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Understanding the needs of staff in Head Start programs: The characteristics, perceptions, and experiences of home visitors

By Brenda Jones Harden, Nicole Denmark and Dale Saul

Abstract

Little is known about home visiting staff in early childhood intervention and education programs. This qualitative study explored the characteristics and experiences of 7 home visiting staff in an urban Early Head Start program. Using multiple data sources, issues related to staff personal characteristics, staff capacity, and organizational challenges emerged as salient for understanding the work of these home visitors. Themes and variations in the home visitors' experiences that may have challenged or enhanced their work with families are identified. Home visitors' perspectives from within this program are highlighted, along with findings from other small studies, to identify directions for future research, policy-making, and program administration.Early childhood Home visiting Staff characteristics Early Head Start Qualitative research

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