The Early Childhood Asthma Project involved asthma case identification in 35 Head Start centers in Detroit, MI, and attempted implementation of an intervention designed to help families manage a child's asthma more effectively. Surveys were distributed to the parents of all Head Start children (3408), and 2198 complete surveys were returned. Case detection found probable asthma in 30% of the children whose parent returned a sufficiently complete survey. Implementation of the intervention was unsuccessful in this setting. Obstacles to effective implementation included the sample's low participation and high attrition, limited involvement of Head Start personnel, factors related to the program approach, and the target population's beliefs about asthma.