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


Staff feel that there are significant benefits to families in the offering of full-day care to preschool age children and their siblings. Parents are able to attend school or work at a job and feel comfortable about the safety and development of their children. The children are in one place for the entire day with one set of providers who come to know them well.

The pressure on the grantee seems to be to increase the hours of service, both in terms of offering full-day opportunities for more families and extending the hours of care now offered during the day. Families are asking for early morning, evening, and weekend care to allow for coverage during the hours they work. The grantee administrative staff worry about such an extension, because each time they convert a part- day double session class to a full-day class, they must either cut their funded enrollment or find a new facility. Neither is easy to do.

The funding of full-day services continues to be a challenge. Staff must find start-up funds from sources different from those that provide ongoing funding (state social services and Head Start). They must put together grant applications, and sometimes these do not result in funding. Even when they do receive start-up funding, they must continue to be creative in order to provide the full set of services they believe all children and families need.