2024 Training APEX Award Winner– Enriching Head Start Education

Explore how The Academy at NHSA revolutionizes training practices specifically tailored for Head Start staff. Discover our innovative methodologies, testimonials from Head Start educators, and the program's direct impact on enriching Head Start classrooms.

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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New Platform, New Capabilities

The Academy at NHSA is excited to announce an upcoming transition to The Academy 2.0! In the coming weeks, the on-demand Academy content you know and love will become more accessible, user-friendly, and personalized.

The Academy 2.0 is a modern, intuitive interface with powerful new features that will enhance your learning experience. We know this change will be beneficial to all and look forward to a smooth transition in the coming months. 

Courses that are currently in-progress need to be completed by April 19, 2024.* Any courses that are in-progress after this date will need to be restarted on the new platform.


Are all Academy courses moving to Academy 2.0? Expand
What will happen to the certificates I’ve already earned? Expand
Will courses in-progress move to Academy 2.0? Expand

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)

ELOF and SEL: Relationships

Learn how infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop relationship-building skills with adults and peers. This course teaches easy-to-implement strategies ...
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ELOF and SEL Basics: Fundamentals

Support the development of critical skills in young children and gain social and emotional learning resources you can use every day.
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Education Management Credential

Geared towards education managers, coaches, and teachers in leadership positions, this credential is designed to assist learners in preparing their teaching ...
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Family Service Basics

Staff who are new to Family Service in Head Start will be empowered and inspired by lessons that cover HSPPS, PFCE framework, ERSEA, how to guard against ...
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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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