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


The 30 children in full-day Head Start are in two classrooms — one licensed for 13 children and one for 17 children. Generally, the younger children are in the smaller class, while the older ones are in the larger room. The program currently is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., five days a week, 50 weeks a year. The agreement negotiated with Job Corps states that the program may be open until 4:30 p.m., but at this time, Job Corps (and other parents served in this center) do not need the extra hour.

Priority for the 30 slots is given to Job Corps students. In planning the program, staff estimated that a minimum of 15 slots would be held by Job Corps clients' children, but that number has not yet been realized. At any given time, Head Start tends to have 10 or fewer children of Job Corps enrollees. Because Job Corps can enroll individuals who are 15 or 16 years of age (most of its students are teenagers), there have been many more infants and toddlers needing care than children of preschool age.

WCDC fills the remaining slots with children from the local area whose parents are in school, working more than 20 hours a week, or whose families are in crisis (e.g., homeless, have a mental health issue). Working closely with private day care in the local area, the facility may recommend a family try Head Start. Conversely, Head Start may transport a child to private day care, if the child needs care beyond the hours Head Start operates.