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


State licensing guidelines mandate that child care staff receive at least eight hours of training a year. However, this is far less training than Head Start staff receive (NRCA staff receive from 40 to 60 hours of training a year). The director of one child care agency says she prefers to hire teachers with some college training, but she is not always successful in her efforts to do so. The NRCA director knows, also, that many staff at other contracted providers possess no more than a high school degree, which was the case with the interviewed family home care provider.

In addition, the NRCA director is concerned that the quality of off-site staff training is in many cases very low. In the one off-site center visited, Head Start teachers provided training to child care staff in areas such as behavior management and outdoor gross motor activities. Child care staff in this program have also made efforts to contact Head Start family service workers when they detect problems with a Head Start child. Nonetheless, the NRCA director regrets that she does not have more control over staff training or qualifications in the afternoon programs — a concern that contributes to her ambivalence about "connected care" full-day arrangements.