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Health Services Essentials

Online • Live • 5 PD Hrs

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.


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.

Start Date: Registration is open! This course will be available starting November 1, 2022.

Course Level: Intermediate

Requirements/Prerequisites: None

Target Audience: Management, Support Services, Program operations

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.”

Course Outline

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.

Registration Rates

Regular Rate: $425

NHSA Member Rate: $295

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  • Online, Self Paced Content
  • Live Coaching from Instructor
  • Access to a National Cohort of Peers
  • 5 Hours of Course Material
  • Video Content
  • 1 Month of Access to Online Course
  • Discussion Forums
  • Digital Badge
  • Certificate of Completion with Professional Development Hours
  • 24/7 Access to Transcript

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