Creating community. Building knowledge. Together.

The Academy is Head Start's home for professional learning. Open to everyone who works in early childhood, every course is designed with your needs in mind. Whether you are leading a program, assisting in a classroom, or keeping a facility sparkling clean, you will feel at home here. Our rich content and human-centered approach will enable you to hone your skills, increase your knowledge, and improve the amazing work you do every day, brightening the futures of the children you serve. Explore opportunities today!

Learn from the leaders in early childhood development and education.

The Academy features expert faculty, all of whom are practicing teachers, coaches, curriculum directors, or educational leaders.

Expand your skills and engage with a national network of educators.

Learn in-demand skills with our on-demand and self-paced as well as live online programs. Each is uniquely designed to be relevant to your career — what you learn today can be immediately applied tomorrow.

Advance your career with flexible pathways.

Our courses are built for educators at any point in their careers, from those taking on new responsibilities to seasoned professionals. Identify which traits and skills are essential for you to grow, adapt, and succeed. Enroll in a program that will expand your skills—and your career potential.

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Be the first to know when registration opens for our upcoming courses.

Now it’s even easier for your program’s staff to gain access to NHSA’s catalog of fundamental courses whenever you need it!

Ideal for orientation, onboarding new staff and policy council members, and providing ongoing professional development, Academy+ offers instant access to dozens of Head Start-specific, engaging courses on-demand.

High-quality, relevant training.

Whether you are looking to learn the fundamentals, keep up to date on the latest trends, or meet Head Start Program Performance Standards, The Academy has something for everyone. Explore content by role.

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Whether you're looking to improve performance, enhance collaboration, or invest in your team's professional development, The Academy’s in-person training programs can help! With our expert trainers, interactive learning activities, and personalized attention, your staff will gain the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their roles.

Developed by leading experts.

Your Head Start colleagues from across the country are rating their experience at The Academy as excellent or very good.

4.4/5 stars (922 reviews)

Head Start Manager Credential

The Head Start Manager Credential is designed for general management and will provide learners with information on a number of topics—ranging from becoming ...
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Social Emotional Learning Credential

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Head Start Basics

Available in Pre-Service BundleThis course trains new and returning staff on the basics of Head Start—the program’s history, parent and family engagement, ...
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Family Service Certification

This certification provides Head Start family service staff with a chance to demonstrate skills that support family engagement and wellbeing.
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Featured Faculty

Dr. Deborah Bergeron

Dr. Deborah Bergeron

Former director of the Office of Head Start

Belinda Rinker, JD

Belinda Rinker, JD

Former Office of Head
Start senior advisor

Dr. Kimberly Johnson

Dr. Kimberly Johnson

Professor at Harvard and Clemson Universities, and Head Start alumna

Dr. Greg Dixon

Dr. Greg Dixon

Chief analytics officer at Acorn Evaluation



“The collective knowledge of all those participating is incredible! So much learning. Connections made with others will last a very long time.”

- Director Credential participant

“This training was engaging and deals with current situations we face every day in this line of work.”

- Bias Busters Basics participant

“This course is an excellent foundation for building data capacity within our organization. I hope all Head Start and Early Head Start programs take advantage of this excellent opportunity!”

- Data Basics participant

“I think all staff who just get hired should go through all these trainings to learn what the program is all about!”

- Head Start Basics participant

“This was incredibly informative and tests your knowledge in many ways—from videos, reading, and talking—perfect for every type of learner!”

- Head Start Basics participant

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Visit our Help Desk to find answers to commonly asked questions.