Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . Daily Schedule and Program Features

03/07/1995

Full-day Head Start follows the Head Start Performance Standards all day for all students. Similar to the morning activities, there are structured activities in the afternoon.

Each of the contracted centers we visited provided evidence of the positive effects of Head Start. For instance, the Bell Nursery School is licensed for 80 children, ages 2½ to 5. It has one room for the Head Start age group, which Head Start staff helped to set up and for which Head Start provided materials. The director of this center indicated that the affiliation with Head Start has meant more training, more resource people, and more and better workshops, and has generally enhanced the program by "adding materials, people, and ideas." Head Start has offered teacher support and teacher recognition as well as resources for parents. Parent meetings are held monthly or biweekly, depending upon parent needs — and everyone receives home visits.

St. Augustine's child care program started in 1957, and the center has been at its current location in a designated historical site for about 10 years. Licensed for 70 children, about 14 of the children at the center are in Head Start. The director is a former Head Start teacher who indicates he has "seen the difference" Head Start makes — for the parents as well as for the children in the program. The director noted that the center's values and those of Head Start are consistent, but that the child care center setting offers families greater flexibility than school-based settings. For example, the center is open on school holidays and has a van for emergency transportation needs.

The Palmer-King child care center is located in a low-income housing development, and is licensed for 90 children, ages 6 months to 5½ years. There are about 13 children enrolled in Head Start. The director of this center reports that Head Start helped to equip and set up the room for the prekindergarten class, and has given providers a "sense of professionalism." Parents without jobs work in the classroom and help on field trips. (An annual outing to Jacksonville is very popular and is attended by most parents.)