The federal Head Start office is delaying a requirement for its grantees to offer a longer day and year for 4-year-olds, because the program would need to cut 41,000 slots to make the change under current funding levels.
In 2016, Head Start passed new performance standards. Among the changes: Center-based Head Start programs would have to operate at least 1,020 hours a year, up from the current requirement of 3½ hours a day and 128 days per year, or 448 hours annually. Half the programs were supposed to make the change by August 2019, with all of them providing more hours by August 2021.
If Congress doesn’t significantly increase Head Start funding by 2020, it’s likely that the expansion will be put off again, a notice to grantees said.
A version of this article appeared in the February 07, 2018 edition of Education Week as Head Start Delays Rule for Centers to Run Longer Days and Years