Discover the link between positive health outcomes for children and early care and education providers’ cultural competence with this activity.
For over fifty years, Head Start* has had a commitment to health and wellness. Promotion and prevention activities are central to the program’s requirement to provide comprehensive services to support children’s healthy growth and development. Today, a growing body of research demonstrates that healthy growth and development are critical for school readiness and later learning. Recent studies suggest that high-quality early childhood health and nutrition services provide the foundation for lifelong wellness.
The Head Start Health Services Competencies Professional Development Assessment (PDA) is a companion document to the Head Start Health Services Competencies: A Tool to Support Health Managers and Staff (The Competencies Tool). The Competencies Tool is a framework for identifying the critical attitudes, knowledge, and skills to implement effective health services. Attitudes refers to what an individual values; knowledge refers to what an individual knows; and skills refers to what an individual can do. The 68 competencies are organized into four categories. In the PDA, each competency has four levels of accomplishment along a continuum of strengths. Program directors, health managers, and health staff can use the PDA themselves and with the staff they supervise to promote successful job performance and support career development.
Health Services Advisory Committees (HSACs) help programs to make decisions about health services. Learn how to plan, execute, and evaluate your HSAC.
These fact sheets serve as tools to help Head Start health managers provide important information to Head Start staff about National Center on Health (NCH) priorities. We hope that you find them useful as you work within your programs and communities to strengthen the health and wellness of all Head Start children.
This guide is a compilation of T/TA resources, planning tools, and strategies to help new and experienced health managers. It is a starting point to help determine what needs attention and how to structure work.
These tools, for new and experienced staff, address science-informed practices for early childhood health staff. Each is indicative of an attitude, knowledge, or skill. Use this for professional development.
All Head Start and Early Head Start programs are required to establish and maintain a Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC). The HSAC is an advisory group usually composed of local health providers who represent a wide variety of local social services agencies. They may include pediatricians, nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, nutritionists, and mental health providers. Head Start staff and parents also serve on the HSAC. Many HSACs struggle with recruitment and attendance. This Health Chat suggests ways to overcome barriers of time, distance, and cost using virtual meeting technology.
Making It on Our Own: Customizing an Individualized Health Plan [A Learning Activity]
This fact sheet provides information on healthy active living. It discusses the importance of physical activity, a healthy diet, and quality sleep to the overall growth, development, and learning of young children.