Learn from the leaders in early childhood development and education.

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

Wherever you want to go next, The Academy is here to get you there. 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.

Looking to sharpen your skills?

Our credentialing pathways 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.

Professional development, designed for you.

The Academy is home to expert faculty, all of whom are practicing teachers, coaches, curriculum directors, or educational leaders. And The Academy’s schedule is tailored to allow learners to further their careers while balancing work, family, and other responsibilities. Join this network of practitioners who are committed to supporting your success — throughout the program and beyond. Choose classes that best fit your needs.

Credentials and Certifications

CDA Training Pathways

This program guides candidates through the entire CDA credentialing process. The self-paced coursework gives students the flexibility to learn on their own schedule, while our dedicated faculty provide one-on-one coaching and the additional support necessary to ensure all of our students complete the entire CDA program.

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Data Literacy Credential

Educate managers and directors in data literacy; the ability to communicate about the use of data; and basic storytelling with data skills.

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Family Service Certification

This certification provides Family Service Workers the opportunity to demonstrate a mastery of a comprehensive series of skills.

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Fund Development Credential

This online cause selling accelerate helps Head Start leadership and management integrate successful business practices and relationship-driven strategies to help programs build strong connections with donors, increase revenue, and empower their cause.

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Health Service Certification

This certification provides Health Service Workers the opportunity to demonstrate a mastery of a comprehensive series of skills.

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Mind in the Making Trainer Certification

This program trains early childhood education professionals to coach families and practitioners working with children on best practices identified in Ellen Galinsky’s groundbreaking child development research.

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New Director Credential

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.

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Site Leader Credential

This credential explores topics surrounding day-to-day leadership in Head Start and Early Head Start sites. Participants will work on managing and leading teams, setting tone and culture at the site level, and managing the everyday responsibilities that make up Head Start and Early Head Start programming.

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Courses

Bias Buster Basics

Educate and have an open dialogue with your staff on the topics of diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI). This course is the perfect first step in your program’s DEI journey by defining shared vocabulary, language, and values.

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Bias Busters Essentials

Take your programs’ understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to the next level. This live course ensures everyone on your staff builds a common understanding of unconscious bias to create a more equitable environment.

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Data Basics

This course explores the role of data in Head Start and answers two questions: “Why do people care so much about data?” and “What does this have to do with me?”

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Data Essentials

Data Essentials explores how data is used in practice in today’s Head Start world and answers two questions: “How can data be used to make things better?” and “How can I be sure that the data I collect helps children and families?”

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Effective Transitions Essentials

Turn transition time into sound-and-play-based learning opportunities you and your students look forward to every day.

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Financial Wellness Essentials

This Financial Wellness course introduces money smart strategies for the Head Start workforce so staff can focus on what they love.

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Fiscal Basics

This course introduces financial basics that everyone in Head Start needs to know. Participants will learn where Head Start funds come from, how they can be used, and the responsibilities staff and governing bodies have as stewards of federal dollars.

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Fiscal Essentials

Whether you are budgeting for annual wages and benefits, overseeing renovations to a facility, or responsible for a single site’s overall budget, knowing and complying with all of the fiscal requirements associated with Head Start services is essential. This course goes beyond the basics and covers the fiscal responsibilities of staff who oversee funds and property.

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Gardening with Kids Basics

Hands-on experiences in the garden provide young children and the Head Start community with a multitude of benefits! This course gives early educators interested in bringing gardening to their programs a basic understanding of how to get started, including guidance on seeking funding to support their project.

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Head Start Basics

This course trains new and returning staff on the basics of Head Start—the program’s history, parent and family engagement, health policies, Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), and more!

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Head Start History

Head Start is the most important social and educational investment in children, families, and communities the United States has ever undertaken. Dive into the program’s rich history in this short two-hour course.

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Head Start Orientation

This one-hour dynamic course provides the basic information required to work or volunteer in a Head Start or an Early Head Start classroom.

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Music and Movement Essentials

Combining the best of online learning with live coaching sessions, this course helps educators build their confidence in leading music and movement activities that enhance children’s school readiness skills.

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Policy Council Basics

Parent Policy Council members play an essential role in program governance. This course provides an overview of everything from Head Start’s federal structure to to grant recipient fiscal responsibilities, helping parents grow as leaders and decision-makers.

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