The findings from this study point to the following issues for policymakers to address:
- To improve continuity of care, should Head Start pay for a child's full-time placement when the parent loses eligibility for child care benefits from another source? Alternatively, could other Federal programs such as Title IV-A or CCDBG set aside funding to continue full-day services for children in this circumstance?
- As part of Early Head Start, should Head Start offer full-day programs for infants and toddlers?
- To ease the transition to compliance with the Head Start Performance Standards, should Head Start provide a phase-in schedule for grantees using wrap-in care?
- To encourage parent involvement for full-day families, should Head Start provide additional resources to grantees to develop materials, hold workshops, and share information on this topic?
- To promote new collaborations for full-day services, should Head Start provide additional guidance that clarifies its position on methodologies for allocating funding across multiple sources?
- Finally, should the Federal office provide new and expanded guidance for the Head Start community on the provision of full-day services, including increased access to a strengthened technical assistance staff?
Although this study provided considerable information about the delivery of full-day services by drawing upon funding from multiple sources, many questions regarding the provision of full- day services for Head Start children and families still remain. For instance, neither this study nor Head Start data sources can provide information on the number of Head Start children who currently receive more than 8 hours a day of care or are in programs that run 12 months. Other important questions include: how do the various modes of care affect the well-being of the children; how do co-located services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers affect family choices of care situations; and what impact does full-day service have on the self-sufficiency of families? Further research is required to respond to these questions.