COVID-19 and the Head Start Community

Professional Development

During this time of social distancing, staff may have the flexibility to focus on individual professional development. This section is regularly updated with the most relevant guidance and resources. All published resources are listed under Recent Updates.

Here are some ideas for organizing professional development efforts:

  • Review existing individual professional development plans with supervisors, assess needs, and explore online learning opportunities, such as those below
  • Consider immediate needs and long-term goals
  • Consider using staff workgroups for program-wide planning

Staff and supervisors should discuss how to document individual professional development activities when certificates or credits are not offered.

  • View, read, or listen to resources that offer self-reflection and application activities to help staff apply what they've learned to their role in Head Start and document their virtual learning. For example, they can complete the Teacher Time viewer's guides, located under Additional Resources for each recent episode.
  • Take a screen shot of their work in one of the mobile apps and share it with their supervisor, along with a reflection about how they are planning to use their knowledge.
  • Create a professional development tracker in MyPeers through a grantee workgroup. Grantee agencies may set up a staff workgroup to support internal communication and work functions. A recorded instructional webinar can be found in the Files>Training Files section of MyPeers.

Individualized Professional Development (iPD) Portfolio
Head Start and child care staff can receive certificates of completion and free continuing education units (CEUs) on more than 25 e-learning courses.

  • Increasing your home-based services? Check out the Beginning Home Visitors Series, where home-based staff can learn about delivering effective services to families at home.
  • Considering a conversion to serve more infants and toddlers? Enroll preschool staff in the Beginning Infant/Toddler Teacher Series so they can explore teaching and learning for children from birth to 3.

Head Start Coaching Companion
Improve virtual teaching practices by watching video examples, uploading your own videos, and getting feedback from your coach or supervisor.

The Institute for the Advancement of Family Support Professionals
The Institute offers family support professionals the opportunity to learn new skills and grow their careers. Through engaging, online modules and a personalized learning map feature, professionals take charge of their growth and advancement.

Head Start TAlks
Use the Head Start TAlks app to access and learn from valuable training and technical assistance (TTA) podcasts on your mobile device. Series include Understanding the ELOF: Stories from Experts; Healthy Home Visiting; and Research on the Go.

Starting with Strengths in Challenging Times
Work through this interactive module to strengthen five skills you can use to partner with families going through a challenging situation.

15-minute In-service Suites
Learn to strengthen effective teaching practices as part of a short-term professional development goal. Coaches and supervisors can combine resources from the suites with virtual coaching activities.

Head Start Health Services Competencies
Use these tools to develop and strengthen the attitudes, knowledge, and skills health services staff need to effectively support the health, safety, and wellness of young children and their families.

Child Care Health Consultation: Skill-Building Modules
Health managers can use these skill-building modules to strengthen their ability to collaborate with directors, teachers, and family child care providers to promote health, safety, and wellness. While initially designed for child care health consultants, the activities can supplement training for health managers in core areas of health and safety in early care and education settings, such as safety practices, physical health, oral health, nutrition, and mental health.

Upcoming Events
Register for an upcoming early childhood webinar or event. At the end of a live webinar broadcast, you may receive a certificate of completion for contact hours earned. Some popular webinars from the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL) are also available on-demand for up to two weeks, so you can watch them on your own schedule and still receive documentation of completion. Use the registration link to access the webinar on-demand or visit MyPeers for specific webinars.

MyPeers is a virtual learning network where you can brainstorm, exchange ideas, and share resources with early childhood colleagues from across the country. It was created by OHS to help you connect and learn with people who share your interests and program responsibilities. These informal connections can be a great source of encouragement and insight. There are more than 40 MyPeers communities! Join as many as meet your roles and interests. There are regularly scheduled orientations for new users.