Zip Code level. With the release of 2013 1-Year ACS data, it’s a good time for programs to start updating their community assessments. However, there are two other 2013 ACS datasets yet to be released: the 2013 3-Year ACS in October and the 2013 5-Year ACS in December.

The difference between the 1-Year, 3-Year and 5-Year ACS

The Census Bureau explains the difference thoroughly. The basics are that the 1-Year ACS is more timely, but less accurate because it uses one year worth of collected data. The 5-Year ACS is less timely, but more accurate because it uses 5 years worth of data. Lastly, the 3-Year ACS is in between; more accurate than the 1-Year ACS and more timely than the 5-Year ACS. When it’s released, the 2013 5-Year survey will include data collected from 2009-2013. Going back 5 years makes it more accurate because it uses a larger sample size. The 2013 3-Year ACS will include data collected from 2011-2013, making it less reliable but more timely.

Which one should you use?

The 1-Year ACS and 3-Year ACS are not available for smaller communities. Even if a Head Start program has all three data sets available for their service area, I almost always recommend the 5-Year ACS be used for consistency and accuracy. It can be tempting to use whichever data set best supports your hypothesis or plan; so sticking with the most reliable data set every time is the safe and conservative thing to do so you don’t misrepresent the data. What I mean by “conservative” is that the 5-Year ACS will tend to understate any recent changes in a service area. But that tendency is also why a program may want to look at the 3-Year ACS or 1-Year ACS along with the 5-Year ACS.

Instances where this is useful are when a Head Start program’s service area is experiencing rapid change. The poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 could change quickly in the case of a sudden, localized economic boom or depression. These same economic forces could cause the service area to experience a sudden net inflow or outflow of young families; perhaps coming to your service area in search of new jobs, or leaving it in search of jobs elsewhere.

An Example: The United States as a whole

Data from the American Community Survey

In the example at the top of this article, for the entire US, we have the poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 for the 1, 3 and 5-Year ACS from 2009 to 2012. The 5-Year ACS shows a steady increase in the poverty rate, while the 3-Year ACS shows a slightly more drastic increase and the 1-Year shows a sudden jump from 2009 to 2010 followed by a convergence with the 3-Year ACS. This would indicate to me that the 2008 US Recession was registering very clearly in the 1-Year ACS. Meanwhile, the 2009 & 2010 3-Year and 5-Year ACS were both still reflecting data from prior to the recession. This causes an understatement of the poverty rate for those years. After a few years, the sudden bump in the poverty rate for 2009-2010 is captured and better represented in the 3 and 5-Year ACS. A steadier year to year poverty rate causes the 1-Year ACS data to level out. This is a perfect example of how sudden changes from one year to the next may show up in the different data sets released by the ACS.

Localized Examples

In my 5 years of working on Community Assessments and economic studies for Head Start programs I have seen instances where the 3 or even 1-Year ACS ought to be considered for planning purposes. The most extreme example of this are in regions experiencing economic booms. Communities in region of the Eagle Ford Shale and North Dakota oil region are notable examples of localized economic booms that have drastically effected the poverty rate, the number of families and thus the number of Head Start eligible children in a service area. I will detail these examples in a follow up article.

I am available to assist in your Head Start program’s Community Assessment and economic and demographic studies, planning and anlaysis. Please feel free to contact me here!

Uncategorized

Service Area Demographics: Head Start Eligible Children

By Vincent Rinehart

Digging into the Census Bureau’s website for data can be difficult, especially for programs with a geographically large service area or a large funded enrollment. The best way to do this is to present the data for your service area as a whole, and then break it down into smaller chunks.

An example of how to do this is below for southeast Alaska’s American Indian/Alaska Native Program: Tlingit & Haida Head Start. The raw census data from the 5 year American Community Survey can be found here. The program covers hundreds of miles from north to south with 10 distinct, Census designated geographies. The census designated geographies, counties or boroughs in this case, can be combined together to create an overall estimate of the number of age eligible children for 2012, the latest year we have data for.

2012 5-Year ACS
Combined Tlingt & Haida Service Area
Total Population: 72,210
Population under the age of 5: 6.28%
Poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5: 15.02% (Nation at 17.7%)
Estimated Head Start Eligible: 273
Estimated eligible infants & toddlers: 409

Table1

A table is created to show the detailed break down of Census data for each county/borough.

Table2

I can then use this data to create a custom map. Each geographic area can be clicked to display basic Census data. Additionally, Head Start centers are plotted on the map.

This sort of geographic breakdown is also helpful for urban programs operating in densely populated areas. When working with data from these sort of programs it’s better to look at the service area by Zip Code or Census Tract instead of County/Borough. (Stay tuned for an example.)

These are examples of the basic tables and data that should be included in the demographics portion of your program’s Community Assessment. Combined with internal data and data from a program’s PIR, a Head Start program would have what it needs to do in depth analysis and plan for full enrollment.

I am available to gather and organize this data and guide your Head Start program through analysis, planning and writing of your Community Assessment. I have 6 years of experience working with chronically under enrolled programs. Please see my about page for more information on how to contact me.