Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . Scheduling Classroom Staff


Unlike part-day programs where one set of teachers can provide continuous care, programs operating eight or more hours need to hire additional staff and coordinate schedules to cover the extended hours. Six of the grantees hire full-time staff who are expected to work 8-hour shifts. The staff stagger their starting times to cover the entire day. For instance, one staff member may start at 7:30 a.m. and work until 4:00 p.m., the second staff member may start at 8:00 and work until 4:30, and the third may start at 9:00 and end at 5:30. The exact hours vary both within and across grantees depending on the needs of each particular center and classroom. All of these programs supplement full-time staff with part-time help. The part-time assistants help out, as needed, sometimes covering early morning and late afternoon hours as well as acting as substitutes to free teachers for training and home visits.

Another staffing plan used by one grantee involves hiring two sets of full-time staff, one for the morning and one for the afternoon portions of the program. These full-time staff spend 6½ hours in the classroom per day, with the remaining 1½ hours used for planning and home visits. In addition, two part-time "morning only" teachers cover the hours before 8:00. When these "morning only" staff are relieved by full-time staff, they fill in for teachers in other classrooms so the teachers can have their planning time.

The grantee that offers part-day Head Start and then transports children to another facility — the connected care arrangement — also uses two separate sets of staff, one hired by Head Start and the other not.