Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

June 2004


Published in Topics in Early Childhood Special Education 24:2 (2004), pages 76-88. A publication of PRO-ED Inc.
Material prepared by employees of the US Government in the course of their official duties cannot be copyrighted.


Early Head Start (EHS) is a comprehensive, two-generation program that provides services to low-income families with children under the age of 3 years. As part of their mandate, staff members of EHS programs collaborate with other service providers in their local communities, including Part C and childcare providers. The incidence of disabilities among low-income children was tracked as part of the EHS Research and Evaluation Project. The incidence of indicators of disabilities (or potential disabilities) was extremely high (87%) among these very young children living in poverty; however, only 99 participating families (4.7% of the sample) received Part C services. Receipt of Part C services was related negatively to specific family characteristics (e.g., mother less well educated, being of color, not speaking English). Participation in EHS had a positive impact on receipt of Part C services.