The Head Start Health Services Newsletter provides current research topics, best practice and updates for the Office of Head Start (OHS). It includes notices and resources from professional organizations, federal agencies, and federal partners to OHS. The newsletter also provides tips for supporting staff and engaging families. Head Start health managers and other early childhood professionals are encouraged to subscribe and to use and share these resources.
Child care health consultants (CCHCs) are health professionals who know about child health, child development, and health and safety in child care settings.
New and experienced staff will find professional development tools to help keep children safe, healthy, and ready to learn.
Health Services Advisory Committees (HSACs) help programs to make decisions about health services. Learn how to plan, execute, and evaluate your HSAC.
Programs should have a process in place for age-appropriate developmental and behavioral screenings for all children at the beginning of a child's enrollment in the program, at least yearly thereafter, and as developmental concerns become apparent to staff and/or parents/guardians. Providers may choose to conduct screenings, themselves; partner with a local agency/health care provider/specialist who would conduct the screening; or work with parents in connecting them to resources to ensure that screening occurs. This process should consist of parental/guardian education, consent, and participation as well as connection to resources and support, including the primary health care provider, as needed. Results of screenings should be documented in child records.
All staff, volunteers, and children should abide by the following procedures for hand washing, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Head Start programs must meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards on medication administration. View this webinar to learn how to develop a system. Programs will always have children who need medicine administration, so it is critical to have a process in place.
Health managers can use these tools when engaging their health manager networks. Find materials discussing the benefits of these networks, as well as other resources to use in your daily work.
Health manager networks promote improvement by building relationships among those in similar positions across Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These networks are more likely to be sustained when there is shared leadership. Three leaders, Rashanda Jenkins from Virginia, and Eric Vaughn and Peggy Kelly from Kansas, describe ways their state Head Start Associations foster health manager network leaders.
All staff, parents/guardians, volunteers, and others who care for infants in the early care and education setting should follow safe sleep practices as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Cribs must be in compliance with current U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and ASTM International safety standards. See Standard 220.127.116.11 for more information.