Icon_ Director Credential

New Director Credential

Online • Live • 40 PD Hrs

Take a four-month learning journey with other new Head Start and Early Head Start Directors. Here you will dig into a wide range of program leadership topics, including effective leadership development, communication and advocacy, operations, and more.


Let's face it, being a Head Start director is tough work. But with the right support, you can thrive and make a significant, positive impact in the lives of children and families. The New Director Credential provides four months of professional development and practical support to help you overcome barriers and lead your program with excellence.

Designed especially for new directors (0-5 years on the job), this credential allows you to identify specific challenges, analyze those challenges, and develop solutions. You'll work through new modules every month and engage in conversations with peers all over the country. The cohort model provides peer-to-peer support, mentorship, and coaching on your journey.

In addition to the monthly meetings and online coursework, all participants receive free registration to one of two NHSA conferences. The fall cohort will attend NHSA’s Parent and Family Engagement Conference in December and the spring cohort will attend NHSA’s National Conference in May. Some learners may have the opportunity to present at one of the conferences, taking your leadership skills to the national level.

Start Date: New cohorts biannually in Fall and Spring

Course Level: Advanced

Requirements/Prerequisites: Directors with under 5 years experience in role

Target Audience: Leadership and Management

Course Meeting Times: Thursdays from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET

Completion Timeline/Duration: Four months

Head Start Alignment: This course supports programs in meeting Part 1302: Program Operations, Subpart I-Human Resources & J-Program Management and Quality Improvement requirements of the Head Start Program Performance Standards to ensure staff are qualified and supported to effectively provide services.

Course Outline

Course Facilitator

Dr. Deborah Bergeron

Dr. B served as director of the Office of Head Start from 2018-21. From 2019-21 she broadened her leadership as director of the Office of Early Childhood Development in the Administration for Children and Families. Known as "Dr. B" to former students and teachers, she spent three decades in pre-K–12 public education as a classroom teacher and school administrator. She currently serves as deputy director for Community Engagement and Innovation at the National Head Start Association.

Registration Rates

Regular Rate: $5,495

NHSA Member Rate: $4,225

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