Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) System

The Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care are collaborating to more effectively provide training and technical assistance (T/TA) across early care and education programs. This joint T/TA system will support early care and education (ECE) programs and early educators in delivering quality services to children and their families across the country. In 2015, six new National Centers were launched to promote excellence through high quality, practical resources and approaches that build early childhood program capacity and promote consistent practices across communities, states, tribes, and territories.

Currently, the Office of Head Start (OHS) provides T/TA program staff support in their delivery of quality services to children and families. OHS T/TA consists of three components: direct funding to grantees; state T/TA network, including Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) and American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) Head Start; and the National Centers.

Vision for Head Start Grantees

A coordinated system that works together seamlessly to ensure that Head Start and Early Head Start programs have access to high-quality information, resources, and materials.

Mission

To support all Head Start and Early Head Start programs in bringing best practices into agency systems and services to promote continuous program improvement.

Philosophy

Every Head Start and Early Head Start program deserves access to the same level of high quality T/TA to produce the best possible outcomes for children and families.

Guiding Principles

  • Capacity-building and sustainable support and practices, both internally and externally
  • Comprehensive approaches
  • Culturally and linguistically responsive practices
  • Easily and logically accessible and usable
  • Evidence-based materials and approaches
  • Incorporating and promoting best practices
  • Promoting school readiness
  • Respectful and professional processes and service delivery
  • Timely and relevant guidance, support, activities, and materials
 

Components of the OHS T/TA System

OHS expects all three strands of its T/TA system to work together seamlessly to raise quality and improve outcomes for all our children and families. The three components are:

Direct Funding to Grantees
Head Start grantees form the most critical component of Head Start's national T/TA system. At least 50 percent of all T/TA dollars are provided directly to grantees.

Regional T/TA System
The goal of the regional T/TA system is to create a seamless, easily accessible team of professional development providers at the regional, tribal, and local levels, who can work with Head Start programs directly to improve the quality of teaching and other services.

National Centers

This fall, ACF is launching six new National Centers to promote excellence through high quality, practical resources and approaches that build early childhood program capacity and promote consistent practices across communities, states, tribes, and territories.

The new National Centers include:

    • National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (funded by OHS and OCC)
    • National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (funded by OHS, OCC, and the Health Services and Resources Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB))
    • National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (funded by OHS, OCC, and MCHB)
    • National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (funded by OHS and OCC)
    • National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (funded by OHS)
    • National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (funded by OCC)

The newly awarded Centers will join the previously awarded National Center on Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships; National Center on Tribal Child Care Implementation and Innovation; and National Center on Child Care Subsidy Innovation and Accountability.

Last Reviewed: February 2016

Last Updated: April 14, 2016