Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . Executive Summary


Over the past 10 years, the number of low-income mothers with young children needing the services of full-day programs has increased dramatically. Many factors, including the adoption of the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) program, homelessness, and increased demands on the child welfare system have contributed to this growing need. In order to better serve their children and families, some Head Start grantees have developed programs to meet the requirements for longer hours of service.

The purpose of this study is to examine the ways in which full-day services are currently offered by a small group of Head Start Grantees. This study does not include all grantees that are providing full-day services, but it provides an in-depth look at eight grantees that fund extended hours by combining resources from a variety of sources. Factors considered in the selection of grantees include the geographic location of the grantee; the size of its funded enrollment and its full-day enrollment; the source(s) of funding used for the extended hours; and the structure of the full-day option. Data were collected during 2- day site visits to each grantee. In addition to the director of each program, fiscal staff, component coordinators, teaching staff, and staff from collaborating and other child care agencies in the community were interviewed.

Among the grantees, three distinct modes of service provision were utilized: (1) wraparound care, in which funding from sources other than Head Start is used to expand the core Head Start day; (2) wrap-in care, in which Head Start grantees contract with another child care provider and fund the set of services needed to allow the contracted program to meet Head Start standards; and (3) connected care, in which grantees contract with existing child care programs to provide children with supervised care before and/or after the Head Start day. Connected care providers are not expected to meet Head Start's Performance Standards. It should be noted that even among these grantees who are providing full-day care, children attending for a full day make up only a small part of the full enrollment in most of these programs.