Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . History of the Full-Day Program


The WKUCCC Head Start in Bowling Green has offered full-day services since the program opened its doors to children in 1984.10 Then, as now, the program's community needs assessment indicated that full-day care was a serious need for the population of full-time students and low-income university staff that the program was serving. From the beginning, sliding scale fees for the child care portion of the day were charged to all parents. Before the program had access to additional funding sources, this was the only way the director could afford to offer a full-day wraparound program. Two years ago, the program began to receive CCDBG funding, and low-income parents began to apply for additional Federal child care assistance such as SSBG (Title XX), as described below.

Students who use the program would like it to offer what the director jokingly called "designer child care for off-the-rack prices" (i.e., they would like to use child care only for those hours they are in class, which vary day to day). In addition, many of them who take evening classes need evening care at least once a week. However, the program found that it was too difficult to ensure the constant enrollment that would make the program economically viable, if they catered to individual student schedules. Therefore, all parents must pay for at least one-half day of child care, if they wish any service beyond the five hours that Head Start funds.