What is Head Start?

Head Start is a federal program aimed at increasing school readiness for children from lower-income families and backgrounds. From birth to five years of age, children who meet the head start requirements of eligibility can take these courses that focus on enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development to better prepare them to enter schooling in a full-time capacity and average school setting. Overall learning, nutrition, and family and social well-being skills will be taught to help foster a spirit of learning and discovery within children who, on their own, may not have been formed. 

A big part of head start is engaging the parents or guardians of each child to promote support and education from the parents to the child directly. This includes promoting healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, aiding in the development and progression of young children, promoting healthy family structures and relationships, and fostering and emphasizing the importance of education within each unique family dynamic.

Head Start Eligibility Requirements

As mentioned before, head start requirements usually require the child to be 0-5 years old from a family with low income. Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance also meet the head start requirements for eligibility. 

In addition to Head Start, there are also Early Head Start programs established to assist infants, toddlers, and pregnant women and their families who, again, are below the poverty level.

Head Start education programs may vary from community to community, so it is important to look into the specific head start requirements in your area. Federal poverty guidelines are used to determine whether or not each specific participant meets the financial head start requirements for eligibility.

How CCEI Can Help You Meet Staffing Head Start Requirements

CCEI offers head start training and online head start education programs for those hoping to be a part of the head start education system and meet the staffing head start requirements. It is the goal and responsibility of CCEI to prepare each participant to become a qualified, highly-skilled staff member.

The specific head start requirements for these staff members can be seen outlined below in more detail. 

Make Your T/TA Funds go Further with
Leading Distance Training by CCEI

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI) is the leading online training provider
in the early childhood education industry and is
Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

Since its inception, CCEI has worked with the Head Start community to provide quality staff training.

Head Start Requirements

Performance Standard: 45 CFR 1304.52 (l) Training and Development 
One of the most important determinants of program excellence is the presence of well-trained, qualified staff. The Head Start training and development section 45 CFR 1304.52 (l) requires grantees and delegate agencies to provide orientation for new staff, volunteers and consultants, establishes a structured approach to child care center staff training and development that is designed to foster relationships and build knowledge and skills, and to include ongoing opportunities for staff to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the content of the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Whenever possible, staff training and development should carry academic credit.

The Staff qualifications and development section [62 U.S.C. 9843a] Sec. 648A.5 of the Head Start Act specifies that each Head Start teacher shall attend not less than 15 clock hours of professional development per year. Such professional development shall, among other things, be high-quality, sustained, intensive, and have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction and the teacher’s performance in the classroom, and should be regularly evaluated by the program for effectiveness.

CCEI offers online distance
learning that can help meet these
Head Start requirements:

  • Pre-service and In-service online training for new and experienced staff
  • Over 200+ child care training courses in English & Spanish
  • Training topics pertinent to the industry in healthy and safety, nutrition and food service, child development, classroom management, guidance and discipline, inclusion, and many more
  • Administration and management professional development courses
  • General orientation and infant-toddler orientation programs
  • Certificate programs that can help meet the coursework requirements of the CDA, FCCPC, and more
  • IACET CEUs awarded for completed coursework
  • Coursework that articulates to college credit with several of CCEI’s college partners
  • Customized content hosting and learning management

CCEI offers a variety of online certificate programs
to help Head Start staff meet this standard:

All of these distance learning programs are self-paced and can be completed in one year or less. CCEI online courses have received college credit recommendations from the National College Credit Recommendation Service and articulates to college credit with CCEI’s college partners.

Benefits offered by CCEI to Head Start staff:

  • In-Kind Credit offered on most programs
  • Customer Support Help Desk to deliver assistance
  • Faculty Support
  • Student access to completion certificates

How Do I Get Started?

You have three options for purchasing child development classes online

Individual or
Block Hours

Students may purchase one hour of child care online coursework or multiple hours at a time.

  • 1-10 Hours: $15 per hour

  • 11-49 Hours: $14 per hour

  • 50 Hour Block: $650

  • 125 Hour Block: $1,500

  • 225 Hour Block: $2,475

Individual Annual Subscription

For $99, a child care professional can purchase an Individual Annual Professional Development Subscription. The subscription allows unlimited access to CCEI’s professional development course catalog for the year of the subscription.

Child Care Center-Based Subscription

The Child Care Center-Based Annual Subscription is the most manageable, accessible and cost-effective method for a center to provide its staff with training to meet annual licensing professional development needs. CCEI offers two child care center-based subscriptions:
  • $499/year

  • $999/year

With the 50-user option, staff can receive access to annual training for just $20 per person.

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