Household Composition of Families Eligible for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start: Findings from the 2012-2016 National Agricultural Workers Survey

Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Household Composition, Language, and Literacy of Families Eligible for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Cover

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Introduction

Research Questions

  1. Who lives in the households of MSHS-eligible families?

Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs provide child development services to migrant and seasonally laboring families while parents engage in difficult and often dangerous agricultural work. Just like other Head Start programs, MSHS programs offer services including medical and dental care, nutritional services, and mental health services. This briefs describe all MSHS-eligible families, including both those who have received MSHS services and those who have not.

Purpose

The purpose of this brief is to describe the household composition of MSHS-eligible families.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • The average MSHS-eligible household is comprised of 4.7 people. 55% percent of families eligible for MSHS have five or more relatives living together.
  • 84% of families eligible for MSHS have more than one child living in the home, and 46% of families have more than one child under age 6 living in the home.

Methods

This brief uses data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration 2012-2016 National Agricultural Worker Survey (NAWS). The NAWS collects data annually on a national random sample of crop farmworkers in the continental United States (U.S.). See https://www.doleta.gov/naws for more information about methods, measures and reports from the NAWS.

Families described in this brief as MSHS- eligible include a subsample of the full NAWS sample that have (1) at least one child under the age of six, (2) more than 50 percent of their income earned from agricultural work, and (3) a total income below 100 percent of the federal poverty level for their household size.

Recommendations

Information about MSHS-eligible families may inform decisions related to family needs, risks, and resources. 

Citation

Gatewood, A.K. (2019). Household Composition of Families Eligible for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start: Findings from the 2012-2016 National Agricultural Workers Survey, OPRE Report #2019-48, Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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