Health Services Essentials_icon

Health Services Essentials

Live • Online • 12 PD Hours

This course provides an overview of all things related to providing high-quality health services to Head Start and Early Head Start children and their families.

Due to technical upgrades taking place this spring, Health Services Essentials is currently unavailable. Please sign up on the interest form to be notified of any changes to the status of this course.

Head Start programs partner with parents to provide high-quality health, oral health, mental health, and nutrition services that support each child’s growth and school readiness. The Health Services Essentials course is designed to support health staff in developing the fundamental knowledge they need to meet the expectations of the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), and support children and families on their path to a healthy future.

For new and experienced health service staff alike, this course covers requirements in physical/oral health, mental health, nutrition, disabilities, safety, and staff wellness. Learners will walk away with concrete suggestions on how to ensure the HSPPS are met through well-child checks, vision and hearing screenings, dental exams, and more. They will also develop an understanding on how to support others in their role and to train teachers in supporting child safety and development through daily health checks, acute care, and classroom safety checks.

Course Level: 




Target Audience:

Instruction and Effective Practice, Program Operations, Support Services

Course Meeting Times: 

In addition to completing online modules, learners will be required to attend live sessions, on the first and third Mondays of each month at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Completion Timeline/Duration: 

1 month

Head Start Alignment:

This credential supports programs in meeting 1302 Subpart D—Health Program Services requirements of the HSPPS, in which programs must “provide high-quality health, oral health, mental health, and nutrition services that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and that will support each child’s growth and school readiness.”

Join the Interest List

You will be notified when registration opens for this course.

Registration Rates

Member Rate:

Regular Rate:

Not a member? Join to save!


Online, Self-Paced Content
Live Coaching from Facilitator
Access to a National Cohort of Peers

12 Hours of Course Material

1 Months of Access to Course

Video Content
Discussion Forums
Digital Badge
Certificate of Completion with PD Hours
24/7 Access to Transcript

Course Author

Jackie Rivera

Jackie Rivera

Jackie has been a Health Administrator at a Head Start in central Missouri for over 10 years and is a Certified Community Action Professional. Before becoming a nurse, Jackie spent 10 years as an early childhood education teacher. Jackie oversees health and safety at her agency and is project manager for the agency's Childhood Obesity and Diabetes Prevention Project and Women and Infant Relief Program. Jackie is a Licensed Practical Nurse, Child Development Associate, and Lactation Counselor. Jackie is certified to train in many topics, such as Compassion Fatigue, CPR/First Aid Motivational Interviewing, I Am Moving, I Am Learning, Family Wellness, Infant Massage, Mind in The Making, and Experiential Facilitation. Jackie has had the honor of being named for a National Child Plus Community Service Award and received MOCAN Healthcare Profession Award.

What learners are saying...

"I learned more than I thought I would. I'd definitely encourage you to take part in the experience! I have nothing, but positive things to say." - Ashley Duratovic, Health Assistant, Floyd County Community Action Agency

"This is a very helpful course to learn the basics of Head Start. It was full of resources and helpful guides." - Mikaela Baber, Health and Nutrition Specialist, Community Action Council

"The information is excellent. There is a lot to learn! This course is truly worth taking!" - Angela Boykin, Family Advocate, School Board of Charlotte County