Serial No. 105-133


Printed for the use of the Committee on Education

and the Workforce


Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families

Little Theater, Napa High School

Napa, California

Friday, July 10, 1998
















Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families

Little Theater, Napa High School

Napa, California

Friday, July 10, 1998

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:20 a.m., in the Little Theater, Napa High School, Napa, California., Hon. Frank D. Riggs, presiding.

Present: Representatives Riggs, Souder and Martinez.

Staff Present: Denzel McGuire, Majority Professional Staff Member, Alex Nock, Minority Professional Staff Member.


Chairman Riggs. Good morning, everyone. I look around and realize that the members of Congress and our witnesses outnumber our audience. I do not know what that says about local interest in the reauthorization of Head Start, but I can assure you I have, as well as my colleagues, a very keen interest in reauthorizing Head Start so as to improve the quality of the program and expand it to serve more needy children.

So I first want to thank our witnesses for taking time from what I know are their busy personal schedules to join us here this morning. I am well aware that we are now in the summer recess schedule in terms of local schools, so I appreciate the use of the Napa High School facilities and I appreciate those who otherwise could have been enjoying their summer free time for being here with us this morning. Believe me, being over at Silverado earlier this morning and watching the whole world flock to the golf course, I was sorely tempted to linger a little longer. But while I guess my head is on the golf course, my heart is here at the Head Start hearing, or maybe it is the other way around.

This is the fourth and final hearing in a series of Congressional hearings on the reauthorization of the federal Head Start program. Just so our audience kind of has the chronology, the first hearing that we conducted was back in Washington and it was a joint hearing with our companion subcommittee in the Senate, the Senate Labor and Human Resources Subcommittee on Children and Families, chaired by Senator Dan Coates of Indiana. Also here is Congressman Souder who also hails from Indiana and represents an Indiana Congressional District.

The second hearing was held on June 9 in Washington, D.C. in our House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families, and the third hearing was held just a couple of days ago, earlier this week, July 7, in McAllen, Texas in the Congressional district of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa.

The purpose of all of our field hearings is to receive testimony from practitioners, to hear from you what we can do to improve and expand the program in light of recent developments and the recent research on early childhood development. But the reauthorization of Head Start in this session of Congress is a very, very high bipartisan priority, despite the fact we only have something like 50 legislative days remaining in this session of Congress before the targeted final adjournment of this Congress in early October.

I am joined this morning, as I have been at each of these hearings by my good friend, the ranking member, which means he is the senior Democratic member of our Subcommittee, Congressman Matthew Martinez of the Subcommittee; and as I mentioned, Congressman Mark Souder of Indiana. I very much appreciate both of them coming to the Napa Valley for this hearing as well as their support for the Head Start program. I know it must have been very difficult to convince them to come to Napa Valley during this Congressional recess. This, by the way, is a part of the official Congressional District work period for the July 4th holiday.

The purpose of this final hearing, as I mentioned, is to hear from folks who are familiar with the day-to-day operations of Head Start programs as well as other expert witnesses in my Congressional District. It occurred to me as we were holding these joint hearings with the Senate, hearings back in Washington, D.C. where Ms. Dollar was nice enough to come back to testify, and a field hearing in McAllen, Texas, that we would probably be remiss if I did not attempt to have at least one field hearing in my district before conferring with my colleagues drafting the legislation, which I would hope we could introduce perhaps as soon as late next week. We reconvene back in Washington on Tuesday. My goal would be to introduce a discussion draft of the Head Start reauthorization late next week or the early part of the following week, so that we can proceed quickly to consider that legislation in our Subcommittee and mark up and report out the legislation, so that it could start moving through the legislative process.

In kind of an unusual reversal of the way things normally work back in Washington, the Senate actually has a bit of a head start on us, having reported out Senator Coates' bill from the Senate Subcommittee. So that is actually a very encouraging sign, because normally we do our thing, our work, get legislation through the House and then wait for the Senate to act on that particular legislation.

Moving Head Start children to kindergarten, we want to be as seamless and natural as possible. One of the main goals of the reauthorization is to focus more on quality, and quality in our minds equates with school readiness for all children who have the benefit of participating in the Head Start program, number one. Number two, trying to sustain the academic gains that they make through their involvement and their participation in Head Start, so we do not see that too often fade-out effect, that fade-out phenomenon in their later academic years as they progress through elementary or primary school and then on to secondary school.

I think the other thing I want to stress and I hope our witnesses will comment on today is what we can do to improve professional development in the Head Start program. And let me put that in the right context. Federal taxpayer funding for Head Start in the short time that I have been in Washington, serving as Representative of the First Congressional District of California has doubled, from $2.2 billion in 1992, to $4.4 billion today. During that time, as you well know, we have pretty much had a divided government back in Washington, where the Presidency or the Executive Branch of the government has been controlled by one party and the Legislative Branch, or Congress, has been controlled by the other. So I cannot think of any stronger evidence of the bipartisan support for Head Start than that doubling, that 100 percent increase in federal taxpayer funding for Head Start.

That said, I speak for myself and many of our colleagues when I say that there is a growing concern on what we can do, should do, to improve the quality of the program. As you well know, the way that the funding is split between quality and expansion, we are going to be wrestling with those issues as we take up the reauthorization in the coming weeks. I should probably tell you that the Chairman of the full Committee, Congressman Bill Goodling of Pennsylvania, is a strong advocate of emphasizing quality over expansion at this time in the life of Head Start. His reasoning for that is that we do need to see some, if you will, bootstrap improvement of the quality of the program at the local level, and he is skeptical about putting more and more dollars towards expansion without at least an equal emphasis on quality. So maybe you could tell us today what you think we should do to improve quality.

We know that despite the fact that we have doubled federal taxpayer funding for Head Start, there is a tremendous competition for those dollars. We heard in McAllen, for example, that if we are concerned about professional development then there is a tremendous need to increase the compensation for Head Start classroom teachers, or at least get it to a living wage. We also heard in McAllen, Texas what we suspect is the case around the country, and that is that Head Start classroom teachers are paid more than child care providers but considerably less than public school teachers.

So we heard that on the one hand. We heard on the other hand that we really ought to increase funding for the Early Head Start set aside, particularly with all the research showing the importance of those early years between birth and three. So we are feeling sort of, as I said in McAllen, betwixt and between, and pulled in several different directions and perhaps you could again give us your insight, and your recommendation, as to where the priority and funding should be, recognizing that we have doubled federal taxpayer funding from $2.2 to $4.4 billion in a very short period of six years.

I think all of you, particularly those of you who are my constituents, know that I have always believed that children are our future and our commitment to them needs to be strong and constant and that is one reason that I assumed the chairmanship of this committee at the beginning of this Congress. I recognize Head Start is a very successful program, but one that provides a valuable service to needy children and their parents, but one that continues to need improvement, and I hope that we can join with you providers in striving for that improvement. And again, I want to thank each and every one of you for participating in today's hearing.

At this point, I recognize my friend, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Congressman Martinez, for his opening statement.

See Appendix A for the Opening Statement of the Honorable Frank Riggs



Mr. Martinez. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would submit my opening statement for the record and just make a few remarks.

I think these hearings are very important not from the standpoint of whether we have a large audience or not, but whether we have people from the field who are actually working in the programs, to give us the information we need to move forward and make good policy, I say good policy, in our reauthorization of Head Start.

It is certainly a delicate balance between opposing situations that you mentioned -paying the teachers better, having them more qualified, increasing the quality that way, the training of the parents and the policy committee members, and all of the things that it takes to really make the program work. But that is not to suggest that the program is not working well already; it is working well in many places. And evidence that when it is not working well, we can do something about it is the fact that the Department of Health and Human Services has closed down 100 Head Start programs in the last few years because they were not living up to the commitment of quality or meeting the primary requisites of the law.

So having said that, I want to join you in welcoming all the witnesses here today. Like you, I know they have given up their time when they would have enjoyed being someplace else. I am here for two reasons; one, because I have always been interested in Head Start since I have been in Congress and I always find that at these kinds of hearings, we get the best information in support of making that good policy I talked about. And the second is to show my appreciation to you for your having taken the time to convene a hearing in freshman Representative Hinojosa's district, which the people there were very much in support of and appreciative of. So I too want to show my appreciation and my support for you as Chairman.

I think that we need to be careful, though, as we move forward with this, that we do not destroy any of the good aspects of the program that exist today. We must be very careful regarding the direction we want to take this program, and should not make it something that it was not intended to be, but something that it has always been -- a program that helps make the kids comfortable in that first year of kindergarten, giving them enough knowledge to go in with the feeling of confidence that they can succeed. The idea of sustaining the gains that they make in Head Start has always been a good one. Mr. Goodling, you know, did produce a piece of legislation, Even Start, to support those efforts. But beyond that, I think the big problem for those that do lose what they gain in Head Start in the ensuing years of their education, occurs because we need to do something about education in general. There are some places where the education process for the children is not what it should be and kids are not learning as much as they can. And sometimes children going from a great experience in Head Start into that kind of a school situation is what causes them to lose what that they gained in Head Start.

But having said that, I yield back the balance of my time.

See Appendix B for the Opening Statement of the Honorable Matthew G. Martinez


Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Congressman Martinez. Congressman Souder.

Mr. Souder. I want to first thank the Chairman for his leadership not only for this hearing, but in Congress. It has been a privilege working with him on this Subcommittee since I have been elected in 1994, numerous conference committees as we went through different issues, and I know not only in Head Start, but in other children's issues, he has been very committed to try and make the programs as effective as possible because it is one thing just to put a lot of money into a program, it is another thing to try to really help those who need it the most. We can easily spread money around and not get much results, but what we want to do is make sure that every dollar spent is effective. I spent ten years as a staffer before I got elected to Congress; four years as a Republican staffer on the Children and Family Committee where we held hearings in looking at Head Start on Indian Reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. I went into Appalachia on my own time and spent a week down there and visited a number of Head Start facilities as well as around the country. Then I worked in the Senate for four and a half years for Senator Coates, and we worked with a number of these issues back then. I spent three days at a pre-school retreat in Michigan with folks who did a lot of the research and I know both the pros and cons of this. Not that Head Start is not effective, it is arguably the most effective program we have in the federal government, it is also uneven, some of the results decline over time, which may be a source of the school's problem as opposed to the Head Start problem, but it is something we constantly have to look at. We have to look at whether we are trying to reach five of five kids or whether we want to reach the highest risk kids, one or two, very effectively with all day and much more intensive training. Those are the types of things we look at when we reauthorize a bill, how best to use those dollars, Early Head Start, teachers' salaries; and I am looking forward to hearing your testimony today.

I thank the Chairman for inviting me.

Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Congressman Souder. And again, we really thank you for coming out. You traveled the greatest distance and we very much appreciate your involvement and your very active participation and contributions to the Subcommittee.

What I would like to do at this point in time, ladies and gentlemen is to go right down the panel and introduce each of our witnesses. My introduction will be very brief, but it will talk a little bit about your background or at least the information I have been furnished by my staff, which I assume you have furnished to the Committee staff. Then what we will do is proceed in the same order of introduction, to hear your testimony. I would ask that you try to keep your testimony as brief as possible, but I do not want to cut short anything that you really feel is important to say. Your entire written statements will appear in the record, so they will be published as part of the transcript of today's proceeding, the official record of this Congressional Subcommittee hearing. So I think it is probably more important, if you can, to speak directly from the heart and again, prioritize your thoughts and your recommendations so that we hear again what is most important to you and what is really on your minds and in your hearts, so to speak, with respect to Head Start.

The line up that I have begins with Dr. Linda Brekken. She is the Director of the Hilton/Early Head Start Training Program at the Institute of Human Services at Sonoma State University in nearby Rohnert Park, that is obviously in Sonoma County just over the hill. She has also worked in leadership positions in the areas of services to infants and their families and has a long involvement in early childhood education and real familiarity with Head Start and childcare issues.

Next I have Dee Cuney. Dee is a very good friend of mine, let me stipulate for the record. She is also a part-time child and family studies instructor at Napa Valley College, teaching a course entitled ``Teachers 2000'', how apropos for today's hearing. She served on the California Governor's Advisory Committee for Child Development Programs for 13 years. Do you continue to serve in that capacity, Dee?

Ms. Cuney. No, but I still attend.

Chairman Riggs. You still attend. Thanks for being here.

Next is Ms. Debra Crumpton, she is the Executive Director of the California Head Start Association from Sacramento, California. Thank you so much for being here, Ms. Crumpton.

Ms. Crumpton. Thanks for inviting me.

Chairman Riggs. We have worked very closely with the National Head Start Association and I know that you have probably been back to Washington a time or two in your capacity, and I understand that the National Head Start Association is going to convene again in September?

Ms. Crumpton. That is correct.

Chairman Riggs. And I hope that I or someone associated with our Committee can report very favorably on the progress of the reauthorization bill at that time.

Ms. Crumpton. We look forward to that.

Chairman Riggs. Jackie Dollar is the Director of the Napa-Solano Head Start Program based here in Napa, but also serving Solano County, of which I represent a portion. She is the Director of the Napa-Solano Head Start Program, as I mentioned, and has been in that capacity for 18 years. She has been very active in Head Start, early childhood disabilities and community advocacy issues and is the most recent winner of the Johnson & Johnson 1997 Excellence in Management Award for Head Start. So we are happy to have her here. This is a two-four with respect to Ms. Dollar, we get to hear her testimony on a second occasion because her comments were very helpful back in Washington.

Ms. Jan Farrington is the Principal of McPherson Elementary School here in Napa, it is part of the Napa Valley Unified School District. She has been the Principal of McPherson Elementary for eight years. During this time, she has achieved many things, including a half day state pre-school program. And I might add, Ms. Farrington, one of the things we talked about at some length in McAllen, is this idea of partnerships between Head Start and local schools, and whether that kind of linkage is one of the answers to this problem of fade-out that I talked about.

Mark Kaiser is the Senior Housing Finance Specialist for the Planning and Development Department for the City of Fairfield. Mr. Kaiser has a total of 20 years of community development experience in local government and he is going to talk to us a little bit about a program I got to see first-hand in Fairfield, where a neighborhood Head Start center, part of Ms. Dollar's program, has served as the hub, community hub and the magnet for some revitalization of a formerly blighted and very crime-ridden area. We are very excited to hear more about that program.

And last but certain not least is Ms. Pat -- and Pat, help me with your last name again.

Ms. Thygesen. Thygesen [pronouncing].

Chairman Riggs. Thygesen. I apologize because we have met. She is the Child Program Manager for NCO, North Coast Opportunities, Inc., Head Start program in Ukiah, which is up the road, still in my vast district. She has been the Children Services Program Manager for North Coast Opportunities overseeing field operations of the NCO Head Start program and the NCO Child Development Centers program for seven years. So Pat, thank you for traveling from Ukiah to be with us today.

I think we have covered the bases, why do we not turn back now to Dr. Brekken for her testimony. Doctor, and all the other witnesses, you are going to have to make do with the three mics. I guess we are so important that we each get our own mic, but they are obviously swivel mics, or whatever you call them, so you can quickly just share the mic. And Dr. Brekken, you are recognized and please proceed with your comments.




Dr. Brekken. Thank you. This is a wonderful opportunity to address the Subcommittee and I really want to thank you for all of your support for Head Start.

By way of background, I just wanted to share that I am the Director of a new project that is a public-private partnership between the Head Start Bureau and Conrad Hilton Foundation to provide training for all of the new Early Head Start programs across the country and Migrant Head Start programs around the issues of inclusion of infants and toddlers with disabilities.

Chairman Riggs. Great. You anticipate one of my questions. I was going to ask what the Hilton meant.

Dr. Brekken. Money.

In addition, I have been Director of the T&TA system for Head Start and Early

Head Start for Region 9, which is Arizona, Nevada, California, Hawaii and the Pacific. They are now the Quality Improvement Centers and I am the principal investigator for the Quality Improvement Centers for disability services for that region.

Chairman Riggs. Okay.

Dr. Brekken. I have worked in the area of surveying infants and toddlers and pre-schoolers with disabilities and their families for more than 25 years.

When I spoke with the person who invited me, they asked me to focus on three issues. One was Early Head Start, one was personnel development and the third issue, collaboration. So that is kind of how I focused my input. But before I start, and you all know this, I just wanted to reinforce some of the strengths of Head Start and some of the contextual issues that we are facing right now, just to kind of frame my comments.

I think one of the things that have been absolutely critical about Head Start is they provide comprehensive services. It is not just a preschool program. But we are looking at the needs of families, we are looking at all of the social services needs and health needs. And, I think, that is part of what makes Head Start so successful and as we partner with other programs that are providing other services, Head Start kind of focuses all that and that has been real critical.

Head Start has a major commitment to serving kids with disabilities and they are the largest provider of services nationally to kids with disabilities across the country. And there is a real commitment for support there. And I think, looking at the population that Head Start serves where you are addressing the needs of at-risk kids, it is an absolutely critical piece of Head Start.

Congressman Martinez mentioned the quality assurance issue with the report from the Committee on Quality and Expansion in Head Start, I think that Head Start really has made a real commitment to monitoring, to assuring quality, and to dumping programs that are not doing a good job. So I think that is a struggle right now, but I think that with the new performance standards and monitoring and some teeth, that is an incredible way of evening out some of the unevenness in Head Start.

Then the other piece that I think is unusual when you look across programs is the strong commitment that Head Start has to training technical assistants. And that is part of how we can push quality, not just the monitoring, we are making sure that people are trained to do a good job.

The other big piece of this context is that everything is changing; you know, the shifting sands story. Head Start has grown tremendously, you mentioned doubling in size. There is a lot of stuff going on in Head Start, performance standards are out, Early Head Start is out and it is rapidly expanding. We have a new monitoring system, families are moving from welfare to work, the IDEA regulations are changing so that their partnerships are shifting as well, and I think one of my concerns is when you look at the change process, generally you see a seven to nine year process of being able to take something new and implement it. And it is moving so fast and I am a little concerned that if we make too many changes now on top of the ones that are going on, it is going to cause chaos.

So, Early Head Start, I think this is an incredible opportunity to serve pregnant women, infants and toddlers when it really counts. And when we look at what Head Start has accomplished in being able to, I think a lot of people have said all along, gee, if we had just started earlier, it would have been really nice. So this gives us that opportunity to start at the very beginning. There is all the research on brain development that is reinforcing the importance of these early years.

I do support the need for expansion of these services to these most vulnerable kids in our society, but I also want to balance that with we do not want to expand so quickly that we are not doing a good job. I think as we are doing those expansions, we need to look to ensure that the staff are appropriately trained, looking at the leadership, the monitoring, the quality assurance that needs to go along with that, you do not just put out money and think that it is just going to happen in an hour or so. It takes awhile to get the programs up and running to make sure that people know what they are doing. And I guess just nationally, there is a critical shortage of appropriate early trained folks to deal with infants and toddlers. I think that has been pretty well documented.

You know, it is the same issue when you are serving kids with disabilities with the early intervention system, there is also a critical shortage of folks in infants and toddlers with disabilities. So I think that we have an incredible opportunity, but if we do not do it right, we can do harm to kids, so I think we really need to make sure we are doing it the right way.

Personnel development is absolutely essential to assure that we are doing a good job. I think we need to look at personnel development systems that recognize both personal growth and development through formal course credit degrees and informal systems of individual professional growth plans, mentorship and particularly clinical supervision. I think that is absolutely essential.

Head Start has long provided economical and quality early childhood programs and career ladders. There are a really high percentage of parents who have gone through Head Start that are now professionals in the field of early childhood. So we do not want to wipe out the opportunity to bring people up through that career ladder by requiring a lot of high level degrees. And I have to say we are struggling with our professionalization in the field.

Personnel development assistance must continue to provide entry level positions, ongoing staff development, bringing families who have the interests and skills into the Head Start family as staff members. We need to have the adequate leadership and supervision of staff. Again, it goes back to some of the management training that Jackie went through making sure that folks in those leadership positions applied the support and knowledge to those workers to make sure that the program is headed in the right direction.

Services for children with disabilities and their families. We have the opportunity through the Early Head Start to identify infants and toddlers with disabilities early on and provide preventative intervention. Research has shown that early intervention can prevent the need for expensive specialized programs when children at risk reach school age. And we have learned over the past 25 years that we can provide services and supports that can minimize the impact of a child's disability, support families and we can make a major difference in the lives of these kids and their families. Head Start has a long history of collaboration with early intervention and educational systems to provide what is now called natural environment, the least restrictive environment, where kids are educated with their peers. It is now in law and that really drives our partnership, we need to have both players at the table. So this foundation of collaboration should be supported and expanded.

I talk a lot about partnerships and collaboration and they are absolutely critical to the success of Head Start and Early Head Start, as well as all childhood programs. There are partnerships between Head Start, child care and disability services, school systems, health services, social services, mental health, the private sector. Our new project that is funded jointly by the Hilton Foundation and the Head Start Bureau, the Johnson & Johnson management training, there are lots of wonderful initiatives that are going on to look at those public-private partnerships where we can build that.

One of my passions is trying to promote collaboration and one of the things I was thinking about in terms of reauthorization is that you cannot mandate collaboration, I mean you can certainly put incentives, you can tell people what they ought to do, but it takes two to collaborate. And so I think probably the most important thing is that the collaboration needs to be centered on what are the needs of kids and their families in the communities, in your programs and how are you all going to work together to meet those needs. It takes time to develop collaboration, it does not just happen overnight, it is a process of building those relationships. So we really need to focus on giving people the time to do it, it does not happen overnight.

We cannot require collaboration from one agency only. I guess this is one of my concerns about requiring collaboration. If Head Start is the only player who is mandated to collaborate, you know what will happen to the program.

So in closing, Head Start has shown that we can serve kids and their families who are living in poverty and are at risk and really make a difference. With Early Head Start we can do it even better and even earlier. We have revised performance standards, new monitoring systems, we have Early Head Start, we have a focus on quality, we have T&TA, we need to be able to implement these elements.

So I think you need to stick with your focus on quality and implement the new revised performance standards over the next few years.

Thanks again.

See Appendix C for the Written Statement of Dr. Linda Brekken

Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Dr. Brekken, let me just ask you one quick question. We are going to reserve our questions until every witness has had an opportunity to testify, but you do acknowledge that we do not have local performance standards for local Head Start grantees. Do you think it would be a good idea to develop local performance standards or drive the performance standards down to local grantees so we have more accountability at the local level?

Dr. Brekken. Well, I think I like the national standards for programs and I think that people are taking those national standards and implementing them in their local program. And with the monitoring and quality assurance, people are taking it and living it. My concern is if you push this down at the local level and said you have to develop your own local performance standards, you are going to have a whole bunch of different interpretations and I think it is important to have one set of standards and say this is it, you guys need to do this.

Chairman Riggs. But you do think local grantees should be held accountable for those national performance standards.

Dr. Brekken. Yes.

Chairman Riggs. Okay.

Mr. Martinez. Just let me extend that just a little bit very quickly.

Chairman Riggs. Sure.

Mr. Martinez. Do you think that the national performance standards that are in the law now, that we fostered when we reauthorized the bill exactly for that purpose of increasing quality are working?

Dr. Brekken. I think if people implement them, they will run a good program.

Mr. Martinez. If you did it the other way, from the bottom up, would it not be a possibility that you would establish for yourself less performance standards, especially if you knew that then the agency was going to be able to withdraw your funds because you did not meet those standards? Understand what I said, if you are going to develop standards that you are going to be judged by, with the authority coming from above to take those funds away from you, are you not going to make sure that those performance standards are not so strict that you cannot meet them?

Dr. Brekken. Right.

Mr. Martinez. Thank you.

Chairman Riggs. That is a logical concern.

Ms. Cuney.




Ms. Cuney. Thank you for the opportunity to address you this morning. I wanted to add a couple of things to my background. I have been a licensed family day care provider for almost 27 years in my home and doing a quality preschool program for a very long time. I am also a family day care representative involved with the Advancing Careers Advisory Committee involved with developing the career matrix, and that is an important thing because that is part of career development and child development.

As a private child care facility operator, I do have the following concerns and suggestions:

We all agree that quality environments for all children must be our main goal and our main concern.

Parental choice must be respected and encouraged.

Training beyond the Early Childhood Certificate, the C.D.A. and Children's Center Permit for Teachers and Providers should be available by choice, not by mandate.

The competency-based C.D.A. (Child Development Association) credential should be a springboard to higher education for teachers who choose to further their education.

Incentives for education must be creative, affordable and certainly flexible.

A major concern for private child care would be the out-of-pocket expenses or costs for staff training because we all realize that public programs, their training costs, are covered by the taxpayers' dollar.

We must also remember that mandates often have a very negative impact on programs.

A competency-based preschool curriculum needs to be developed with school readiness as a main goal. I have attached in my testimony what I feel is an appropriate very basic curriculum, which I use, in my preschool program. And what I am titling it is the ``Basic Preschool Readiness Competencies Curriculum'', should be developed by a variety of public and private teachers, providers, higher educators, child development experts, kindergarten teachers and then of course field tested in a variety of settings with young children participating.

In addressing the issue of funding, funding must be available to both private and public non-profit and profit facilities to enhance their programs.

Public and private child care and preschool partnerships must be encouraged like having Head Start be able to place in some of our quality programs that are in the private sector.

Child care/preschool vouchers certainly could be an option and that would allow for true parental choice.

In closing, please remember that full expansion of Head Start will have a major impact on private child care centers, preschools and family day care facilities as we will in fact be competing for clients. Please do not make private child care an endangered species. And I respectfully submit my testimony. Thank you.

See Appendix D for the Written Statement of Ms. Dee Cuney


Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Dee, for your very succinct and provocative comments.

Mr. Martinez. And short.

Chairman Riggs. Yes, succinct and short, yes.

Ms. Cuney. I am experienced.

Chairman Riggs. Yes. You are wearing two buttons on your lapel.

Ms. Cuney. Yes, I am.

Chairman Riggs. Do you want to tell us what those are? I can read one but I cannot read the other.

Ms. Cuney. Vouchers for Day Care/Preschool.

Chairman Riggs. Okay.

Ms. Cuney. And of course that represents parental choice.

Chairman Riggs. Right.

Ms. Cuney. The other, Private Child Care is an Endangered Species. And those of us from private child care really have real concerns about expansion of any preschool program that does not include us because we are out there. I mean in California, there are 40,000 family day care facility operators that would love to take more of those children that qualify for Head Start and share. It is a shame that there are so many children sitting on waiting lists when those of us that run quality programs that are highly educated to care for those children could certainly be accommodating those children in our programs, and we are less expensive. May not offer comprehensive services, but we offer quality and we care about kids too.

Chairman Riggs. I am surprised you say that, for one reason, and that is we are seeing across the country now in all 50 states welfare reform, the Congressionally mandated, bipartisan, welfare reform legislation being implemented, and I would think that private licensed day care providers would be part of the response to the implementation of welfare reform because we substantially increased federal taxpayer funding, for child care as part of the welfare reform legislation, because we recognized that child care concerns are, you know, one of the major obstacles for someone trying to make that very difficult transition from welfare to work. You have not found that to be the case locally?

Ms. Cuney. We do accommodate those children, but we want to make sure we are a fit in that link, and I know that there is competency based requirements for being a Head Start instructor or program, but we feel that there are many of us that certainly can qualify so that those kids are not waiting for a Head Start slot, that they could go into some of our private facilities so those families can continue going to school or going to work. And I have kids in my program that represent that but there is an awful lot of facility operators out there that feel that we are not really part of that link and we need to be part of it.

Chairman Riggs. Okay. Well, we will try to have Ms. Crumpton and certainly Ms. Dollar respond directly to your concerns.

Ms. Cuney. I appreciate that.

Chairman Riggs. Either as part of their formal testimony, or if they want to address other subjects, during our question and answer period following the formal testimony.

Mr. Martinez. Can I tag onto you for just a minute?

Chairman Riggs. Of course.

Mr. Martinez. Something transpired there that jogged a little cog loose in my head. Many of our child care centers, a lot of the private ones, especially those that serve preschool kids, are running programs similar to the Head Start programs that I have seen. The one difference is that so many of these kids in those programs are not that targeted population at risk, they are not a part of that. And right now there is only a waiver for 10 percent deviation from the poverty requirement.

If you have children in your day care center who want to be a part of Head Start, are you willing to say that those children that qualify under the 10 percent waiver that are in your day care, whatever small percentage it may be, because 10 percent is not a lot would be accepted and you would be allowed to partake in the funds of the program?

Ms. Cuney. Sounds wonderful to me.

Mr. Martinez. Pardon?

Ms. Cuney. Sounds very fine to me, to be able to accommodate those kids. We do not want them on waiting lists; the parents cannot participate in their programs.

Mr. Martinez. That is right.

Ms. Cuney. We would like them in our programs too.

Mr. Martinez. I believe instinctively, that because this is a targeted program to the children at greatest risk, basically because of poverty, that we should not, let us say with the funding that is available, reduce that eligibility even more. But then again, if there are kids in that program that are eligible, why should they not be partaking of it? I might hear some difficulty from some people on my side of the aisle who would say that is a crazy idea, but the fact is that if they qualify, then that percentage in that particular area that qualify under the 10 percent waiver and they are in a child care center, they ought to be able to receive Head Start services, because like I say, the private ones that I have been are running their programs very much like the Head Start programs.

Ms. Cuney. Thank you.

Chairman Riggs. Well, you probably have two Republican co-sponsors right here who would love to join with you in doing that. That is a perfect segue to Ms. Crumpton because as she well knows, the National Head Start Association has recommended, I think they formally have gone on record recommending an increase in the 10 percent exemption that Congressman Martinez mentioned and which he authorized in the last reauthorization when he served in my capacity as Chair of the authorizing subcommittee, to 25 percent. I said in McAllen, I think that recommendation has merit but I hasten to point out, I think Congress is going to be leery to do that because Head Start nationally is only currently serving 40 percent of all eligible children.

So it seems to me that part of the solution in trying to stretch that very precious and finite taxpayer dollar is perhaps something along the lines of what Ms. Cuney and Congressman Martinez were just discussing. But we will give Ms. Crumpton an opportunity to elaborate a little bit more on that.

So will you proceed now with you testimony, Ms. Crumpton?

Ms. Crumpton. I will.




Ms. Crumpton. Thank you very much, first of all, for inviting me and I should give you just a little bit of my background, I mean who is this Executive Director who is not a practitioner.

I remember when I was interviewed for this job a year ago, the lady sitting to my left, Jackie Dollar, says to me, ``So, Debra, it seems as though you have come from New York City to a single family, you spent 18 years in the United States Army from a private to a major, you have gone out and started a mortgage company, now you do training and consulting to different companies like Merck and DuPont and Hewlett-Packard, you do training for U.C. Davis. Why exactly would you want to be the Executive Director and more importantly, what qualifies you to be the Executive Director for the California Head Start Association?''

Mr. Martinez. The disciplines.

Ms. Crumpton. So as I thought about all of that, I said well first of all, my commitment is to always give back. You see, I am where I am because several people have taken time like you gentlemen are taking time to say that I have something more inside of me than just simply an opportunity and a need to maybe just sign the bottom line on something. I also see that I can make a difference in someone's life, that I can use my talents, my skills and my experience to lend to their opportunity to live.

And as I said to Jackie Dollar and to the other persons on that selection committee, I think that what I bring to you is what maybe sometimes you practitioners lose in the field, and that is I can rise above some of the weeds that you have to deal with on a daily basis, look at some of the strategies and the vision and the framework that you are creating for yourself and help you to draft really a road map that will lead us into the 21st century without creating any fatalities. While every now and again none of us can really avoid the casualties that we may bump against, what none of us want to do is create any fatalities. And while I think it is criminal that we only serve in California somewhere between 17 and 21 percent of the Head Start population, I understand that balance and I will tell you that I think what I think Congress should be doing is looking for full day funding, full year funding, for all of Head Start nationwide.

Having said that, I appreciate the job that all of you have, which is how do you all provide the framework and the leadership so that people at the local level can look at what their needs are in their communities and continue with that vision and framework and apply prudent leadership, responsive leadership here in the field.

On behalf of all the 80,000 families that I represent here in the state of California and all of the employees who work for Head Start, what I want to implore all of the Congress to do is to not restrict the local design of the programs, to recognize that the leadership that you sense in Washington, D.C., that that same sense of commitment that you all have for children and families and for communities is actually the exact same type of compassion and commitment that there is here in the field.

We can look at Congress or the military or education or any kind of institution, for that matter, and we can always find the weak links. We can always find examples that are not working, but all of us, I think nationwide, are committed to quality.

As I came into Head Start a year ago, one thing I realized I did not have was the perspective of the practitioners. I did not even know what this comprehensive stuff meant. I mean someone sat next to me once and said Debra, do you feed children, do you like give them shots and babysitting, what is all that. So I recognized that what I needed to do was I needed to go out into the field and start from Ukiah all the way to San Diego and all the points in between to visit programs, to talk to parents, to talk to children, to get into the playgrounds and find out what is this thing called Head Start. And I am sure that you gentlemen know even better than I from your perspective that it is more than an educational program.

But what I think Head Start does more than any other program is that they really inspire hope and that they give people the opportunity to think about what is possible in their life. They all know about what is probable, they all know that since they have no money, they live in maybe the less desirable areas, that they probably will not succeed, that their children will probably have a tough way to go. But the parents and the children I have met, through their involvement with Head Start, and with the practitioners like Dr. Brekken, the child care providers, the Jackie Dollars, through their involvement with those persons and their empowerment, their sense of getting skills and competencies that they did not ordinarily have, they see really that they too can fit into the American dream. So I see possibilities.

Now I am speaking from not what I have read but what I have lived. And as I come back from the South Bronx, which is where I have been for the past three days on vacation going home, I recognize just really what a wasteland we have created in our nation and how programs like Head Start really should be held up and we should be looking for where do we get more dollars, quite honestly.

I would like to suggest that I think there are three things that the Congress should be doing through this reauthorization. One is to be looking at the framework of leadership. And as you look at that framework of leadership, to really look at what is the vision that we hold for all children in this nation and then look at how is it that we empower, and what I mean by empower is how do we give the resources, both in terms of professional development, in terms of dollars and cents, in terms of guidelines that allow people to really develop the programs that are most responsive in their communities. So I think framework is the most important thing that Congress should be looking at right now, what is the framework really for Head Start and for all of our early childhood development programs, what is really the philosophy.

As I look at the kind of prescriptive kinds of things that we are hearing coming out of Washington, D.C., I would suggest, for example, if we want children to recognize a certain number of letters and if we want children and parents to do certain things, I would suggest that there is a lack of confidence in the leadership in the field and that the leadership in the field cannot really figure out what it is that that community needs. We know from Head Start's 33-year history that where the rubber meets the road is really where ground zero is. Those people who work with families every day and are committed really to those families and children, really are the ones that can put the meat to the framework.

The other thing that I would suggest you do is to look at the gaps and maybe some of the barriers that exist in the existing legislation. Congressmen, if the folks in Congress had to run every single year for re-election, absolutely nothing would be done. You would spend all of your time trying to posture and position yourself to win the next race.

Chairman Riggs. There are lots of people that think we ought to do that right now anyway.



Ms. Crumpton. I will tell you that is the reality in the Head Start community. In the Head Start community, people spend ungodly amounts of time, energy and efforts getting ready for the next grant application that is due 12 months down the road. What a waste of talent, time and energy. I would say that as you look at the framework, examine the kinds of things that are in place right now and say how do we really make this more unrestrictive so that we can use the talent and the energy as reserved and as scarce as it is in the field, so that we can use that to a fuller amount.

And then I think thirdly, one thing I would say is as you look at this cost/benefit analysis, and we must. I mean, I understand the prudence of spending all dollars, they are my taxpayer dollars as well as they are for everyone in this room. As you look at that cost-benefit analysis, recognize that it really is I think impossible to put a dollar amount on a human being, it is absolutely impossible.

And to answer Dee's comment about childcare partnerships, that is the question that I heard, and how do we better serve children whom might otherwise be completely unserved. I would say that in California, we are doing everything we can to push collaborative partnerships. We have programs here, for example down in San Bernardino, and you know more about Jackie's program, but in San Bernardino I attended a meeting there two weeks ago, we had more than 35 totally unrelated partners around the table to include federal judges, we had private business persons, we had people from the health care community, we had child care providers, we had some people from resource and referral, all looking at how do we get a downtown child care center that really is not only providing services for children, but providing self-sufficiency services and good parenting skills for parents. So we are doing all of those kinds of things. I think that what would help us to do that is to look at that framework and to make it as least restrictive as possible.

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak on behalf of California Head Start Association.

See Appendix E for the Written Statement of Ms. Debra J. Crumpton


Chairman Riggs. Ms. Crumpton, thank you very much. Let me just make sure I understand one of the most important points I think you are trying to make, and I am paraphrasing now, but I think you just told us that Head Start is capable of policing its own.

Ms. Crumpton. I think that is true. I know that is true.

Chairman Riggs. Congressman Martinez mentioned the hundred or so, that is actually a bigger figure than I had, I had a figure of more than 80 Head Start programs that have lost funding or left the program in the past five years. Do you have any idea how many of those programs would be in California?

Ms. Crumpton. No, I do not.

Chairman Riggs. Ms. Dollar.

Mr. Martinez. I have just one thing.

Chairman Riggs. Yes, go ahead.

Mr. Martinez. On the last statement you made about collaborative partnerships. Is there anything in the law now that restricts any kind of collaboration?

Ms. Crumpton. In the federal law? No.

Mr. Martinez. Yes, in the federal law.

Ms. Crumpton. No.

Mr. Martinez. No, there is not.

Ms. Crumpton. No, there is not.

Mr. Martinez. Most of the programs that I have seen and visited provide services in collaboration with a varied number of different entities in order to provide better services to Head Start.

Ms. Crumpton. Well, Congressman Martinez, the mandate that is in the field for everyone is that parents need full day, year round services.

Mr. Martinez. The way they are going to accomplish that is not by federal dollars but with collaborative efforts with other private entities.

Ms. Crumpton. That is exactly right. And so everyone, to include Head Start, is looking at how do we meet this evolving need and who else in our community is there so that we can look to partner with in whatever kind of way we need to partner with that person. So we are doing all of that now.

Mr. Martinez. Thank you.

Chairman Riggs. Very good, absolutely. Ms. Dollar.



Ms. Dollar. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify again.

Before I start on my point, I would really like to touch on three issues that were brought up so far. First, were performance standards. And there seems to be this confusion about performance standards, and if I can try to provide some level of clarity. The performance standards are national performance standards that attempt to provide standardization for Head Start performance across the country. We are very much against individual performance standards that would allow state to state or community to community the development of local standards. We want something that standardizes Head Start. So the national standards give us those. They are nationally developed, but developed with the input of Head Start directors and practitioners and researchers throughout the country. And we very much want those to stand.

Chairman Riggs. Jackie, can I just interrupt though for a moment, because I am really glad you are focusing on that to give us more clarity, I want to make sure I am under the correct impression. Is the Department of Health and Human Services not in the process of developing local performance standards?

Ms. Dollar. No. Those are performance measures. The performance standards are nationally set; those have just been revised and were put into place starting January 1, 1997, the performance standards.

Chairman Riggs. And those apply at the national and regional level.

Ms. Dollar. That applies to every local program. My program here in Napa-Solano is held to the national standards. We have no choice. I mean it is not something you can adopt or not, you are held to those standards. And every program must respond to the performance standards with an integrated work plan that describes how your local program will adopt and put into place within the local program. So you need some level of flexibility in order to describe the strategies that will be used to meet the local needs. And that is what we are monitored on, we are monitored upon the national standards.

What the national office is working on right now is called performance measures. The performance measures take the performance standards one step further. The performance standards describe activities that you must do. The performance measures then analyze the outcomes of those activities. So the standards say you must have five home visits, I am paraphrasing, a year from a family advocate. Well, you can have five home visits but what is the outcome of those home visits, what is the change in child behavior or family behavior, family structure as a result of that activity. And that is the difference between the performance standards and the performance measures.

What we want to be careful about is the development of performance measures that are outcomes that we can reasonably be held accountable for. We need to make sure that they are reasonable. That is the difference between the standards.

Over and above performance standards, there are many levels of standards that Head Start programs commit themselves to. Most Head Start programs meet the NEEYC accreditation standards and we become accredited through a national process. All of my centers in Napa and Solano are nationally accredited through the NEEYC process and we try to be a role model in our community to encourage private for-profit and other centers to also become accredited so that as a profession we have a standard that we are all aspiring to. And that is the purpose of the performance standards.

There are other programs in our counties that use the Head Start standards as their standards for performance.

Mr. Martinez. Ms. Dollar, might I interrupt Mr. Chairman?

Chairman Riggs. I think Congressman Souder wanted to interrupt first.

Mr. Souder. I am still slightly confused because it sounds fine in the abstract that there are standards and there are measures. And I assume failure of the standard is how a place can lose its grant.

Ms. Dollar. Exactly.

Mr. Souder. I assume that part of the reason that performance measures are being developed is because people had concerns that they were losing their grant but they did not understand whether they were being held accountable.

Ms. Dollar. I do not think the performance measures…

Mr. Souder. Why are the measures being added, and precisely what would be a place where a standard was unclear and therefore you needed a measure.

Ms. Dollar. Sure. Performance measures are not an answer to or a clean up of performance standards. The performance standards and performance measures will stand completely separate from each other.

Mr. Souder. Then why are they being developed?

Ms. Dollar. The performance standards describe the activities that occur, we have always called them the Bible of our Head Start, it describes the activities that we must all perform to be a Head Start program. It is what defines us as a Head Start program. It is all that we aspire to be and describes an activity level. Just as an example, every program must ensure that a family advocate makes five home visits a year. You can have a good program that makes five home visits a year, you can have a poor program that makes five home visits a year. It is the content of what happened as a result of that relationship that gets developed between a family and a family advocate that describes an outcome. The performance measures are another level of outcome-based evaluation. Yes, your program has met the criteria of five home visits. Now the performance measure is going to tell us as a result of those five home visits what change in family, what change in parent behavior, what change in child behavior occurred as a result of those five home visits prescribed by the performance standards. It is another level of accountability.

I have been in early childhood education for 27 years, 18 of them in Head Start. Head Start is the most accountable education program I have ever been involved with and I was a school teacher before that in the L.A. Unified School District. We are held to incredibly high standards of accountability and the processes of documentation and accountability are incredibly high. We have a program information report that is sent to Congress every June that describes all of the activity quantitative-based information that Head Start participates in throughout the year. It is still not measurable in terms of outcome.

I am very, very much in support of performance measures. I just want to make sure that they are reasonable measures that we can be held accountable to.

Chairman Riggs. Congressman Martinez wants to make a comment. Let me just tell our witnesses that this is probably not going to come as welcome news, we have some additional national performance standards in mind and Denzel is going to furnish those to me so I can pose those standards to you today and get your reaction, as well as some additional measures that would supplement the performance measures that would supplement what HHS and the Head Start office are in the process of developing. I felt compelled before we go any further to tell you that, since I think you were perhaps coming from opposite ends on this issue.

Congressman Martinez.

Mr. Martinez. Yes, I want to make something very clear or at least get clear in my mind. When we are talking about performance measures, you are talking about something that is established on the local level for them to demonstrate an outcome for their activities.

Ms. Dollar. At this point, there are no national performance measures. There is a basic project that is happening at the national level trying to work out the research on it. Many local programs are developing their own performance measures, ways in which we respond back to the community, to our policy council, to our boards of directors to show here is how the community changed, here is how families changed, here is how children changed as a result of their Head Start experience. Those are performance measures.

Mr. Martinez. Let me tell you, since I was the author of the legislation that called for performance standards, I should explain that the reason I did that was because I wanted accountability, because the biggest criticism of the Head Start program is there was no accountability. So we decided to put accountability in it through those performance standards.

And what we did is we wrote the law in such a way that the Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary, would convene a panel of practitioners to provide that input, to create those standards that were reasonable. Now there is nothing wrong with that kind of a process, but to just arbitrarily state in the law some things that we believe are performance measures that will then dictate more control from Washington, that is micro-managing and that is the thing we were trying to stay away from when we enacted the 1994 reauthorization. We wanted accountability, and there is a way to achieve that, and that is through performance standards. But we did not want to micro-manage the programs. That law was passed some time ago, and the performance standards are just now coming into realization through regulations because of the process we put in place of convening the panel that would then determine those standards.

You know, we want to be very careful as we try to define what we are doing on a local level and how well we are doing it. Such efforts should not become a hammer for somebody from the federal level to make determinations that they are not in the best interest of the local community to make.

Ms. Dollar. Right. Performance standards are not new. We have had performance standards since 1965, there has always been a set of performance standards, and this is not something that has happened just recently in Head Start. We simply have the newest revision. They have been revised about every six or seven years in Head Start, so it is the revised performance standards.

My recommendation as a practitioner in the field, I would like to see performance measures, I would like to see recommendations at the national level, I would like to see local implementation of performance measures because performance measures have to be based on the needs of the local community. I do not think performance measures can be nationally dictated, but I think there can be guidance provided for us to develop local performance measures based on the way the local program delivers services. Every Head Start program delivers their services in a different way, some are home-based, some are center-based, some are locally designed options, some are combination models, some are child care options, some are infant models, some are toddler models. There is never going to be a performance measures document in my lifetime that will ever meet the wide array of service delivery options that Head Start has.

Mr. Martinez. The key word was recommendation.

Ms. Dollar. Recommendation. The standards are not recommendations, the standards we are held to and monitored by each year. The standards are not recommended practices, we are held to the standards.

Mr. Martinez. I wanted to make that clear, thank you.

Ms. Dollar. I wanted also just to speak to Dee's issues around child care and I also just wanted to provide some clarification so that everyone understands, Head Start is not funded to provide child care. We receive not one penny of federal dollars to provide child care. Head Start is funded to provide a half day comprehensive family development program, a portion of which is preschool. If we choose to collaborate to provide child care, that must come from another source of funding through collaboration and that is mandated in all expansion RFPs. We cannot use our Head Start dollars to provide full day, full year services.

The overwhelming majority of federal dollars that go into child care in this country are parental choice dollars that are funded through the state departments of education and through the resource and referral agencies. Head Start does not have any dollars for child care.

We have just finished opening up four full day, full year centers. Those are funded half with Head Start dollars and half e with the collaboration that we have set up through the resource and referral agency of the community. My program must compete with Dee Cuney's Family Child Care Home, with the private La Petite Academy. We compete for those childcare dollars openly on the market; we are not funded and receive no subsidized dollars for childcare.

Chairman Riggs. But Jackie, may I interrupt?

Ms. Dollar. There seems to be this confusion about that.

Chairman Riggs. May I interrupt though to ask, or just to kind of qualify what you just said because I understand, and I do not know if Ms. Crumpton has a different opinion, but I understand there are local Head Start programs in this country that are now receiving federal taxpayer funding under the welfare reform law. This is the federal child care block grant funding. I am looking at a program near where I live back east in Fairfax County that serves 150 children, this is right out of Congressional Quarterly, and it says ``The county [referring to Fairfax County] has been able to use other funds including increased federal child care money under the welfare law to deliver Head Start services to low income children in several non-profit day care centers.''

Ms. Dollar. They could very well be partnering and using those dollars to provide child care. Those are not Head Start dollars, those are dollars that have come from the welfare to work program and Head Start is partnering with a Head Start agency to provide that service. If our local Health and Human Service agency, our director, came and said we would like to work with your Head Start facilities to provide child care for welfare to work participants, they could fund a portion of our centers that are not funded for child care and we could provide then a seamless set of child care for the day. Those are not Head Start dollars, those are dollars coming from another source.

Chairman Riggs. That seems to be the direction we want to go when you talk about full day, full year or year round services.

Ms. Dollar. It is the only direction we can go because Congress has mandated, the RFPs mandate that all child care that comes through Head Start must be in partnership with another entity. In our community, we are not being funded directly from Health and Human Services. We are competing, along with everyone else in the community through the R&R with alternative payment dollars. Is it difficult? Yes, it is extremely difficult because we have lots of competing priorities and regulations. We have state regulations, federal regulations, the local child care resource and referral agencies regulations and it is very difficult to do this. It would be much simpler if we were funded directly to provide childcare. I think that has been the overwhelming cry of Congress though, not to provide funding to Head Start directly to become the national child care system. And that is not happening.

Mr. Souder. I cannot remember if it was in 1986 or 1987 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn that they were in a community building that the Head Start was through the community action agency, but they had the child care facility in one portion run by Catholic social services, they had psychological services and counseling funded by another HHS program and the Head Start program in the other part of the building. It was largely an immigrant community really switched over to a lot of Puerto Rican and to some degree recent Mexican immigrants and they were providing the combination of the Catholic social services and the community action agency. And I do not believe that is really unusual.

Ms. Dollar. No, not unusual at all. Half of those funds come from Head Start, half come from another source.

We have vendored with private preschools in Calistoga to purchase Head Start slots within a facility in Calistoga because we simply did not have a Head Start facility there. We just opened a full day, full year center in Vallejo, California, which is a very, very challenged area and our collaboration is with the County of Solano, the City of Vallejo and Head Start. A third each of those funds are funding full day, full year Head Start community childcare centers. Head Start funds a portion of it.

Mr. Souder. Sometimes that leads to conflicts because as Mr. Martinez said, but I agree with his distinction that you can have kids mixed in who are eligible to go over to the Head Start program at the child care facility and others at the margin who cannot. And therefore, some of the parents are not real happy about this procedure, but in fact you either have the guidelines or you do not have the guidelines.

Ms. Dollar. The income eligibility guidelines are clashing across communities right now because the eligibility for dollars that come through other sources are much higher than Head Start eligibility. Head Start income eligibility is the lowest of any social service program, so we can have a partnership with another funding source and their parents can come in at $20,000 a year. We cannot accept anyone who makes more than $14,000 a year. So families who have the voucher, the parental choice voucher are not income eligible for Head Start. And I think that speaks to another of the child care issues. Head Start is not even meeting 40 percent of the income eligible children and families in this nation. There are 60 percent of families who are above the income level who need child care.

Chairman Riggs. What is the figure in the Napa-Solano?

Ms. Dollar. Napa-Solano, we are only serving about 20 percent of the income eligible families. Now you have another full umbrella of families who are fee-paying families who need child care.

I do not see that we are competing with fee-paying parents because the parents who are eligible for Head Start would never be able to afford the child care of a Dee Cuney Family ChildCare facility. In many respects, we are not competing at all for the same market of families who are eligible. We are not even beginning to meet the child care needs of the community as it is with the services we have available.

I wanted to speak also to the issue of waiting lists. We have tremendous waiting lists in Napa and Solano for our centers. The reason we have waiting lists is because there is no funding to provide slots for those children. What we do is we try to give information to families on our waiting list of all the other resources there are for them in the community. If somehow they can find dollars to go into a fee-paying setting, we try to forward them on to any other subsidized kinds of childcare. If there was funding to fund the waiting list for Head Start, there would not be a waiting list. So I am not quite sure of the discussion around how we would provide a conduit for these children on waiting lists to go into fee-paying centers. I mean the vouchers just are not there. The vouchers are not meeting the need of families in the communities at this point.

So I did not get to my formal testimony but I think what I would like to do is defer to other people on the panel. I have had the opportunity to present my formal testimony in Washington, and maybe I will hold that for time so we can get to other questions and discussion if there is time.

Chairman Riggs. I appreciate that. You can probably tell from just the limited interaction we have had so far that the give and take portion of the proceedings are probably more valuable.

Ms. Dollar. And I would like to hope that we can get to some level of specificity and clarity because I think reauthorization is moving ahead so quickly now that we need to stop speaking at a philosophical level and really start to deal with the details.

Chairman Riggs. Fair enough. I intend, when we get through the testimony to pose some very, very specific questions that will speak directly to particular elements within the proposed reauthorization, the bill that we are going to introduce in the very near future.

See Appendix F for the Written Statement of Ms. Jackie Dollar


Ms. Farrington.



Ms. Farrington. When Dr. Roe, my Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for Napa Valley called me and asked me to testify on Head Start, I thought why would the Congressional Committee be having a hearing on what I perceive is probably the most beneficial and successful program use of tax dollars. And then she said no, more specifically, as an elementary principal, we were interested in the transition activities from preschool to the elementary school. So I thought, okay, that is a little more my expertise, because to touch on something that the previous speakers mentioned, my school takes in approximately 100 kindergartners each year. Out of those 100 kindergartners, we get 11 or 12 from Head Start and as you know from the information that I gave about the school, we are a very low wealth school and so of those 100 students, 75 percent of them are low income. The 11 that come from Head Start do not get the others that do not come from Head Start are not getting services. That was one of the reasons that we were forced to apply for a state preschool program to serve an additional number of students. So even with the collaborative effort that we have with state preschool and Head Start, we still have a good 25 to 30 percent of the students who are not being served by a preschool program or by a family that is able to give them the experiences.

So the figures that you were asking about earlier, I have got 100 students and I have divided those students into 11, 22 and then the rest are going unserved. So that gives you an idea of the tremendous need for the preschool services.

Now what happens to the students who come to the formal school, who are unprepared? Let us just deal with the students who come from Head Start. They do come with the readiness activities that we expect, not to the degree of some of the other students of course, but if they had not had those preschool experiences, Head Start experiences, they would be tremendously handicapped as far as being prepared to come to school.

When I look at what happens to the students after they leave kindergarten and as they progress through the primary grades, I do not have statistics as to which students are able to sustain the benefits that they have received from preschool, but I do know that part of the transition activities that we need to improve on are working with the families because what happens in the six hours of schooling, we can control at the school level. What happens when they leave the school, do they spend their time in homework, do they have a quality time in the home after they leave school that would lead to the continued success in school. We have no control over that. The only way we could do that is by sustaining a more collaborative relationship with the families that is already begun in Head Start. So I see that as a big piece where the Head Start folks and the elementary schools could work together because the Head Start has already begun that collaborative relationship with the families. So that is something that we at the school level could improve upon.

The only other issue that I wanted to address as far as the preschool, especially Head Start, curriculum or philosophy is language and we find that the language that the student brings to the school is not a handicap as long as the cognitive and conceptual parts of life, of language are built in and are developed. Because once we get to the school, we can continue to develop the language, but if we have to fill up that cognitive part of the brain whether or not it is in English or Spanish or any other language, that is what takes the time. So we appreciate any kind of academic experience, language experience, learning about colors, worldly things that can be done in any language and we will deal with the transfer at the elementary school level throughout the grades. The child just needs to have time and that is what we seem to not want to give them, is the time to continue their growth and development in English or whatever language they bring from home. But we feel that home language is extremely important and does not affect their success in school as long as they have the cognitive.

See Appendix G for the Written Statement of Ms. Jan Farrington


Chairman Riggs. Ms. Farrington, thank you. Of the 11 Head Start children who entered your elementary school in kindergarten, were all 11 with limited English proficiencies?

Ms. Farrington. I think eight were limited English and two were not limited English.

Chairman Riggs. And their native language would be?

Ms. Farrington. Spanish.

Chairman Riggs. Okay, thank you. We will hold other questions until later.

Mr. Kaiser.





Mr. Kaiser. As a non-practitioner up here, I stand outside the debate on most of the issues covered so far on the panel.

Chairman Riggs. You are a practitioner in a sense.

Mr. Kaiser. Well, happily I think in this sense, not in this particular case, these are fairly deep issues. I am pleased to hear them covered as well as they are.

The purpose of my testimony is to illustrate collaboration between the program that I work with and the Napa-Solano Head Start. We have a program in Fairfield that is about three years old now called the Quality Neighborhood Program and it has a team of five persons, and I wanted to again go into a little bit of detail, without belaboring the point, about the partnership that we developed I think rather quickly that directly benefits Head Start clients as well as the neighborhood where the center is located.

I did not realize we were going to touch on professional development, but I did want to correct an oversight in my written testimony. I think I would be remiss if I did not compliment Jackie Dollar and Barbara Striek and the other Head Start staff for the professionalism and dedication they demonstrated throughout our contacts with them. Every single one of the staff people we have dealt with at Head Start has been an absolute delight to work with. I say this partly to embarrass Jackie but also for the record.

As you would note in the written testimony, the area we are working with is called Fillmore, not to be confused with San Francisco, this is a one-block enclave of four-plexes built in the early 1960s and over the 30 years or so of its life it had gotten pretty rundown and neglected.

We began to work on that neighborhood, I forget exactly how the information came to us, but we were aware that Head Start was looking for a site for a new center. So one of our team members contacted Jackie to see if their plans might include or could serve Fillmore. And it was their idea to convert one of the four-plexes on this street into the center, rather than trying to go into commercial space or build something from scratch. And so we identified a building at the end of the street that was largely vacant and that had a vacant lot next to it which we thought would be pretty well suited as a play area, if we were able to make everything come together.

So our next step was to convince the owner to let Head Start rip out two of his apartments and completely remodel the downstairs space and then negotiate lease terms that he could live with and that Head Start could afford. So we were able to do that, it was not easy, but a home visit with our tenant services coordinator, who I will talk about a little bit more later, persuaded him and his wife that this was being done for the benefit of the children and it was a good thing to do.

After some other delays with a separate property owner, we finally got cooperation from the owner of the parking lot next to it, to lease that area to the city. We lease it for a dollar a year and we used that for conversion to the play area for the center to meet the requirements of the grant.

Head Start's improvements, again, in addition to the remodeling the downstairs of the four-plex, resulted in putting up a partition or dividing wall in the parking lot so we take the equivalent of about 10 parking spaces for that one dollar a year. We used CDBG funds to buy the playground equipment and then volunteers from the neighborhood as well as city staff spent a Saturday, a rather chilly one at that, installing the play area.

We used our local city funds to paint the exterior of the building, install a new driveway, do new front landscaping, irrigation system for this as well as all the other 16 buildings on the street, so this building does not stand out, it fits in. Other than the sign, it looks just like all the others on the street.

Other elements of our program, I will touch on this for just a minute. We do provide rehab loans for the others who do not have the funds to bring their properties up to code, because we do have a mandatory inspection program as part of our activities. We provide low-interest loans that are structured in such a way that they can meet all the financial obligations. They may require that the loans be deferred, due on sale and so forth, and that was the case with the owner of this particular building. In addition to the involvement of Head Start, he had repairs he had to make to the upstairs units that are rented to tenants.

We also have non-financial assistance and activities that take many forms, not the least of which was a temporary operating center that we opened in a vacant apartment in another building. This temporary operating center was used by the Police Department as sort of like a substation for a period of months to establish a community police presence, to provide a focal point for establishing in the neighborhood that something was happening and things were about to happen as well. This allowed us to get involved with the tenants and convey information about problems to the property owners and property managers for them to take appropriate actions as well. So that was one of the different elements of our program.

With regard to the other partners, since we are talking about collaboration, the property owners are not here obviously this morning but they took on new debt, they agreed to new expenses on an ongoing basis, they all were able to come to agreement on a single lease agreement and one set of house rules for all the properties and for many, turned over the day-to-day management of their properties to a qualified property manager for the first time ever.

And all of this was essentially an act of faith on their part because at that point, the rents were still very low, they were below market and they were looking at a very high vacancy factor, probably around 25 percent overall for the street.

The improvements that we promised to put in, again I mentioned the driveways and the landscaping and so forth, were still just a promise, they had not occurred at that point that they bought into the program. And they need to be mentioned for that.

Touching on the program itself for just a minute, I am convinced that the whole undertaking has worked for Head Start and their clients because of the way we focused our resources through this Quality Neighborhood Program. Our strategy for tenant involvement relied very heavily on Head Start's credibility with their clients. It would not have happened nearly as fast or as well had they not been involved.

And in addition to property owners, I do not want to overlook the tenants and speak to their role in this and the things that are done to try and support them. We hold regular tenant meetings, meetings at the Head Start Center, by their good graces. We have the tenant meetings address topics that are of interest to the tenants, we touch on services, upcoming events, information in general that is helpful to them and that they need to have for their daily lives.

I mentioned our tenant services coordinator a minute ago. She has translated the lease agreement into Spanish as well as the house rules and developed service request forms that are in Spanish so they can report problems with their units more quickly before they become big problems for the landlords and for the property management company.

One of the other things we have done as part of the program is use some block grant funds to establish a micro-enterprise and a micro-loan program for the residents of Fillmore as well as a couple of other neighborhoods that we are working in. So several of them have gone through the training, developed the business plan, completed the curriculum and received a micro-loan to start their own business.

I would say the long-term success of our program depends on the tenants assuming a sense of ownership for the neighborhood that they live in and taking more responsibility for the quality of life there. And I feel that Head Start has been and will continue to be a very important part of that human investment that we are making for Fillmore as well as other neighborhoods that we have gone to work with.

With the comprehensive assistance that is provided to families, it is an ongoing support system for them, they interact with non-Head Start families. I think we heard the number that were not able to be served at this point, and make them feel more like stakeholders as well. And so we have seen that crossover effect.

In terms of lessons learned, among the things that we stress when we are asked about our program, because we have been contacted by a lot of cities, is that the program has to be well balanced between our enforcement activities to get the property owners to the table as well as the incentives to make it fair because we want to be full partners and we think we have been. But also all the known constituencies have to be fully involved and positively involved for the program to work, especially for it to work long term. This goes for city staff who I think, if they are not assigned full time like I am, this thing will not work, it will not get the priority that it needs to be successful. I think the tenants have to feel that the programs are happening with them and not to them. We go to great lengths to try and make that the case, due in large part to Head Start's involvement, because getting the tenants' trust is not easy. A number of the tenants are non-documented, we know that, so it requires that a range of meaningful services be provided by non-threatening but reputable service providers, which we have at the table. We can require that the buildings be fixed, we can make the loans, but the tenants need more than upgraded apartments really if they are going to improve their lives and so that is a big part of what we are doing in the neighborhood.

I would just add that the Napa-Solano Head Start has repeatedly been there when needed to support our program. I have a case in point that I will not go into detail on here, but I think in conclusion, I think the question of whether the program works, our Quality Neighborhood Program is what I am referring to at the moment, I think that has been answered over the last three years of our activities. We have completed the Fillmore neighborhood, it is in a maintenance mode at this point and we are continuing in our efforts in a second neighborhood that was already served by Head Start. We were smart enough to pick one that had a Head Start center the second time.

The question of whether our program can be replicated is certainly being answered in Citrus Heights and Concord and several other cities around the state. Those cities are in various stages of adapting this Quality Neighborhood Program to their particular circumstances and actually Concord is trying to steal our property management firm from us. We will have to call them back about that.

On another question, hopefully the question of whether Head Start made a difference in our program has also been demonstrated in my feeble attempts. But I can think of no better partner for reclaiming a neighborhood frankly and making it a place where people live by choice and where their lives improve, than Head Start.

Actually if I can digress for just a minute and touch on some of the things that have been covered here and the long term effects of Head Start for individuals and on a group level. The person who should probably be sitting here and speaking to you right now is sitting in our office in Fairfield, her name is Maria Iniguez and she is our tenant services coordinator. She grew up on Fillmore Street and she did not learn to speak English until she started the Head Start program. She went on, got her degree at U.C. Davis, came back to us as an intern in our department and one thing led to another and she is just a real treasure. Without Head Start, I am not sure she would have made it that far.

Thanks for the opportunity to relate our experience with this and the availability of the program. It has been terrific. I will just end by saying that the outcomes here in Fairfield would not have been nearly as rewarding without Jackie and Barbara and the Head Start program.

See Appendix H for the Written Statement of Mr. Mark Kaiser


Chairman Riggs. Mr. Kaiser, thank you very much. Are the families and children using the Fillmore Head Start center, are they all residents of that immediate neighborhood?

Mr. Kaiser. Jackie can speak to the specific numbers much better than I can on that, I know a percentage are but I do not know what the percentage is because this is a one block street with 64 units and so the center is going to cover a circle, how large the circle is…

Chairman Riggs. Jackie, maybe you can tell us what percentage then.

Ms. Dollar. The first year we opened, we had 100 percent of Fillmore residents. Because Head Start only serves children to the age of 4, as those children obviously grow up and go into the schools, we can serve the younger siblings. So we probably at this point serve about 60 percent actual neighborhood residents and we pull from just the surrounding area. Now the interesting thing about Fillmore is there is less turnover, so as you have less turnover and those children graduate from Head Start, they stay as their children are in the public schools in the area, so unless there are younger siblings, it will be interesting to see what the demographics of that neighborhood look like over time. But probably within about a two-block area around there, it is a very dense area.

Chairman Riggs. Are you or Mr. Kaiser aware of any other place in the country where a Head Start program and a Head Start center has been so key, so vital to the revitalization or the rehabilitation of a community?

Ms. Dollar. We have another center right here in Napa, which is a low income housing project and that project, we started with the housing association to build the Head Start center as the hub and it is actually built in a circle and Head Start sits in the center.

Chairman Riggs. I have been to that one too.

Ms. Dollar. Yes, I think we have taken you there on a visit before.

Chairman Riggs. Yes.

Ms. Dollar. And all of the tenant services operate out of that Head Start center, that is where the manager's office is, that is where the laundromat is, that is where all the tenant meetings are, that is where all the ESO classes are held. So we have two examples of that right here.

We also have another center over on Sunset Creek Avenue in Fairfield off of Travis Boulevard, that we went in as a child development center in the middle of a low-income housing project and we are the hub of activity. We have after school classes there, computer classes for school age children. Our center is used after school by the local after school program that provides activities, computer training activities for school age kids.

Mr. Kaiser. I would add with regard to Sunset Creek, again we learned a little bit from our experience and that was a new construction project and so the center was bought into the facility from day one. So we did not have to go in to reclaim a building, it was done right to begin with.

Chairman Riggs. Very good.

Ms. Dollar. I think these are real strong examples of the fact that Head Start is not a preschool program. Head Start is a comprehensive family support program that goes in to change the complexion and the makeup of the low-income community. And I think that is a really important concept that cannot get lost in reauthorization. Childcare is a portion of what we do, preschool is a portion of what we do, and we do health, social services, and mental health. Community advocacy is what we should be receiving the strongest support to do.

Chairman Riggs. Yes and there are pretty good examples of what you can do through community partnerships where you have willing, interested collaborative partners who bring other resources to the table.

Ms. Dollar. You know, I think it is so important to always say that a job and childcare does not create a healthy family. We need to make sure that those comprehensive support systems are in place so that families can keep moving through their life structures once they leave Head Start.

Chairman Riggs. Congressman Martinez.

Mr. Martinez. I just wanted to say amen to the last statement that Jackie made just before the last statement. Head Start is not an education program. It is a comprehensive services program to bring families together and promote family welfare and unity.

Chairman Riggs. Ms. Thygesen, will you bear with us? It is now exactly 11:00 and I had intended to declare a short recess at 11:00 for personal necessity. So what we will do, we will take a five-minute recess, reconvene in five minutes, go directly obviously to your testimony and then upon the conclusion of your testimony, we will have I think ample time for questions and answers and more interaction between you and us the witnesses.

So the Subcommittee will stand in recess for five minutes.



Chairman Riggs. All right, I think we are ready to resume the hearing and I want to thank Ms. Thygesen for waiting so patiently. She is last, but certainly not least.

Ms. Thygesen. Well, thank you, that was a much needed break after my two-hour drive down from Ukiah this morning.

Chairman Riggs. Yes. We have to put those personal human needs first. Please proceed with your testimony.




Ms. Thygesen. I would like to thank you, Chairman Riggs, for convening this hearing and bringing some of your colleagues from the Subcommittee out here. Sometimes we in the west feel like Washington, D. C. is a very long way away, so it is nice to have an opportunity to be able to share comments with all of you.

I wanted to add a little bit of personal background so that you would get a sense of the broad range of experiences that I bring in touching on the issues of Head Start and child care collaboration.

I am and have been for seven years the Children Services Program Manager for North Coast Opportunities, which is a community action agency serving Lake and Mendocino Counties and I oversee both our Head Start program in those two counties and our state funded full day, year round child development center programs. Before I came to NCO, I was Executive Director of a private, non-profit childcare center for 12 years and in that program we served children from infancy through school age. So I have a lot of experience with the child care aspect of the issue. I also am an adjunct faculty member at Mendocino College and teach classes in the administration of preschool programs as well as infant and toddler and preschool child development. So I have a little pulse on the fingertips of practitioners in the two counties where our programs serve and often have the pleasure of having family day care providers able to take some of those classes, because I usually teach at night and that is about the only time they can take classes.

I do want to describe to you the child care collaboration projects that we currently are operating. We have two collocated sites now in Lake County and one in Mendocino County where we have a Head Start program offered side-by-side in the same facility with a child development center classroom. These two programs maintain their separate integrity and separate funding and children access the childcare by being transitioned from the Head Start program and escorted over to the child development center classroom. We are going to open up two more programs with this particular format in the fall in Ukiah.

There are a lot of drawbacks to that particular model, but because of various regulatory restrictions from both the Head Start and the state perspective, that has been the easiest way for us to operate the programs. Unfortunately, it does create some stress of transition for children as they go from one group of children to another, a different group of teachers, different rules and regulations. And ideally we would prefer to be able to offer extended day care right in their Head Start classroom after the Head Start program was over.

I am going to talk about three of the barriers which I see from the federal regulation perspective that prevent us from being able to implement those other models of programming at this point. And one of the most significant ones is an income eligibility guideline for the two programs.

A second area encompasses regulations that affect the age of children who are eligible to participate in Head Start. The group size and staff-to-child ratios of the two programs and also a requirement that the comprehensive services that Head Start offers be also made available to any children in a Head Start classroom where not funded through Head Start.

And then a third area that I would like to address is the lack of suitable facilities.

To talk about the income eligibility disparity, I have an example in my testimony of the difference between Head Start guidelines and the guidelines utilized by California State preschool and general funded child care programs. Head Start, of course, uses the federal poverty guidelines, which are set on a federal level. And in California, with our very high cost of living and significantly higher cost of housing than many other parts of the United States, we find that many truly at risk low-income families are already above the federal guidelines. In the state of California, the figure is used as the 75th percentile of the state median income. And I do hope that one of the possibilities that might be entertained would be to consider some flexibility in using local cost-of-living as one way of approaching the income eligibility issue. Also, Mr. Martinez' idea to exempt a larger percentage of children from the income eligibility guidelines would be another way to address this.

For a family of four for this coming year, they will not be able to make more than $16,450 to be eligible for Head Start and I know for a fact that in several of our communities where there is no other subsidized child development program available, we have already got a stack of applications of families who have been deemed ineligible because of being slightly over that income level.

In comparison, state preschool eligibility for a family of four is $30,604 a year, almost double what the Head Start guidelines are. And with our state funded general child care, we have the flexibility of enrolling families up to $32,000 a year, although beginning at $22,000 annual income, they start to pay a share of costs on a sliding scale, which ranges from one dollar a day to nine dollars a day for their portion of the care.

This income eligibility disparity makes it extremely difficult to develop commingled collaboration projects or to provide child care as a wrap around service in the afternoon, because not all Head Start eligible children will need the afternoon child care, but in order to make the child care work, a program is going to have to have a certain number of children to make it actually be economically feasible to operate the program. It also means that enrolling those children in the morning in the Head Start classroom is not a possibility since they are over the income eligibility guidelines.

In California, I think that we frequently find that the 10 percent set aside which currently exists, goes almost exclusively to children with disabilities as we try to incorporate more of those children into our programs, so the ability to exempt a larger percentage would certainly offer us a little more flexibility in providing a commingled program.

In talking about some of the regulatory barriers that I see in Head Start regulations, one of the key issues is currently the limitation for most programs to serve children through to 5. I think you have to recognize we are in the era of welfare reform. I know in the two counties where I operate programs, children, after three months of age, their parents will not be exempted from work participation. So there is going to be a strong need for those parents to have child care to serve younger siblings in the family. With the current limitation for Head Start to serve only the 3 and 4 year olds, families have to piece together a patchwork of child care that makes it very difficult, particularly if there are transportation issues involved. I think it is important that Head Start allow local grantees to have the flexibility to determine the ages that their programs will serve. With the new performance standards, we have a set of standards that ensure that there is quality of service through children in infancy and toddlerhood, so that we already have a base of quality indicators to operate those programs for younger age children and I think that local grantees need to have the flexibility to be able to make the decisions locally as to what are the needs of the families.

Another issue that comes up for us in trying to blend together Head Start and state funded programs are issues of class size and staff-to-child ratios. The California education code has a requirement that child development programs funded through the state be staffed at a ratio of one to eight children with 24 children maximum in a classroom with a state credentialed preschool teacher. The Head Start requirements also require a state credentialed teacher in the classroom, but the maximum group size is limited to 20 and ranges between 17 and 20. If you do the math for the state ratios, you find that group sizes of 16 or 24 are the most cost effective in order to meet the staffing requirements, but neither of those group sizes coincide with the group sizes set by the Head Start regulations.

I do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I think it is important that we have very high standards about group size and staff-to-child ratios, but there are a number of states like California that have regulations that approximate the Head Start with maybe one or two child differences and fall within the recommendations of the National Association for the Education of Young Children on group size and staff-to-child ratios. I would like to see some flexibility so that programs like ours could have an opportunity to blend Head Start and state funds and still met the requirements that we need to meet.

The third area of regulatory requirement that I would like to address is on blended classrooms where you have more than one funding source funding a program, such as state preschool and general childcare and Head Start. There is a requirement on the part of the Head Start program that all children receive the same services. The reality is that state funding is at significantly lower level than Head Start funding, partly because they do not fund the comprehensive health, disability, family social services and parent involvement services that Head Start does include in its comprehensive services. So this becomes a real challenge. It is hard to bring in a program that has a lower funding base and then find the greater level of services. It also creates some inequities in terms of staff salaries that need to be addressed. So one possible solution would be for Head Start to be allowed to authorize additional funding for providing wrap around comprehensive services to those children who are in Head Start classrooms but being funded by an alternate other than Head Start. And this might have one advantage in that it is very possible it would be a way to extend the number of children receiving Head Start services without actually paying the full costs for Head Start services because we would have the state funding level to supplement it.

And then the final area that I would like to address is the issue of facilities. We heard of some really innovative approaches that Jackie Dollar's program has brought to the issue of facilities for child development programs. In the state of California, we have a real crisis that has been exacerbated by the class size reduction that public school primary grades have experienced over the last few years, and many child development and Head Start programs have actually been bumped out of classes that they have been using at public schools. A lot of Head Start programs are currently operating two and in some places three sessions of Head Start programming a day with the addition of what I heard called a twilight program. This makes it absolutely impossible for Head Start programs to offer extended day services even if they had funding from an alternate partner.

So one of the things that I think Head Start can do is address the issue of making facility funding available for programs who have partners and would like to provide child care services but need additional facilities in order to make that happen. I know that it is going to be a long time before California is able to come up with the money to make that happen.

I also want to address some of the comments that were made by panel members. I appreciate Linda Brekken's caution that we move slowly and not reduce the quality of the Head Start programs that currently exist. But I would like to see that we actually are in a crisis at the moment in this state and probably throughout the nation. Welfare reform is sending millions of young children into childcare, as Linda has so cogently addressed. The quality of much of that care is very low because of inadequate training. So I think that Head Start already has built in an extensive commitment to training and that training could be made available to our partnering organizations so that we can improve the quality of child care that is available community-wide. Certainly collaboratives with family day care, with other child care centers; private for profit centers, all these things can actually benefit the broader community. And I think that it is very important while we have the opportunity to consider some changes in reauthorization, that you really look at making changes that will help families make that transition from welfare to work and be confident that their children will be receiving quality child development services at the same time that they receive the supportive services that they need in making that transition.

Thank you.

See Appendix I for the Written Statement of Ms. Pat Thygesen



Chairman Riggs. Ms. Thygesen, thank you very much for that testimony because you make several key points and I think did a very good job of summarizing much of the testimony that we have heard here today.

I will now recognize my colleagues for the purposes of asking follow-up questions to any or all of our witnesses, but let me preface that by saying that my comments are going to hopefully be rather specific to the reauthorization bill, the draft bill, and let me also say at the outset that I would be happy to share the discussion draft of the reauthorization with anyone who is interested. Certainly there is a large stakeholder community, if I can use that term, with a vital interest in the reauthorization of Head Start, and we want to share that and get opinion and comment and feedback from the field, so to speak. So we will try to make that available to again any or all of you who might be interested in commenting on our proposal.

Let me also stipulate a key point you made, and I am going to quote from this Congressional Weekly article of June 27, in fact, I will include a copy in the record, but this article makes the point that because Head Start requires more stringent training for teachers, a richer educational emphasis, I hope, although I want to discuss that a little bit now, and a wider mix of social services, combining the programs, combining Head Start with normal day care, has had the effect of improving services to low income children in day care who are not formally enrolled in Head Start. That is the contention of this article. Was that one of the points you were making, Ms. Thygesen?

Ms. Thygesen. Yes.

Chairman Riggs. Because I want to make sure I am clear on that.

Ms. Thygesen. Yes.

Chairman Riggs. Okay. Now you also talked about more flexibility in the income standards. That gives me cause for real pause and concern. And I described this dilemma that we are wrestling with now in Texas, as Congressman Martinez will recall, as sort of a Hobson's choice, because as I mentioned to Ms. Crumpton, I want to recognize the formal recommendation of the National Head Start Association and her testimony and the testimony of some of the rest of you that welfare changes have increased the need for flexibility in the program's income standards. So I stipulate to that, okay? You will not get any argument from me to the contrary.

But here is the rub. Head Start is, as you all well know, is aimed at the poorest of the poor, okay, children under 100 percent of the federal poverty line, the national poverty line, which is an annual income today of $16,450 for a family of four. As parents move from welfare to work, move hopefully into jobs that will pay a living wage, and I know that is not always the case. But as people are making or are forced to make that very difficult transition from welfare to work, many times into minimum wage jobs, let us be honest about it, they may lose eligibility for Head Start and I think that argues for the recommendation of the National Association and the recommendation that some of you have made today, because these people are still, if I can use the term, working poor and they are certainly still in need of the kind of services and the continuity that the Head Start program offers.

But here is the problem. National Head Start wants to increase the exemption, as I understand it, to 25 percent of children, up from the 10 percent exemption that Congressman Martinez authored into law, 10 percent exemption from the income rules. But I do not know that has a chance of going anywhere in the Congress and I just want to be up front about it. I think the Clinton administration, I think many in Congress are leery about doing that because we are only serving 40 percent of eligible children at the moment, number one. Number two, because we would like to consider, Congressman Martinez is on record, he has introduced a bill, Senator Coates in terms of the Senate bill, they have both proposed expanding the early start, the Early Head Start set aside from 5 percent to 10 percent and I think Congress has been funding Early Start through annual appropriations. You know, the annual budget bills, at about 7 percent. So even though we have doubled taxpayer funding, $2.2 to $4.4 billion in six years, that dollar still will only go so far.

And I just wanted to, before going very specifically to questions, I just wanted to get that out there on the record so you would know where we are coming from. The funding problem is further compounded by the facilities need. You know, I understand and I stipulate that as well. But I hope, and you can respond to this if you want as we go to you, but I hope you will give us a little bit more, to use Ms. Dollar's term, guidance in terms of prioritizing funding in the context of the reauthorization, given, you know, the facts and hopefully the context that I just gave you.

Now on the question of…

Mr. Souder. May I add one thing?

Chairman Riggs. Of course.

Mr. Souder. Meaning that if you say you want to go to 25 percent rather than 10 percent or facilities, it means you will not increase the number of children served, you will not increase the pay and you will not extend the program that is the trade-off. When you advocate one thing, it means you are opposed to the other, which is not what we usually hear, but that is a decision we have to make.

Chairman Riggs. I do not know that it means though that you are opposed to it, but he is absolutely right.

Mr. Souder. It is a prioritization.

Chairman Riggs. It is a prioritization. Those are the kind of decisions that we have to make back in Washington on a daily basis and that we are wrestling with again in the context of the reauthorization-- what we want and recognize must be bipartisan in order to become law, in this short time period that we have.

Okay, so with that all said. Now let me stipulate one final thing, because we have heard from many of your colleagues, program operators, people on the front lines around the country, that coordination and collaboration, while all important, requires a Ph.D. in government finance; you know, to negotiate this maze of regulations. So in response to that, and I am going to specifically look for your reaction to this particular proposal in the reauthorization, in response to that, we want to encourage more waivers. Okay? Now we are thinking the waiver language would be in both the House and Senate bills and specifically that the Governor and the state Head Start representative would have to sign off on the waiver and then the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary Shalala, or through the Head Start office and through her department, would ultimately have to approve or disapprove of this waiver that would allow a more coordinated approach at the state, regional and local level for providing early childhood education and child care services, including Head Start.

So I want to get your reaction to the waiver and then I am going to go to Congressman Martinez. But even before we do that, I wanted to make sure that I asked Mr. Kaiser the obvious question and that is did you encounter, you and your department in the City of Fairfield local government, did you encounter any kind of problems, regulatory problems, in putting together the Fillmore center, Fillmore neighborhood partnership, or did you encounter any Head Start regulations that you thought were unreasonable?

Mr. Kaiser. No. That is the short answer.

Chairman Riggs. So you did not have a problem with the Head Start regulation in terms of putting together that partnership?

Ms. Dollar. No, not at all, but it is not a full day site. We operate two sessions, an A.M. session and a P.M. session and we serve 20 in the morning and 20 in the afternoon. There is no full day childcare there.

Chairman Riggs. Oh, I am glad you made that point, because it is important.

Mr. Kaiser. That is the long answer.

Chairman Riggs. Now with respect to the waiver language, the waiver proposal, let me get your reaction, Ms. Thygesen, does that speak to your concern? And then I am going to ask anyone else on the panel who would like to comment on that to respond briefly to the waiver proposal.

Ms. Thygesen. I think it definitely addresses my concern because I am in a state where state childcare regulations are also of a very high standard. There are states in the United States that have no regulation on the child care industry at all and I do not know how community advocates nationwide would want to be able to deal with that particular situation because there are concerns that in some states the quality of care is so low and then if you were to allow the Head Start program to reduce its requirements, that we would lose that surety that we currently have with Head Start for quality. So, that is my gut reaction. I think it would work here in California and I am not sure if we need to have some kind of a caveat in there for making sure that there is a minimum level of requirements.

Chairman Riggs. Yes, that is a very important point, and we are not talking about a waiver from the national performance standards. We are talking about a waiver from some of the rules and regulations that might get in the way of providing coordinated services.

Ms. Crumpton. Like what, for example?

Chairman Riggs. Well, you tell me.

Ms. Crumpton. My response was that I do not think that that is necessary. I am thinking back at April 9. We have had two meetings here in California, about 58 grantees, 33 of them got expansion grants last year. As a result of those expansion grants, as people started to put partnerships together, all kinds of issues surfaced; class size, income eligibility, class ratios, how do we color code kids so we can track them through funding streams, all those kinds of things surfaced. As a result of that, we have held two meetings here in California to better understand the issues and on April 9 we had a meeting and I produced from that meeting a list of all the issues, and we labeled them S or F. Is this a federal barrier that we face or is this a state barrier.

As the leadership within California started to sit down and look at that list, we recognized that it is not so much a waiver that is necessary. What we really see as happening is that really things are changing, and it is how we really need to look at where we are going with this thing, and it is not that we need a broad waiver of what the requirements are or what the standards are. What we really need is to sit down and allow people to get an understanding of what is in place and then see how we have to change those things. And most of those things are state issues.

In California, we have not only, as every state does now, a state Head Start association, we also have a state collaboration project office. And that state collaboration project office, which is housed here in California in the Department of Education, works in concert with all of the folks involved in early childhood education. We are sitting here looking at those issues to say what really needs to happen within the departments, whether that is the Department of Social Services, the Department of Community Licensing, so that the waiver authority needs to come. It is not from the federal level. I think that the danger with having a broad waiver authority is the danger of integrity to the program. You know, as you start to grant people license to waiver those things they should otherwise be working for, to look at really where they are heading, I think that you will start to dilute what it is that Head Start is all about and more importantly what it is that you are trying to produce as an outcome.

So I just think it is very dangerous, quite honestly, to write broad waiver authority because it forces people to take the easy way out. Collaboration, as Linda has said, and everyone here I think agrees, is a process that people really have to work to and identify the issues and look at really where the responsibility resides. So from the California Head Start Association perspective, while we recognize there are some significant barriers, we do not endorse necessarily wholesale broad waiver authority.

Chairman Riggs. Okay. Well, I wanted to be devil's advocate and turn around the debate. I thought you gave a good response, but I will give you one example, parents may lose government subsidized (I hate it when people use that term) taxpayer subsidized day care if they do not comply with welfare rules, with TANF requirements. Though that does not apply to Head Start eligibility.

Ms. Crumpton. Yes, that is a separate issue, I think. I mean that is a whole welfare to work kind of issue and certainly there are some responsibilities, but I do not see that as a Head Start reauthorization kind of issue.

Chairman Riggs. Well, but you asked in a situation where a waiver from having to comply with two different sets, two different programs, two different sets of rules and regulations might apply, and I am citing that as potentially one example. And also stipulating that we think with the waiver proposal, we have built in some checks and balances, because it requires both the Governor and the state Head Start representative to request the waiver, and the Secretary, again, has the right to review and to approve or disapprove.

Ms. Dollar. Who is the state Head Start representative, who is that entity? I mean I do not know whom the state Head Start person would be.

Ms. Crumpton. I think the waiver authority said the Governor, is that correct?

Chairman Riggs. No, the bill would stipulate that there would be a state Head Start representative.

Ms. Dollar. I guess that would be key to me, who is representing the state of California in Head Start. We have no state leadership. I mean we have our California Head Start Association, we have the Head Start State Collaboration Project.


Chairman Riggs. Denzel whispered in my ear it would be up to the local grantees to elect the state Head Start representative. So it would be a bottom up type process.

Ms. Dollar. A paid person, a volunteer? I just think there is no leadership that represents the state of California in Head Start.

Chairman Riggs. But you do have a state organization and your state organization obviously has an executive director.

Ms. Crumpton. That is really dangerous, I will just write it away.


Chairman Riggs. Presumably you could use that apparatus, that structure, to designate someone as a state Head Start representative, who would be an extension of their current involvement in the state Head Start program.

Ms. Crumpton. I think by de facto, we operate that way.

Chairman Riggs. I think you do, yes.

Ms. Crumpton. But I think what the system is forcing us to do is not to be reactive, but to be responsive. Responsive says that to all of us, no matter where we are in early childhood education, that there are some challenges here and the way to get to the other end is to go through them, not to go around them and simply ask for what is the way out of this.

Chairman Riggs. But how do you respond to Ms. Thygesen, who is operating a program in two counties, trying to maximize every dollar that she gets at the local level and saying hey, look, we need some relief from these federal and/or state regulations? How do you respond to her?

Ms. Crumpton. Well first, I think there are a couple of responses to that. One is, first of all, we need to look at all the issues and relief is coming and the relief is on, for example, and class size. If the question is, Debra, how do we go from 24 to 20, I think that 20 are the right number? So the question is not necessarily that we do not want the federal government to change that, there is some discussion we need to have with the state.

If the question is on facilities, then I think that as we look at our partnerships, we have to look for other places to get money and other places where facilities reside. There are facilities that are boarded up. For example, in San Bernardino County, as we were going down there and looking at how do we put a child care center in, I mean we have driven through that area, looking at buildings that were boarded up. One of the buildings that have been identified is an 89,000 square foot building by Mervyns, and so Mervyns and us become a partner. And those kinds of opportunities exist everywhere.

I do not pretend that any of this is easy, and just like the three of you are wrestling with those kinds of issues, I do not pretend to have the answers. What I do want to suggest though is that if we simply waiver it, we will not be meeting the evolving needs of what is happening in our communities. We cannot waiver the effect of change. Change said that there are some new demands and some new expectations and that we have to look outside of the parameters we have been traditionally working at. And while the federal government who resides at a very distant point really, quite honestly, from what is happening out in the communities, can set the framework, it is very dangerous, I think to just simply have the authority to write away the kinds of responses we need to take to change.

And so what I would say to all of the Head Start community is that we are in this throws of change and we need to look at each particular case that we are going through, look at where that responsibility resides and then what kind of legislative change needs to happen, particularly in the state. What are the resources? There is $25 million right now in the state of California that the Governor does not know what to do with. I think he should be throwing that at Head Start. I mean I think that is an answer, quite honestly.

As we look at all of these budgets, I think people need to really start saying we are not working with this defined dollar, what about those other dollars over there, what about the tobacco money. So I believe that there are a lot of other issues rather than just broad waiver authority.

Ms. Dollar. As much as I deal with competing regulations on a daily basis, I would not be supportive of very broad waiver applications. I feel like we have worked so hard to improve the whole profession of early childhood education, we have worked so hard to have performance standards nationally in Head Start. We have worked for accreditation, working with community care licensing in the state of California to develop regulations that really upgrade the whole delivery of services to young children. And if we look at the broad application of waivers, I see that only eroding all of the best practices we have been able to reach at this point in time.

I think there are other best models that we can look at to work at the regulatory kinds of issues. And in no way to be derogatory at all toward Pat's program because it has been a leader in early childhood child care collaboration, we can look at models of child care collaboration that eliminate some of these issues of children going to a Head Start classroom in the morning and another program in the afternoon dealing with two sets of teachers and two sets of salaries. You do not have to approach childcare that way. We are not doing childcare that way. We have one classroom, one teacher, one salary and we are dealing in a market where we are competing for parental choice vouchers. Is it harder? Yes. It is much more complicated to do it, and I think we are going to get better and better at doing it.

To me, the single most critical issue is the income and I know that is a huge one. And I do not think we are asking for income eligibility increases throughout the entire Head Start community, but we need to look at an increase of that percentage where we are dealing with full day, full year. Our part day, part year programs are still working for a percentage of the population. In Napa, fewer than a third of our families are on welfare of our Head Start, two-thirds are working poor families and still meet the income eligibility. Income eligibility is going to be fine for those families.

Out of 855 Head Start slots that we have, we are only funded for 100 full day, full year. If we could apply a 25 percent allowance of increase in eligibility just for those full day, full year slots, that would really eliminate one of the bigger obstacles we have in serving those families, because a family that transitions from part day, part year into full day, full year, because of welfare reform, a mom -- and I have said this before -- a mom with one child, working at McDonald's 40 hours a week is not income eligible any longer for Head Start, and yet nothing has changed in her life.

Chairman Riggs. That is a very good point, Jackie, but that in itself is a waiver, is it not?

Ms. Dollar. It is a single waiver, it is a recommendation, as opposed to broad waivers saying let us just take a look and get rid of all these things and go back to the table and see how to do this easier. I do not think easier is better and I am not saying it is difficult to do, but I do not think making it easier is going to make it the most strategic or the best. I do not want to lose sight of the best practices we have had in place and have worked so hard to get.

Chairman Riggs. I understand that concern.

Ms. Dollar. I do not say moving a classroom of 20 to 24 is a good practice, I do not think there should be more than 20 children in a classroom. That would make it easier, would not make it better.

Chairman Riggs. I want to ask one other quick question just to set the stage for the subsequent comments and questions by my colleagues, and that is this is something I think that is broad and very germane to our discussion, and that is what is the average salary that you pay one of your classroom teachers, what do you pay, Ms. Thygesen in Mendocino and Lake Counties; Dee, what are you paying your staff and then I want to compare that to what Ms. Farrington's teachers are making, the average wage of say a kindergarten teacher at Ms. Farrington's school here in Napa.

Ms. Dollar. In my program currently of my teachers that are hired, an average head teacher makes $17,000 a year, can go up to $20,000 a year.

Chairman Riggs. Okay.

Ms. Dollar. That is the height of the salary schedule.

Chairman Riggs. Ms. Thygesen.

Dr. Brekken. Jackie, what is your qualification?

Ms. Dollar. Our teachers must have an A.A. degree in early childhood education and must have a California child development permit.


Chairman Riggs. Well, I am going to ask another question about that but I am going to wait until my next round, because I have a very specific question for Dr. Brekken with respect to that.


Ms. Thygesen. I do not know the annual figure, but our hourly rate for our Head Start teacher, the average is about $10.25 an hour and in comparison, the average rate for the NCO child development center program is $8.36. And essentially they have the same requirements that are for a permit and an A.A. degree.

Chairman Riggs. Dee.

Ms. Cuney. Mine are extremely entry level; it is recommended that they have child development background and experience, $6.50 an hour. I wish I could make it more. That is part time.

Chairman Riggs. I said I was going to defer, but if Congressman Martinez and Congressman Souder will bear with me for a just a second, let me go ahead and ask the question of Dr. Brekken and the rest of the panel.

Mr. Souder. You did not get the teachers' salary.

Chairman Riggs. Oh, that is right, thank you for reminding me.

Ms. Farrington.

Ms. Farrington. I think the average is just about $30,000. Entry, first year teacher, maybe $26.

Chairman Riggs. But the average would be of a kindergarten teacher.

Ms. Farrington. Kindergarten teacher pays the same as a sixth grade teacher or anyone else on the regular salary schedule, it would be about $30,000. I mean even though the kindergarten teacher works three and a half hours with one class, it is a seven hour day, it is a regular day based on the teacher's workday. Usually that is in partnership with another kindergarten teacher, so they actually have two classrooms.

Chairman Riggs. So both in terms of entry and average the Napa Unified School District, are paying your teachers about $10,000 more than what Ms. Dollar pays her Head Start teachers.

Ms. Farrington. And of course, preparation includes a bachelor's degree and a fifth year.

Chairman Riggs. Bachelor's degree and a fifth year, okay. Well that is a perfect segue to the one other question I will ask in this round and that is in the reauthorization we are looking at requiring local Head Start programs to have at least 50 percent of their classroom teachers obtaining an associate's degree or better at the end of the five year reauthorization period. We are further looking at stipulating that first priority in terms of use of quality and/or expansion dollars for professional development and in-service training would go to current Head Start teaching personnel, including any parents that are serving in that capacity, and I would like, Dr. Brekken, with you first, go down the panel and get your reaction to that proposal.

Dr. Brekken. I do not have the statistics on the percentage of Head Start, I think in California we are pretty close to that already.

Ms. Dollar. We are because of licensing requirements.

Dr. Brekken. Yes, because of our licensing, the emphasis that California has put on professionalization of early childhood. In other states, that is not the case and I do not know what the impact would be on other states, looking at that. And I am not sure that other states have the well developed community college system's strong early childhood focus that these folks are in the community training their folks to move up to an A.A.

But I do feel like we need to professionalize what we are doing and I think an A.A. is appropriate or a children center permit or you know, at least the 16 unit plus. But I think that is appropriate. I would be a little concerned about saying, and I know some people have thought about teaching credentials and I think that is way out of the ball park as far as the money available. I think we need to make sure that they meet some kind of standards.

Chairman Riggs. This would be a form obviously of a national standard. And the national figure is 32 percent; approximately 32 percent have an associate's degree.


Ms. Cuney. In family day care, I think that you are watching lots of pieces of legislation attempt to be moved, and I use the word attempt, to be moved in the California state legislature to require more training for family day care. But as I mentioned earlier in my testimony, all of those mandates really affect the field and quite often we lose our providers. I would rather see appropriate training, especially for family day care providers, to be developed and not mandated, but make it available to the providers by choice.

As far as Head Start, I really should not testify on that because I am not a Head Start teacher, but I can speak for family day care. I think quite often all those things seem to knit together.

Chairman Riggs. Right. And just for your information, Dee, we do expect there to be provisions in the reauthorization bill, allowing private for-profit providers to apply for Head Start grants whenever there is an open grant competition, such as replacing an existing defunded grantee or establishing a new grantee in an unserved area.

Ms. Cuney. And we truly appreciate that opportunity.

Chairman Riggs. I wanted to mention that. I am going to have more to say on that, but I have got to go right down this panel and go right to Congressman Martinez. And Pat, we are going to finish with you.

Ms. Crumpton. We support that. The California Head Start Association supports that proposal, but we have two concerns. One is the retention and recruitment of folks. I mean as people are really investing the time and the energy to do that, they are going to look at a $30,000 opportunity and they are going to look at it within the state of California and we have the same problem we have now, we have flight and we are losing our quality teachers.

The second thing that I would just like to point out is a reminder that a teacher is a teacher is a teacher. And as we set standards for what we think the quality should be, we need to set standards maybe for what the compensation should be. Because we are asking exactly the same kinds of things, those teachers are working exactly to make the same kind of driven outcomes and so I think that the disparity needs to be addressed, maybe even more strongly than we are addressing what should be the standard of qualification.

Ms. Dollar. I am very supportive of maintaining high quality in Head Start and I do not think it is an unreasonable goal to have every teacher in Head Start with an Associate's degree. We have a critical labor shortage in California and it is very difficult to hold onto teachers. I look around Napa and every education and social service institution in this community, we have Head Start trained staff who have moved on to better paying jobs. We need to be able to raise, within our ranks, we need to be able to take parents and aides and assistant teachers and help them work up into head teacher positions. I think that is where our training dollars need to really be focused. Class reduction has paid havoc in Head Start, we have lost many, many teachers to the school district, teachers that had B.A. degrees and then could go on to the school district with a B.A. and then work on a credential over the period of time that they are allowed.

But Head Start deals with the highest risk, complex families in our community, and to have staff in those positions who are not professionally trained and experienced to work with them is a mistake.

Chairman Riggs. I do not know if Ms. Farrington or Mr. Kaiser would like to comment on that. I will go to Ms. Thygesen.

Ms. Thygesen. Actually, if I may, I am just completing a Master's thesis that is on early childhood education next week. And my study, my research study was alterations in two Head Start classrooms in our program. And one of the teachers had a child development associate credential and some early childhood training at the community college level. The other teacher had a Bachelor's degree and a teaching credential through the state of California. And I have to tell you; the comparison of what was happening in one classroom versus what was happening in the other is like night and day. And I think that the Associate's degree is just a stepping stone. I think really to address the complex needs of these at risk children, we do need the mostly highly trained, and I would certainly like to see salary compensation allow us to require Bachelor's degrees for teachers in the Head Start program because I think that these are the most critical children that we are serving, they need the best trained people working with them to give them that start, to push them over the hump so that they are able to be successful when they transition into public school.

Chairman Riggs. Congressman Martinez.

Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have certainly learned a lot here today and some of it has reaffirmed some of the thinking that I have had all along and some of it has given me reason to question what direction we are going in and whether that is the right direction or not.

Let me start off by explaining my perspective on childcare and Head Start those are two different programs and the criteria in regards to waivers. And the standards for one are not the same for the other because they are two different operations and they are two different responsibilities. And if anybody needed to waiver anything, it would be the state itself giving the waivers from their requirements for childcare.

But the other problem you have is the eligibility criteria that you talk about and having a waiver from that. If you give a waiver of the eligibility criteria, you then start getting away from the idea that you are serving the neediest people and the highest at risk. And I am not sure we want to do that. Now there is nothing to stop programs from running childcare. In fact, it was mentioned here, somebody is running a childcare program with funds that are provided from the state program for that. Full-day services are provided for the Head Start program that collaborates with that child care program. That is a good collaboration. I do not see any need for a waiver from that because it is already allowed.

Somebody also mentioned that right now there is legislation to require higher education training for childcare. We are already talking about moving the Head Start teachers to a higher level of training and education. You then get into some problems about salary situation and what it is going to cost us to run those programs when you are going to pay every teacher in the Head Start program $30,000 a year or even $26,000 at the beginning. What is that going to do to the funds that are available for the limited number of people we are serving now? That is the question we had in Texas and the dilemma that we face.

But if you want to make Head Start a childcare program, then you have a whole different can of worms there. But Head Start was never meant to be a child care program, and it was meant, and the Chairman said it in the last hearing that we had to prepare children, for school, not to be a day care center.

I understand that, through the reform of welfare, more and more people are going to be needing day care and we ought to provide a vehicle for that. I am in total agreement with that goal. One of the programs that were praised as much as anything could be praised was the Wisconsin program for its childcare. But there again, that was an expensive program, investing the dollars to begin with, and one of the key components of that was providing the money for child care for the people that would leave welfare and go to work, to take care of the children so they could get to work or get to classes to learn to work. But Head Start and child care are different programs, they are completely different programs, and they should not be merged together unless you have some master plan on how you are going to fund all of this. And I do not know that Congress, with the austerity mentality they have now, that they would come up with those kinds of monies to do that.

The fact is that you are going to have to remember that the goal of Head Start eligibility is to target the most needy and the highest at risk. Childcare is a whole different situation. If you have trained somebody to go on to a job and somebody mentioned getting a job of $10.25 an hour, which actually is about $21,000 a year they certainly would not be eligible for Head Start any more, nor should they be. They might fall into that percentage of eligibility allowed for by waiver and if you want to expand that eligibility to 25 percent, I have no problem with that. But the fact is that for the rest of the population, eligibility should remain linked with poverty, and expanding that eligibility in a limited way is the only thing that should be subject to waivers.

So when we talk about waivers, we ought to be careful about how we are deciding to use waivers, because you are really laying the groundwork for a lot of devilish things to happen. And I am sorry, but I just cannot go along with that.

The fact is that I am going to have to be leaving in just a little while to catch an airplane, so I am not going to be too extensive. There are a lot of questions that I would like to ask, but I would like to ask just the Chairman if he would bear with me for one thing, to ask Ms. Crumpton and Ms. Dollar to respond in writing to the Committee and so subsequently I can have that, to Ms. Thygesen's testimony. Because it seemed to me that what she was trying to do is merge the childcare program, her childcare programs, into Head Start programs. If you look at the testimony very carefully, the idea of waivers for her is to get the eligibility criteria lifted so that you can move children into child care from Head Start, which then would allow people that are above that eligibility criteria to be serviced by that program. And that is not what the dollars were intended for.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Mr. Martinez.

I am going to go to Congressman Souder, but I just want to point out that the Senate reauthorization bill, and again I am quoting from the Congressional Quarterly, has tried to address some of these logistical problems, because to an extent they are logistical, by letting agencies, and I am quoting from the article, charge Head Start students a fee for the portion of the day they spent in other child care programs, making it easier for children to continue in Head Start even if family earnings increase. It allows private non-profit entities to deliver services. In our bill, we want to allow private for-profit as well, and provide funding services for full day care, since we keep hearing the importance of the full year, full day care.

So I do not know, Congressman Martinez and I are going to have to get together and compare notes because I do not see anything wrong with this and our Senate colleagues are looking at this issue as well, seeing if there is a way to address it by creating more flexibility in the program.

Mr. Martinez. I understand that, but what they are doing in their bill is they are allowing for the extension with the childcare, but with a fee attached. They are not trying to merge the two programs together…

Chairman Riggs. Right.

Mr. Martinez. _and use Head Start dollars for childcare. They are keeping that separate. You can use the same facility and there is nothing right now really to stop people from doing that, they are doing it in fact in certain instances. I think Ms. Dollar testified to that.

Ms. Dollar. The last two years, the only way you could expand, as a Head Start program was to add full day, full year. We are not allowed to any longer. That is the mandate. So whether it was our choice or not, the only way we could serve more children was to figure out how to add more children in full day, full year collaborative. Nowhere is there addressed how you take existing Head Start slots and make them into full day, full year. There is really no opportunity for that at this point in time.

We actually looked at the idea of a for-fee process for our existing sites. If we had 20 children in a center and 10 of those parents had jobs and could pay for half a day, they would still have free Head Start services in the morning and then pay on an hourly basis in the afternoon for an extended day. We actually went to the regional office and said we think this is a good way to take part day programs, utilize those classrooms that we have that are sitting empty in the afternoon, because there are no other federal dollars to support that afternoon. We were told no, that no for-fee could ever be charged for Head Start services. We are saying they are not really Head Start services, they are Head Start services in the morning and this is an additional child care afternoon for them. I think there is some flexibility that could be looked at there. It is semantics; it is how terminology is being used.

Mr. Martinez. If I might interrupt. That is what the Senate is attempting to do, to allow Head Start programs to charge fees for that childcare. But here again, they are keeping the two programs separate and the dollars that are provided for them separate.

Ms. Dollar. Those are very separate.

Mr. Martinez. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, excuse me, I am going to have to run.

Chairman Riggs. Thank you very much, travel safely; see you back in Washington.

Ms. Thygesen.

Ms. Thygesen. I would just like to clarify, I am not trying to blend Head Start and child care, I am trying to create a system in which extended day child care is available to those Head Start families who need care beyond the hours that the Head Start program is funded to operate and trying to find ways to make that happen at the same site rather than having to transition children back and forth between classrooms. I agree with Jackie that that is not the ideal; you do not want to perpetuate that model.

I do think too that I certainly should go on record in saying I was not expecting a waiver to increase Head Start class size to 24, I actually wanted it to go down to 16.


Ms. Thygesen. So I have to be very careful about what kinds of recommendations I make. I think that best practices really need to be the model for looking at these alternative approaches to make collaboration occur. And I certainly do not support a broader waiver process that really we do not know where that would lead, but I think if there are some kind of recommendations that can be brought from the field itself of best practices that would simplify from the federal perspective just as at the state level we are working with the state legislature to introduce legislation to modify their regulations so that that can happen.

It is definitely going to have to come from a combination of many sources of finance and that is why we need to eliminate those barriers where they occur so that multiple sources can be brought to bear in solving these problems. We have Head Start families leaving our program today. We are not operating at the moment, but last spring they were leaving the program because they needed to have all day care.

Chairman Riggs. Right.

Ms. Thygesen. And they could not take off from their job to come and pick up their child and drive them someplace else. So that certainly is an issue that these families need the all day services and we have to be creative in providing those.

Chairman Riggs. And we do understand that and we understand that Head Start is an integral component in serving the childcare needs of working families. That is why we want to put more of an emphasis on the so-call wrap around services, full day, full year, year round.

Congressman Souder.

Mr. Souder. I am not sure if you realize how beneficial it is for us to get a little over three hours at one shot at anything. Usually we work in 10 to 15 minute pieces. This morning, I did a 20 minute interview with the paper that blankets my district and the two questions were how do I feel about the Howard spy case and the other one was do I believe baseball is going to be restricted in gambling on the Internet. You have all these kinds of things rattling around and I know there are going to be two articles wafting through my whole district and none on the Head Start question.

That said, this has been very helpful this morning. I have questions on every single thing here, so let me try to focus just on a couple.

One to Ms. Farrington, you said that 11 students were covered of this 100 and that you opened a preschool facility for an additional 22. Would they have been eligible for Head Start?

Ms. Farrington. I would say probably so. I know that the state income level is a little bit higher, but most of those students were on waiting lists for Head Start and were not able to get in.

Mr. Souder. Counting your 22 and the 11, would you have had more eligible yet do you think?

Ms. Farrington. Yes.

Mr. Souder. And how do you feel about proposals that would allow me to double back once. One of the most fascinating experiments in social services history is a project called Operation Beethoven in the City of Chicago with the Robert Taylor Homes, and I visited there a number of times over the years and the conception was to get all the agencies working together to track these kids from pre-birth through elementary school. But one of the things they found out was when the parents got involved in the Head Start program or anywhere else, they looked around and said I do not want to live in Robert Taylor Homes any more, and boom, they were gone. Because if they showed enough interest to get involved in that, they probably had enough interest to get out of the area, which leads to the question of mobility, ability to track and who is not served in a lot of these programs and why they are not served.

One of the fundamental questions here in trying to decide our prioritization and do we expand the eligibility. There are two parts to that. One is as somebody starts to advance up the income scale and we train them, in effect they can get punished by having their kids pulled out of Head Start. On the other hand, the goal of the program is to target those who do not have the opportunity and invest the resources with them. It is a dilemma that we always have.

The second is who is not served and why. To some degree it is waiting lists, but I tore into this data in 1980 and interestingly, we had a report that said combined with Head Start and one other program, and of the eight top ten counties that were lowest served, eight of them, because I knew this because in my home area, formerly Congressman Coates' district, there are a lot of Amish, eight of the top ten counties were Amish. They did not want to be served and their incomes were really fine for their lifestyles. A couple of the others, there was one county that had the least percent served that was in Montana, they had four eligible students and they were an average of 200 miles apart from each other. There is a substantial problem here in rural counties versus urban counties. In Cook County, which is Chicago, Wayne County which is Detroit, Los Angeles County where you have concentrated groups of students in high risk areas, it would be more efficient for the government to bump up those numbers than it is, for example, in rural Montana where people have dilemma questions.

Now in your case, for example, I would look at your school and say if you are having to cope with students who have not been covered who are in a concentrated area, then I, for example, my initial reaction is I would prefer to have those students covered as opposed to expanding the income eligibility standards of the other, or have some minimal flexibility to expand income standards, but to try to make the Head Start program, at least provide some level of beneficial impact on a higher group of students so you do not have these tremendous disparities in the public school system.

And one of the things I would be interested in having us find is how many other cases do we have of the concrete example like this where you have students coming in who are not being served. Because if we have that fundamental problem that they are not prepared for school at all, then arguing whether or not we are going to expand the services is to me a little esoteric because it is going to take down the educational opportunities or have kids labeled early on in their school career and not be able to pick up and then we run into it in junior high and high school.

Ms. Crumpton. You have that answer right now, you know that we are only serving 17 to 21 percent of the current eligible population.

Mr. Souder. But the problem is in looking at the eligibility; the question is why are we not serving more? In some places, it is concentration, in some places it is mobility of the parents, that they are moving so much that we do not find them. In some cases, they are choosing not to participate and that is why I say I would like concrete cases.

Ms. Crumpton. Well, it is not as though there is money left over. What is true is that there is no more money, even if people came to the door, to actually create more Head Start slots.

Mr. Souder. There is a difference here in the sense that I visited in enough states to know that some places are actually spending money to try to locate parents to go on their waiting list.

Ms. Crumpton. I only know about California.

Mr. Souder. In rural parts of the country, for example, they know they are only covering 25 percent of the eligible people, if they do not have a waiting list.

Ms. Crumpton. Okay, yes, that is a different animal.

Mr. Souder. Yes, and the question is that should we in effect, when we know the coverage level is down should we concentrate where they actually have a waiting list as opposed to trying to allow some places to go to two year or pay their teachers more as opposed to pick up their waiting list.

Ms. Crumpton. You know, I think that makes a good point for the local design issue because we know that those kinds of issues that you are bringing up right now is very much dependent on where you live in the country. And so while that is true in some places, certainly in California and other places, it is equally true that we have waiting lists and no money to throw at these children to create the spots. So I mean, that really speaks to why the local design I think has been so critically important to Head Start and should stay there.

Ms. Dollar. That has a lot to do also with changing demographics of the community and facility. Just in our own county, we had tremendous need 15-20 years ago, upper valley, Calistoga and St. Helena, and we built centers up there and then found our population has been moving into Napa because it is cheaper to be in Napa as the upper valley became more gentrified. So we tried to continue to fill those centers because we had invested such a tremendous amount of money in the facilities up there. We had to close them because no longer could we serve 10 or 12 children in an area. We had to move down to an area where the children were concentrated. And we are criticized on that consistently because we are not serving the county evenly. But if we go up into Angwin or Pope Valley or Calistoga or St. Helena, we do not have enough concentration of children to make it fiscally effective for us to serve those children. Are they there? Yes, they are there, but we are not serving them other than in home-based models where we see them in a home. We have itinerant teachers that go in, but it is not the site of choice by parents. They want a preschool that they can send their kids to and we cannot make it fiscally worthwhile.

Mr. Souder. I have one other thing I want to touch on and we will probably be able to touch on it here and anybody who has further information, it would be helpful. And I first want to ask the question to Dr. Brekken. You in your written and in your verbal comments said that you cannot require collaboration from only one agency, you need others presumably having it in their criteria to reciprocate. What agencies did you have in mind there?

Dr. Brekken. I have heard a lot of negative comments about Head Start, that you know, we need to have community partnerships and in my experience a lot of times Head Start is the mobilizer of collaboration and they have done a good job. In other places, there has been kind of an isolation.

Mr. Souder. Are you saying the other agencies are not mandated by law to have the same, and if so, do you know of any? We have an unusual situation right now, we are in the voc-ed conference committee, we are in the job training partnership conference committee, we are about to pass a higher education bill, and the question is if somebody is not cooperating?

Ms. Dollar. Well, I can give you a perfect example that happened in California. Head Start was mandated to provide collaboration if you wanted to expand the last two years. Nobody went to the State of California and told the State of California that 58 Head Start agencies were going to be coming to them and saying share the money with us because we want to do childcare. This was a huge issue at our state Head Start collaboration project because we did not know; we did not see it until the RFP came. Our R&R director just left, but when we received money locally, I went to her and said we need to collaborate in order to make these child care slots available. She is not mandated to collaborate, we have good will and we have a relationship and we work together and we are in a small community where we see each other a lot, and it has still been difficult. In a larger community when you do not have that kind of intimacy and a good local child care planning council where people sit down together and talk, it makes it very, very difficult.

So I think both parties must at least be aware of the considerations of either group because we simply cannot operate. We cannot spend our money without that match.

Chairman Riggs. What does R&R stand for?

Ms. Dollar. R&R throughout the state of California is a resource and referral agency funded through the state to be the clearinghouse for child care information and referral, also is the source of all of the alternative payment and child care voucher money in our country.

Chairman Riggs. I see.

Ms. Dollar. Maybe just while I have the mic, I would like to put a word in for the local child care planning council, that we have entities within the state of California to address these local planning issues. And I do not know how those are played out in other states, but we have a structure for dealing with, at the local level, how all of these players come together to the table and say here are the resources, we are merely the shepherders of those resources, we do not own those resources. The resources are for the children of this community, how do we best spend them so that the needs are met to the best of our ability.

Mr. Souder. I want to plant two more things in your head, not asking for answers here but if you can send it in. One is that one of other strengths and I think any research has hinted at this and you can even tell it when you visit regional programs, is parental involvement. How much will professionalization impact parental involvement both attitudinal and as a practical matter in impacting parents coming into the program and so on, because already I know that I have visited programs where the parents felt they were very influential and then when they hit the elementary school, the schools kind of said no, you stay away. The most, quite frankly, arrogant program I saw was in southern Indiana near Bloomington where the university is, it is mostly run by people who were very academically proficient but felt the parents were kind of stupid and backwards and did not want to let them be involved in the program. How do we breach that gap because we want to keep the strength and this can be a stepping stone for getting the parents involved and I for one would like to see in welfare reform a stimulus towards getting more parents into these fields as a fundamental matter. Any written comments on that.

Lastly, I found the Fairfield example very intriguing and would like to look at it broader. I chair a subcommittee that was created on empowerment; to explore a lot of the interconnectiveness of the urban issues in particular, although we have also been looking at rural issues. And I have had a long term fascination with this because we tend to look and say here is Head Start, here is child care, here is health care, here is job training, here is voc-ed, here is higher education and in fact when you can take a community and say we are going to get at the housing, we are going to get at the job training, you are going to have hope until third grade, you are going to have hope through junior high and high school and maybe as an adult, that we can have more of a long term impact. And what I am interested in seeing is are there, and Ms. Crumpton, if you could particularly look at some of the bigger cities in California and others, that this has given me hope that you can do it in a small to mid-sized town.

Ms. Crumpton. We think that is the model.

Mr. Souder. It seems to me in the urban areas, in St. Louis, Harper Gardens is right near where they rehabbed Bush Stadium, they got some economic development and interconnectiveness right at the margin. That is also true, it has been tougher in Robert Taylor Homes but Sabrini-Green in Chicago where they are all of a sudden having kind of the yuppie area come in and the Midway Airport for vitalization, they were able to get some development.

In South Bronx a number of years ago, with Yolanda Rivera, theirs as a more difficult proposition, you have little flowers planted hoping you can reclaim the neighborhood. But in Los Angeles, in San Francisco, as well as smaller cities, do you see zones where and what could we take in terms of forcing this collaboration not only within the social services, but within the small Business Administration, the job training, the voc-ed, and moving through a seamless web because as I mentioned in Operation Beethoven, parents will leave the community and in almost every elementary school I have been in, in urban areas in particular, if you do not get anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of the kids moving between elementary schools, it makes it very difficult to establish any training patterns and so on. But if you could look through that as we develop this bill and see if there is anything we can do, particularly while we have several…

Ms. Crumpton. Empowerment zones and economic incentives always work.

Mr. Souder. Okay, and if you can give me some, if you have any urban examples.

Ms. Crumpton. I will send you some of those.

Chairman Riggs. Mr. Kaiser, is the City of Fairfield an empowerment zone or enterprise zone under federal or state law?

Mr. Souder. We were talking during break there, the housing units were privately held, which was different. They were single family as opposed to high rise, so it is a good example of a mix that is different than a lot of what we deal with in the high risk areas but still gives you hope that you can get certain types of mixes.

Chairman Riggs. Absolutely.

Mr. Kaiser. Right. To comment on the empowerment zone, no, those tend to be fairly competitive on a national competition. We are simply not on a scale that would make us very viable applicants for the empowerment zones, whether it is state or federal. Although we have a neighborhood revitalization strategy that has recently been adopted by HUD, the regional office has signed off on it, wherein we will focus on our downtown area. And as part of the economic empowerment, we have solicited Jackie's involvement at such point as it is feasible for Head Start to look at a facility there in concert with the other things that we will be doing from a public infrastructure standpoint. Homeownership opportunities and new construction housing development as well as job training and counseling and job creation activities where we are trying to work with the local JTPA entity and the EBD for one stop facility there.

Ms. Dollar. And it is important to not see this project as an anomaly because we just opened a center last Thursday, we took over a storefront and on that site is the North Vallejo Community Resource Center. The County of Solano has housed a health and social services substation and we have a police substation that has moved in next door to us. I mean those kinds of collaborations of community agencies, I am sure, I only know about what I am doing, but I am sure it is happening everywhere. I have many examples of this in many shapes and forms. There is no formula for it because every set of stakeholders that come to the table are different, bring different resources, bring different levels of commitment. We opened a center up in Vacaville on a school campus and in the midst of classroom reduction and them bringing in dozens of portables, the principal of that school was so committed to having a Head Start program on her campus, she moved out of her office and donated her office for speech therapy. She has moved into a hallway so that the speech therapy people could move out of a portable and put us in the portable. Those levels of commitment and people having the flexibility to have a vision of what these kinds of services can look like for kids and families is what is key.

Mr. Souder. I can close with this, I did not mean to take more time with it, but one of the most difficult has been, because collaboration is partly, one Democratic friend of mine in the city of Fort Wayne said when Reagan first came in, he said you know, I hate Ronald Reagan and I hate what you guys are doing but you are forcing all of us to talk more because we have less money and we have to be creative.


Mr. Souder. I think in the social service area, because of the budget squeeze, it does not matter whether you have a Republican or a Democratic governor in states any more.

Ms. Crumpton. That is exactly right.

Mr. Souder. People have had to do that. And now we are starting to see it in some of the law enforcement agencies putting branch things, policemen on the beat, the economic side has been a little slower and empowerment zones are helping with that, but the economic and regulatory things relating to getting actual business and jobs there, and to some degree, I am not sure that we have got the education side who tended to be kind of separate and their own entity, intermingled in with the social service side and even the criminal justice side. And that is kind of what I am looking for, models there.

And lastly, one of the phenomena that we are really gently working through as we have a Republican majority in the House, in particular, Congressman Riggs has been a leader in what we call the Renewal Alliance, which has been in fact Republicans who are trying to address some of the urban and poverty issues because historically, usually the Republicans represent the suburbs and fairly affluent rural areas and the Democratic Congressmen represented the urban centers. And so it was like where the twain shall never meet. And what happened is when we became the majority, all of a sudden, a higher number of Republicans represent at least mid-sized urban areas and we also had an unusual thing happen where a number of the conservatives believe in targeting the programs narrowly to the highest risk because we believe in smaller government, as well as some of the liberals who represent those lowest income areas, and you have an unusual coalition in some of these issues that gives us an opportunity to work through these things in a creative way, and Congressman Riggs has been one of the leaders in that and I appreciate his efforts.

Any other comments? I know we are running out of time for all of us because I have to go too. Thank you very much for being here today.

Chairman Riggs. Congressman Souder has been a leader, very much a leader in his own right and hopefully will continue on where I leave off. And I am glad he mentioned the law enforcement component, the community or neighborhood policing component, not just because I am an ex-cop but because I realize how important that is to the success of the Fillmore neighborhood project.

I wondered if Congressman Souder wanted to mention very briefly his idea of requiring drug counseling. I do not want to put him on the spot, but this is sort of our last opportunity to share ideas. We have run over, I have got another appointment and time commitment, but to me, these last few issues are so critical because literally we are going to write the bill next week, at least a first draft. So I wondered if you wanted to mention that.

Mr. Souder. We are debating as far as putting in part of the questionnaires hard guidelines and soft guidelines, but I know there is a lot of health care components when you in effect have often the highest risk population of parents in your system. There is no question that every prosecutor, every sheriff, no matter who we meet, 70 percent, 85 percent of all of our social problems are alcohol and drug based. I cannot remember which of the witnesses had actually spoke to a conference relating to substance abusing parents and the problems that you have with those kids coming in.

The question is since you I believe have components on other health care, everything from proper care of teeth to other types of health components in it, what about including drug and alcohol counseling for the parents, and do you do that voluntarily, is it in there now? I believe it used to be and if I am not correct, was taken out.

Ms. Dollar. I think you need to be very careful about putting additional tasks on Head Start and straining our budgets so thin that we cannot really adequately address the full range of human issues that we need to address. I think this one is absolutely critical because it is one of the things that absolutely defines our families.

I would like to tell you what we are doing because this has been such an issue for a portion of our population here in Napa. We are establishing a Head Start center on the campus of the Health and Human Services agency and we are collocating with their perinatal substance abuse program. We are going to be operating a preschool center, another local agency is going to be operating an infant-toddler center and within that same building, in the third room, will be the perinatal substance abuse program. So that we can use the expertise of people that are already hired, already trained and we will be working with the children that they work with the parents, rather than Head Start having to hire and manage and train another level of staff that we cannot afford, number one, and really have no housing for. So I think putting that piece of collaboration in it, yes, we should be addressing those issues but maybe not necessarily addressing it through our own in-house resources. Better to address how we collaborate the system.

Mr. Souder. What about if it is narrowly drawn to require referral. Now if basically the referral agency cannot handle it, that is another problem. And the second angle of that would be informational as opposed to if Head Start is doing intensive counseling of parents, we have taken you off your mission, that is not the goal here. The question is while we have the parents, providing them information and referrals.

Ms. Crumpton. You know that is a collaborative effort within the Head Start Association, we are working with the Free to Grow Program, I cannot think of the name of the foundation. So we are bringing that into California, we already have a demonstration program here in Compton. So now I am talking to the President of that association, of that particular program, to see how we can incorporate that so that we do not put another burden on Head Start, but we also are able to service the families with the professionals who are able to bring the talent in.

So I just really want to caution about putting more. You know, it is a wonder to me that we are able in Head Start to do anything at all, particularly as we go into looking at Early Head Start, we have programs trying to do Early Head Start, trying to also respond to new performance standards. We have performance measures, I mean we are our own police. People like Jackie go out and evaluate programs on a routine basis, all the things that are happening right now in Head Start, and the ongoing requirements to every year revalidate your program, that is the word I choose to use. I think we have to really look at what it is that we are really creating and are we really giving people space, both the mental and the physical space to operate.

So I would just say look at that very cautiously. I mean it is one thing to make a recommendation, but you know that when you write it, you take it very seriously. And part of what Jackie and other directors are fighting really is the interpretation of things. The fact that she went to the regional office and someone said you cannot do something means that they interpreted what was written maybe as a suggestion of what they think is law. So be very careful and know that when you write a suggestion, a lot of people out there say that is the law of the land and give us no latitude there to add common sense and a flavor of how things really are.

Ms. Dollar. I would say that already within the performance standards, however, is the requirement that you must write a partnership agreement with every family, and if a family self-discloses that alcohol and drug abuse is the issue they want to work on through their Head Start experience, then it is incumbent on the Head Start program to find the resources for that family if they are not going to use in-house resources. They must connect that parent with the resources of the community, so we do work with whatever a parent presents, it is very wide open, very open ended as to what the partnership agreement is written with that parent.

Dr. Brekken. My other comment I wanted to make is that, and I guess it was what I was trying to say around collaboration, is that you need to also look at the drug and alcohol side. A lot of drug and alcohol programs are really struggling because they are serving adults. They do not even think about the kids.

Ms. Crumpton. Well Free to Grow does that.

Dr. Brekken. Yes, and I think that is more and more the model now.

Ms. Crumpton. Yes.

Dr. Brekken. Actually people have kids, what is happening with the kids, and they need to be making sure the kids are getting appropriate childcare and child development services because they are so at risk.

Mr. Souder. That family development, because of the change in the law, alcohol groups that are treating the family that have to write their grants such as they are not treating the family because it is not allowed in the grant request, so we are having separate things to work through.

Ms. Cuney. I must excuse myself.

Chairman Riggs. That is fine, we are going to conclude momentarily, but let me just thank Congressman Souder and thank the witnesses. It is clear, I think I can safely say, after four hearings, two in Washington, and two in the field, Texas and here, it is clear that Head Start is changing as more and more women are working, in part in response to the welfare reform mandate. It is also very clear to me that collaboration and full day, full year care is the future of Head Start. I am one of those that believe in giving credit or recognition where credit and recognition are due and I think we should recognize and credit the Clinton administration and specifically Secretary Shalala and the Department for putting more emphasis on collaboration in recent years. The numbers that we have, to me, indicate that they are ahead of the curve, that they saw it coming, particularly with the implementation of welfare reform and the start of TANF. But just last year, HHS, as you well know, and Jackie and Ms. Crumpton, and everybody else has testified they have focused more and more funding on collaboration projects where Head Start centers work with state and local governments to provide the expanded care that the marketplace wants, that it is demanding.

Of the roughly 37,000 children who entered the program last year, 37,000 children, 30,000 received full time care and the figure that we have is overall about 10 percent of Head Start programs are full time, though studies and testimony before our committee has indicated that 40 percent of Head Start families need full time care. And obviously that number could fluctuate from state to state, community to community, but that seems to be a pretty reliable national average.

One other thing I wanted to say to Ms. Farrington, and that is in the reauthorization we are going to look at continuing or reauthorizing the transition demonstration projects, and that is just another aspect of collaboration where local Head Start programs work directly with local schools, specifically you know, K-3, to see if we can sustain the academic gains that children make through their participation in Head Start and monitor and study that very carefully to see if that addresses the so-called fade-out.

Ms. Crumpton. Yes, we wanted you to know too that one of the things we are looking at is working with the PTA. We are establishing a partnership right now that we hope to filter down, I am going to do a demonstration in Los Angeles to see if that continuing kind of relationship really makes the difference for us, we think it will.

Chairman Riggs. Good, wonderful. We really strongly encourage that, and to be honest with you, I would rather see that kind of research and evaluation partnership take place in the private sector than in the governmental sector funded by taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Souder. May I make a quick comment? This may sound strange coming from me, but I want to say it anyway because I am a strong supporter of parent-teacher associations, but as we have looked at everything from parents and teachers in Missouri and some of the programs in Minnesota, I do not know how to say this tactfully, many of the parents of the kids in the highest risk families are least likely to become involved in the parent-teachers associations and those organizations. Sometimes they are intimidated even by a school building. Some of the most effective training things have either been in a mall or actually in a public housing complex. And you can also look, as you are looking at the PTAs, how to figure out whether the parents of the most high risk kids are involved in that and how to do some interconnectiveness.

Ms. Crumpton. Okay.

Mr. Souder. Because I want to praise every parent who gets involved, I am not criticizing those and the PTAs are a wonderful organization, but they may not be the same people.

Ms. Crumpton. Right.

Chairman Riggs. Let me just mention a couple of other things, you may just want to just some notes and you can respond in writing because we do not have time to discuss it today, but these are inherently controversial, therefore I think all the more important to get your reaction and feedback. Following up on what Congressman Souder said with respect to drug and alcohol counseling, one of the things we are looking at doing, and this is also for Alex' benefit, so he can carry it back to Congressman Martinez and other Democratic members of the Subcommittee and full Committee, one of the things we are looking at doing in the legislation is tying welfare eligibility with Head Start eligibility, inherently controversial, all right? But basically saying that if a person does not comply with the welfare rules, therefore loses their welfare, their TANF eligibility; they would not be eligible for Head Start. So I would like to get your reaction on that.

Secondly, that over and above that, requiring that paternity, fatherhood, be established as a condition for participation in the Head Start program. Not having Head Start perform that other than as part of the normal screening intake eligibility establishment process, but if there is a question with respect to fatherhood or paternity, then make a referral to the local child support agency.

Congressman Souder and I, in our work with the Community Renewal Alliance and through other efforts in the Congress strongly, strongly believe in the importance of fatherhood and the lack of fatherhood we believe contributes to family breakdown.

Mr. Souder. Involve dads.

Ms. Crumpton. Are you going to make that as a criteria of enrollment? What did you say?

Chairman Riggs. What I said was that we would tie welfare, TANF eligibility, with Head Start eligibility for those Head Start families that qualify on both counts and over and above that, that Head Start seek the cooperation of single mothers in establishing fatherhood and then when there is any kind of question, that they make a referral to the child support agency. It would not be though a condition of eligibility. That is to say if the mother participates and cooperates in trying to establish the identity of the father but the identity of the father cannot be established, it would not affect the eligibility for Head Start.

Mr. Souder. We have other facilities for how to get dads more involved in their kids. Often there is an informal structure because of previous welfare reform rules and that type of thing, but often I have met kids who they have had six different males living in their family and that is disorienting to young boys, but also to young girls and what kind of relationships they are going to have in their future.

Ms. Crumpton. They might want to start putting that in their school systems. You know, this is such a convoluted issue, but certainly we do not talk about parenting anywhere except on the streets and unfortunately teenagers and young people still learn it on TV and in the hallways and the byways. We should really look at putting that in the schools.

Chairman Riggs. Well, we are wide open to it, and we do not have time now, but in your response, if you have a program like the one in Fairfax County, Virginia that specifically targets fathers and encourages fathers to take a more active role, we would love to know about it. And I am sure you are doing that.

Ms. Dollar. We have a male involvement component to our program and whether a parent is married or not, making sure that that father is identified and brought into the program so they have the opportunity to participate with their child just as a mother does, or if it is a maternity issue as well, because we have many fathers who are the custodial parents in our program.

There also has been a very, very strong, about the last two years, very strong initiative in Head Start to work with child support, the child enforcement strategy, to make sure that we are helping families take advantage of dollars that they are eligible for and just simply do not know how to access. So that has been very strong within the program.

Chairman Riggs. That is great.

Ms. Dollar. I think most programs have adopted that over the last two years without it being any kind of a regulation.

Chairman Riggs. Good. Two other quick issues, so again you know where we are coming from, where a program, local grantee, loses its funding, we are looking at the possibility of recompeting that funding; that is to say, putting it out to bid, or giving the Secretary, since this is a federal to local, bypassing state government, the Secretary, the ability to use vouchers in that local area as an alternative to rebidding or recompeting the funding. That would be a way of introducing competition and choice through a voucher directly into the Head Start program. So we would like to get your reaction to that as well.

Ms. Dollar. And we certainly would just want to make sure that the level of performance standards would be held consistently on anyone who had Head Start dollars.

Chairman Riggs. That is right, and that would be built into the legislation and the onus of course would be on the Secretary to do that.

The last point, and this is the note on which I want to conclude, Dr. Ziegler, Yale professor commonly considered the father of Head Start, and others, have testified prior to today that they feel that Head Start has lost interest in educational results. I do not want to get into a debate on that now, but what I take from that is that they at least some people feel that Head Start does not have a clear enough instructional mandate. So going full circle back to what we talked about and promising to give you specificity, since we believe that Head Start children should start school ready to learn and ready to read and that if they do not get this advantage, then it is an indication that that local program is not a high quality Head Start program.

What we are looking at doing is incorporating, adding to the national performance standards specific school readiness standards, take them right out of the research and they would be five-fold, developing phonemic, print and numericy awareness, let me share these with you understanding and using oral language to communicate for different purposes, understanding and using increasingly complex and varied vocabulary, developing and demonstrating an appreciation of books, and in the case of non or limited English speaking children, non-English background children, showing progress towards acquisition of the English language five potential academic or school readiness standards that would be added to the national standards. And Jackie, I was so glad you made this distinction earlier, four-school readiness measure. Now local grantees could develop additional school readiness measures, but these four would be mandatory and then of course it is up to the local grantee to ultimately come up with a plan or a curriculum to accomplish the measures and to meet or exceed the standards.

Ms. Dollar. Of course when I talk about measures, I do not necessarily talk about school readiness measures; I am looking at the full scope.

Chairman Riggs. I know you are.

Ms. Dollar. I hope that we are just cautious about how we look at academics in a preschool setting so that we do not end up with programs that simply teach children to count to 10 in a rote manner and teach children how to respond to a testing measure and not really looking at the cognitive and social and health readiness for school that Head Start is known for. Let us allow the public school system to do their job and let us allow Head Start to do their job, because they are very distinct and different. I was a teacher and when my children were born, I was totally bent on making sure that those children learned to read and they could read by the age of four. By third grade, my boys could not read any better than any other child that did not learn to read until they got into kindergarten and first grade. So I have very personal experience with that and I just want to make sure we are very careful about those academic measures.

Chairman Riggs. We will be, I understand the concern, and it has to be balanced against the recommendations that other of our witnesses who are extremely knowledgeable have said. So that is why I am posing them to you today, running over at great length because I do not want to leave here and I do not want you to get word from Washington next week, oh, my gosh, look at what they have gone and done in the draft legislation. And I did not get a chance to mention those four readiness measures, knowing the letters of the alphabet or a special category of visual graphics that can be individually named, recognizing a word as a unit of print, identifying at least 10 letters of the alphabet and lastly, associating sounds with written words. So we are open to other suggestions obviously, but I think that is going to have to be there at the end of the day.

Mr. Souder. And to have us move off of this, because I strongly favor this, we need one level, I do not mean this in any offensive way, one level more of sophistication in any criticism of this and that is that in fact we realize that these standards are higher than for most parents and in fact higher than many elementary schools. The difference is that this is a fully funded federal program and if we were fully funding elementary, for example, we oppose national testing, but we oppose national testing because people will teach to the test and most of the funding comes locally. This is a federal program.

There is another huge assumption here and that is my kids who were arguably a step behind where they should have been going into elementary school, but they have an advantage. We are higher income parents, we have a computer at home, we are going to have an education orientation, two parents pushing those kids through, and they are going to catch up. This may be the best and only chance that many of these kids are getting coming in. So to some degree they need to come in at a slightly higher level because so somebody does not just zoom around them. So we need to sort that through, and I know we have gone over, but I wanted to make those comments.

Chairman Riggs. Very important point, I appreciate you making it.

So with that, we have given you lots of food for thought, you certainly have reciprocated and given us lots of food for thought. Like I said, again, our timing is to introduce a bill late next week or the early part of the following week and we will be eager to get your comments in response to the questions that we have posed today including the question that Congressman Martinez posed. We would like your written comments within a week's time and we would like your specific feedback on the draft introductory version of the legislation. If you want to make sure that you have a copy, please make sure that my office staff knows how to get a copy to you in an expeditious fashion.

So I thank each and every one of you for appearing here and testifying before our Subcommittee today. The Subcommittee stands adjourned.

[Whereupon, at 12:55 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]