COVID-19 and the Head Start Community

Resources to Build and Retain a Strong Education Workforce

Find resources for building a program culture that provides ongoing professional development and mental health supports to teachers, family child care providers, and home visitors. Explore more tips and strategies that can help programs retain staff as they plan for and implement comprehensive educational services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and their families.

Recruiting and Hiring Staff

Explore tools and resources that can help programs recruit, hire, and onboard all program staff, including teachers, family child care providers, and home visitors.

Developing a Search Strategy: Your Roadmap for Hiring
Review each phase of an effective search strategy for hiring and retaining qualified staff.

Head Start Staff Qualifications
Review these briefs to determine the educational requirements for Head Start staff roles, including:

Steps Local Programs Can Use to Determine Credential or Degree Equivalency
Use this resource to guide your process to determine and justify staff qualifications.

Head Start A–Z: Human Resources
Discover the vital role Human Resources (HR) systems play in developing and maintaining quality Head Start and Early Head Start programs and driving continuous program improvement.

Human Resource Systems to Recruit and Retain Responsive Staff
Cultivating teamwork and autonomy can drive staff engagement. Watch this video to learn how strengthening HR practices can directly support a culture of safety for children and families. Explore the issues and costs of staff turnover and find research-based retention strategies.

Human Resources System Audit
Programs can use this self-evaluation tool to help recognize their HR strengths and identify areas for improvement. Embedded links to the Head Start Act, the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), and the Uniform Guidance help programs monitor compliance with key HR regulations.

Wage Comparability: A Guide for Conducting a Wage and Fringe Benefits Comparability Survey
Learn more about federal regulations related to employee compensation and considerations during the various phases of conducting a wage and fringe benefit survey.

Trainings for New Staff

Use the following resources to orient and provide professional development for new staff. Many of the trainings can also be used within a higher education course of study on early childhood development, education, or family engagement.

Professional Development for Teachers, Family Child Care Providers, and Home Visitors

Encourage staff to complete online learning courses and download continuing education units or certificates of attendance. They can be used to document educational clock hours for annual professional development, Child Development Associate® (CDA) credentials, or other licensures.

Early Educator Central
Explore federally-funded coursework and resources geared for the infant/toddler workforce. Find asynchronous online courses around infant/toddler development and learning and professional development for family support staff.

Individualized Professional Development (iPD) Portfolio
This learning management system supports ongoing professional development for staff in Head Start and child care settings. It contains accessible, self-paced modules based on staff roles and interests. The Beginning Teachers and Beginning Home Visitors modules can help orient new or refresh experienced Head Start staff. Beginning Teachers includes separate sessions for Preschool and Infant/Toddler teachers. Review the full iPD course catalog with staff to select courses that could enhance their strategies and support their goals and interests.

Staff Retention

Consider implementing approaches to enhance your program culture, promote staff wellness, and elevate staff self-efficacy. Programs should also reflect on how they can provide supports to increase the well-being of frontline staff.

The 5Rs of Early Learning Leadership
This webinar series describes ways education managers can support their staff and promote quality teaching and learning in their programs. Watch these webinars to review each of the five Rs: Responsive Relationships, Reason, Resources, Reflective Dialogue, and Recognition.

Inspire and inform staff about the Head Start program’s mission and history by infusing these resources in trainings:

Mental Health and Staff Wellness: Emotionally Strong Together
Discover mental health and staff wellness resources and strategies in this Head Start Forward webinar. Explore guidance around trauma-informed approaches, staff wellness, sensitive conversations with families, and social and emotional development.

Promoting Staff and Family Well-being
Explore this collection of resources to create wellness strategies that promote both physical and mental well-being. Find information on ways to promote a culture of wellness for young children and the adults who care for them.

Coaching to Support Staff

Coaching supports staff efficacy and promotes effective teaching and learning practices.

Head Start Coaching Companion
Head Start educators, coaches, and supervisors can use this online platform for video-sharing and coaching feedback. It helps teams work together, even between coach visits or from a distance.

Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) Effective Practice Guides
Find information about domain-specific teaching practices that support children’s learning. The guides show what these practices look like in various early learning settings and can help staff reflect on and improve their teaching and home visiting practices.

Connect with Others

MyPeers: Social Network for Early Childhood Professionals
Join MyPeers to connect with colleagues around the country. Ask questions and share your effective strategies for recruiting and onboarding staff, implementing effective professional development, and creating a supportive program culture to retain staff.