Multicultural Principles for Early Childhood Leaders

Head Start programs are effective when their systems and services support the cultural diversity of enrolled families. Furthermore, individual staff members must be able to demonstrate their respect for and respond to the different cultures in their community and among their co-workers. The following resource provides recent research and perspectives on key multicultural principles and offers guidance to staff on how to implement these principles in their programs.

Cultural Backgrounders on Various Refugee and Cultural Groups New to the United States

This series of resources provide general cultural information on various refugee and cultural groups new to the United States. It is always best to get to know each family and learn their individual characteristics, as every family is unique and cultural practices vary by household and by generation. These resources provide basic information to help staff begin discussions with families and communities.

DEC Position Statement on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness

For young learners of English who are speakers of other languages (ESOL), the challenges of literacy and language development are different if they are learning in an all-English environment where they need the language to function in school, or if they are in an environment where English is taught as a foreign language (EFL) in school. This position paper from the Division of Early Childhood focuses on children who speak a language other than English at home, and who are entering school environments where English is the principal medium of instruction.

Highlights for Teaching Children Who Are Dual Language Learners (DLLs)

This resource highlights strategies discussed in the Head Start Science Teacher's Guide that teaching teams may use to help children learn their home language in addition to English. Teachers are encouraged to focus on language and literacy skills as integral to the exploration of science topics in the natural world. Specific suggestions from the Guide provide evidence-based practices that are effective for working with dual language learners in Head Start programs.

Home Language Support

Children who speak home languages other than English make up at least one third of Head Start enrollment. They speak more than 140 languages and are enrolled in 87 percent of all Head Start programs. All Head Start staff, and policy makers will want to understand what these young dual language learners (DLLs) need in order to thrive in Head Start and beyond. They will also want to know how to support DLL’s development and school readiness skills.

Sensory Screening Protocol

Screenings must be completed within 45 days of enrollment. The Sensory Screening Protocol offers a series of tasks to effectively screen children.

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Learn the facts about lead poisoning in children. Find information on lead testing, the effects of lead on children and how to prevent lead exposure.