Training staff about physical health is essential to a program’s ability to offer high-quality health services that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and that will support each child’s growth and school readiness.
Tips and Strategies for Training Staff
- Remind staff that health is everybody’s business.
- Remind staff that school readiness starts with health.
- Use information in children’s health records and your PIR data to look at the percentage of children receiving follow-up care that they need and children whose treatment still needs to be addressed, and support programs in developing strategies to connect children to needed care.
- Develop an annual training plan and review it regularly to make sure it meets the training needs of your Head Start staff; adapt it as needed.
- Use your Health Services Advisory Committee members to help train staff on emerging health concerns and common childhood illnesses.
- Make sure that staff who do vision and hearing screening, and other screenings, are trained on the equipment, maintain the equipment well, and understand screening results and what to do with them.
Resources for Staff Professional Development
Collaborating with Families
Programs must work in a linguistically and culturally appropriate way with families as partners in the health and well-being of their children. They need to communicate with families about their child’s health needs and development concerns promptly and helpfully.
Tips and Strategies for Collaborating with Families
- Develop a health education plan for your program. Use local data to determine common health concerns and emerging health issues.
- Use your HSAC members to help tell families about emerging health concerns and common childhood illnesses.
- Ask families how they would like to get prompt reminders about important health appointments and screenings (e.g., by text, email, phone, letter, home visit, meeting).
- Ask families how they would like to learn health information (e.g., by bulletin boards, brochures, videos, meeting, hands-on activities, guest speakers).
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: September 22, 2023