Options for Full-Day Services for Children Participating in Head Start . Training Classroom Staff


Scheduling regular inservice and preservice training for full-day classroom staff has also created challenges for the grantees. Although part-day Head Start programs can provide training in the afternoon or can close the center for a training day, programs serving children of working parents cannot do this without disrupting parent schedules. The grantees in this study have come up with several ways to provide training time for their full-day staff. These include using substitute teachers, providing onsite training, and closing the center for several days to provide intensive periods of training.

Six grantees use substitutes to allow classroom staff to attend training during regular scheduled class time (Exhibit 2). Several of the directors indicated that they hire substitutes only as a last resort. For the most part, grantees rely on other center staff to act as substitutes during training times. Other staff includes part-day Head Start teachers and teacher aides, part-time aides, center supervisors, and family service workers.

Providing more on-site training is another method frequently used to train full-day staff. For instance, one grantee uses Technical Assistance Support Center staff and university personnel as mentors, working with teachers in the classrooms. Two other grantees conduct training at the centers during naptime.

Five grantees close at some point during the year to provide time for training. Three grantees close for one to two intensive training days each year. Two others close for one week for the same purpose. Yet another grantee has developed a unique system to support training of its full-day staff. Each year this grantee closes for one week of "forced" vacation. Throughout the year, the grantee holds training sessions on Saturdays. For every hour of training attended, the teachers are credited with an hour of paid vacation that can be used during this one-week period.