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


Visits to eight Head Start grantees that offer full-day services to children enabled the differentiation of three basic approaches for service delivery. In wraparound care, grantees provided a core set of Head Start services around which they added hours of child care paid for by other sources. In wrap-in care, grantee staff used child care services paid for by another source as the core of full-day care and added to the core all services that were needed to meet Head Start Performance Standards. In connected care, grantee staff provided Head Start services to children in the morning and transported children to an afternoon care setting that did not meet Head Start Performance Standards.

Grantees raised a number of issues related to the delivery of services under each approach, including the administration and management of the arrangement, the substance of the program for children and families, funding arrangements, difficulties in collaboration, and methods of meeting family needs for infant and toddler care. These issues were then converted into possible policy and planning decisions that Head Start could make to ease the process of providing full-day services and to encourage more grantees to try the full-day model. Such policy and planning decisions included ways to improve response to the needs of families; deliver high-quality services for children, parents, and staff; and offer further guidance that would prevent grantee problems yet allows local flexibility in implementation.

The grantees who offer full-day services are committed to this mode of service delivery. It meets the needs of families, and grantees have found ways to deliver high-quality services through funding arrangements that work for them and their other funding sources. The directors of these grantees may be described as entrepreneurs, because they have forged new partnerships and developed new funding arrangements to enable them to offer full-day services. Their experiences can help clarify options for others who now follow in their footsteps.