Head Start staff are qualified professionals who have access to a wide range of training resources and supports.
Annual training plan
Each Head Start and Early Head Start program sets aside funds and develops an annual training plan. The Head Start community in Vermont is a close, supportive community. We think of our staff, partners, and parents as part of a team that provides the very best early childhood education experience. One way to support the whole team is to advance our professional development.
Visit the Calendar and Events to see about upcoming training events that support your professional development.
Head Start programs offer regular in-service training to build and extend skills and knowledge. One critically important training topic is active supervision of children. Active supervision is the foundation that ensures every child’s health and safety. Watch the video below from the 2019 Champlain Valley Head Start training session with staff.
The VHSA board of directors and staff use the national Office of Head Start, Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) to support their work with children and their families. Staff find the latest about education and child development, community and family engagement, and health.
Here are a few resources from the ECLKC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center that offer opportunities to expand staff knowledge and build skills.
- Teaching Practices
- Early Head Start
- Parent, Family and Community Engagement
- Program Management and Fiscal Operations
- Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships
- Health (including oral, mental, physical and nutrition information)
National and regional training and technical assistance
The VHSA helps plan regional and national training events.
The National Head Start Association (NHSA) and New England Head Start Association (NEHSA) hold conferences each year. NHSA offers five conference and training events each year: the National Head Start Conference, the Parent and Family Engagement Conference, the Winter leadership Institute, the Fall Leadership Institute, and the Leadership Education and Development Summit (LEADS). NEHSA holds a spring and fall conference as well. One VHSA board member and one parent are board members to the NHSA and NEHSA and help plan these training events among other responsibilities.
In addition to these training events, the Office of Head Start’s Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) network supports program staff in delivering quality services to children and families. The T/TA system consists of three levels: national, regional, and grantee. While each level has distinct and unique functions, they are designed to complement each other. Structured, intentional, high-quality T/TA supports the school readiness of children and their families.
The VHSA board and their program staff receive Regional T/TA through the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. The Donohue Institute’s Head Start Training and Technical Assistance Program offers on-site and regional training as well as technical assistance for the six New England states. An Early Childhood Specialist from the Donahue Institute attends VHSA meetings to provide updates on training opportunities.
The following list includes some of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) resources for Head Start and Early Head Start staff and early education and childcare partners. There are additional resources for parents on the families page.
Program resources on COVID-19
- Updated Resources for Child Care Providers
- Protecting the Health and Safety of Workers Training (on COVID-19) – Vermont Occupational Health and Safety Administration (VOSHA)
- Educators Help Keep Children Safe
- Virtual/Distance Strategies to Support Children, Families & Staff
- Florida State University (FSU) Trauma Informed Resources
- Vermont Information Exchange for Women