Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . Structure of the Full-Day Program


Head Start parents can obtain full-day care, if they work or attend school, through one of three options: (1) center-based Head Start through a contract with Child Care Resources, Inc; (2) Head Start in family child care homes (also a component of the network of Child Care Resources, Inc); or (3) child care in a classroom following the six-hour Head Start day. However, the grantee does not consider this latter "extended day program" to be "full-day Head Start."

The Alachua County School Board also has a program to ease the transition of children and families to kindergarten. The program provides a 20-day summer session for prekindergarten children. At most sites, the children move to a kindergarten classroom with the prekindergarten/ Head Start staff and a kindergarten teacher utilizing a team-teaching approach. The transition program is four hours per day, with child care available at a minimum fee before and after those hours.

The Alachua County School Board contracts with Child Care Resources for full-day services for 200 Head Start-eligible children in 9 child care centers, and 40 Head Start children in 8 family day care homes. In addition to those children, there are approximately 650 non-Head Start children served in the contracted child care centers. Both centers and family child care homes are open 10 hours a day (usually 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.), 5 days a week, for 180 days a year, with an additional 20- day summer session for children making the transition to kindergarten. There are waiting lists for specific Head Start sites, because of population shifts, but the program manages to place all who are eligible for and request full-day services.