Although subcontractors may arrange staffing patterns in any way that meets the Head Start standards, Puget Sound considers the ideal arrangement to be two teachers and two assistants who overlap hours in the middle of the day. An alternative pattern suggested by the grantee is one teacher, with assistant teachers covering the morning and late afternoon hours. Staffing patterns vary among the current full-day centers.
Puget Sound plans its staffing for full-day center-based Head Start to assure that there are 16 hours per week of teacher non-child contact time and 8 to 11 hours per week of teacher assistant non-child contact time per classroom. Either teacher assistants or part-time staff may provide the necessary classroom coverage; and home visits are usually scheduled in the late afternoon or evening.
Head Start family child care providers also make home visits. In acknowledgement of the time this involves, Head Start recently began paying for substitutes to cover time on home visits, because it was found that providers tended to conduct visits on their own time. An additional 10 hours of substitute time per provider has therefore been budgeted.