Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . Approaches for Providing Full-Day Care


Following visits to the eight sites, it was found that the methods for providing full-day care could be classified into three groups. The first, and most frequent, was wraparound care, within which a grantee used Head Start monies to fund the core of its services and used funding from other sources to pay for care before and after the Head Start day. This method was used by the following six sites: Elmsford, NY; Bowling Green, KY; Dayton, OH; Moorhead, IA; Visalia, CA; and some of the services in Seattle, WA. As Head Start has promoted the use of wrap-around care for many years, it is not surprising that the majority of grantees in this study utilize this approach.

Second in frequency of use was wrap-in care, which means that a Head Start grantee contracts with another child care program and uses Head Start funds to extend the services the program offers to the point where it meets Head Start Performance Standards. This approach was used in Gainesville, FL, and in some of the services offered in Seattle, WA.

Third in frequency of use was a connected care method used in Christiansburg, VA. This grantee contracts with existing child care programs to provide children with supervised care before and after the Head Start day, but these "connected" providers are not expected to meet Head Start Performance Standards or to provide services beyond child care.

Of course, there are differences among grantees and differences within each approach — especially in terms of location of services (centers or homes) and sources of funding. However, as discussed in the next chapter, there are many commonalities in the issues faced by grantees employing similar approaches and more differences across grantees using varying strategies. For example, the grantee using connected care expressed concern about the quality of services in the contracted centers and homes not asked to meet Head Start Performance Standards; however, this was not noted as a concern for the grantees using wraparound or wrap-in services.

On the other hand, grantees using wraparound services expressed concern about the long working hours of teachers who have moved from part-day to full-day services. Questions included the following: "What is the best way to schedule staff time while providing sufficient planning opportunities during the day?" "How can we deliver the level of staff training to full- day staff that we provide for part-day staff?" "When these teachers accomplish home visits after hours, how do we provide them with compensatory time off during the day?" These questions did not generate concern from directors in the wrap-in or connected care arrangements, because Head Start staff are only working with children part of the day, which has been true in the past for most Head Start teachers.

As findings are described in the next two chapters, these three approaches to providing full-day services will frequently be referenced. Discussions generally concern the similarities of grantees within a group, but, where important, the text describes the differences among those grantees.