Professional Development

Early Learning Domains

Head Start and Early Head Start programs are required to provide high-quality early education and child development services. These services promote all children's cognitive, social, and emotional growth for later success in school. Education managers and other professional development staff can use the resource sets below to help teachers and caregivers enhance children's learning across the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework domains.

Each resource set includes an emphasis on:

  • Nurturing and responsive practices, interactions, and environments that foster trust and emotional security
  • Communication and language-rich conversations
  • Promoting critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Social, emotional, behavioral, and language development
  • Supportive feedback for learning
  • Motivating for continued effort
  • Supporting all children's engagement in learning experiences and activities

Explore resources that promote a deep dive into teaching practices across the five domains of early learning. These include video presentations, background materials, and handouts. Professional development providers and managers may use these resources to support workshops for teachers and caregivers.

Approaches to Learning

Two boys playing in mirror

Explore teaching practices that promote infants', toddlers', and preschoolers' independence, curiosity, and self-management.

Language and Literacy

Boy Clapping

Promote children's emerging abilities in language and literacy development. Help teachers and caregivers enhance the communication abilities of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.


Boy looking at fish in aquarium

Through exploration and discovery, young children build their own thinking and processing abilities. Find strategies that parents, teachers, and other adults can use to support cognitive development.

Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development

Kids with teacher in a park

Explore resources that address young children's development of perception, gross and fine motor skills, and health, safety, and nutrition. Program leaders share specific approaches to enhance all four areas of development.