Home Visitor's Online Handbook

Home Visitor Staff Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills

Two women going over a workbook

Staff qualifications and competency requirements, 45 CFR §1302.91(e)(6), requires home visitors to: 

  • Have a minimum of a home-based child development associate (CDA) or comparable credential, or equivalent coursework as part of an associate's or bachelor's degree
  • Demonstrate competency to plan and implement home-based learning experiences that ensure:
    • Effective implementation of the home visiting curriculum
    • Promote children's progress across the standards described in the ELOF, including for children with disabilities and children who are DLLs, as appropriate
    • Build respectful, culturally responsive, and trusting relationships with families

Head Start and Early Head Start programs must ensure that each staff member, consultant, and contractor has the knowledge, training, experience, and competencies they need to provide high quality services. Home visitors need many competencies as their work is very complex. They need knowledge and skills in:

  • Structured, child-focused home visiting that promotes parents' ability to support the child's cognitive, social and emotional, language and literacy, and physical development, and approaches to learning
  • Effective strengths-based parent education, including methods to encourage parents as their child's first teacher
  • Early childhood development, birth through age 5
  • Methods to help parents promote emergent literacy in their children from birth–5, including use of research-based strategies to support the development of literacy and language skills for children with limited proficiency in English
  • Ascertaining what health and developmental services the family receives and working with those providers to eliminate gaps in service by offering annual health, vision, hearing, and developmental screening for children from birth to entry into kindergarten, when needed
  • Strategies for helping families coping with crisis
  • The relationship of health and well-being of pregnant women to prenatal and early child development