Head Start staff in the center-based and family child care options attend two days of pre-service training, in the summer, with all programs closed during this "retreat time." During the year, regular in-service training is conducted for teaching staff. For family day care providers, the education coordinator for family child care holds monthly meetings at the grantee's offices or at a provider's home.
Substitutes can be paid to cover training time, encouraging center-based staff to coordinate with one another to determine who will attend which training, assuring both adequate classroom coverage and adequate staff training. Child Care Resources has a substitute bank for center-based providers, and these individuals may be called upon to fill in for regular teachers. Most family child care providers also have a friend or relative they can call upon to substitute.
Head Start helps teachers find substitutes, but currently there is no substitute list they can call upon; and some of the family child care providers indicate that it is difficult to find substitutes. One center-based program, Families First, has a closure day once a month for training. They contract with a private day care provider to include their children or, if the parent prefers, pay for a babysitter, and then transport children to the substitute care provider. Parents are informed of this arrangement in advance, and it has been accepted by them. This allows the entire staff to participate in training.
Puget Sound places a further training requirement on family child care providers: They have one year to get their CDA. The grantee assists providers by paying for the CDA and by assigning staff to oversee the process. The education coordinator directs providers to the many classes offered in the area and serves as a CDA mentor/advisor for some providers. The education supervisor for family child care visits and observes providers about once per month; and if there are special issues to be addressed, she visits more frequently.
Finally, under the homeless demonstration, Head Start is financing other training for family child care providers to assist them in working with homeless families. For example, more training is planned on domestic violence.