Best Practices

Implementing The Creative Curriculum in Head Start Programs

Read Time: 3 minutes
Nicol Russell, Ed.D.
Vice President, Implementation Research, Teaching Strategies
A preschool teacher laughs with her students while sitting at a desk. They are coloring and fully engaged.
September 15, 2022

Teaching Strategies has long supported Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs across the country. The federal program was created in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B Johnson’s War on Poverty and took aim at the basic causes of poverty through a multi-generational approach. An incredible 37 million children have been served by the program in the six decades since its creation.

Since Head Start’s inception, the program has evolved from a summer school readiness program for children from low-income families to a holistic program focusing on developmental services and high-quality instruction for children. The Early Learning Outcomes Framework was designed to guide the federal program’s work and ensure instruction is aligned to early childhood development research. Today, Teaching Strategies is used in many of the program’s over 52,000 classrooms across Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs.

This is in large part due to the near-seamless implementation of the Teaching Strategies ecosystem in Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs. The Early Learning Outcomes Framework’s component domains align with the objectives in Teaching Strategies’ objectives for development and learning. Let’s take a closer look at three critical components of the ecosystem: curriculum, assessment, and professional development.


The Creative Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers & Twos and The Creative Curriculum for Preschool are both aligned to the Early Learning Outcomes Framework. The Creative Curriculum offerings are comprehensive, research-based curricula designed to help educators at all levels of experience plan and implement a developmentally appropriate, content-rich program for children with diverse backgrounds and skill levels.


GOLD Assessment

GOLD is a formative assessment system built to allow early learning educators to seamlessly capture observations without interrupting teaching. GOLD aligns to the Early Learning Outcomes Framework, so educators can demonstrate that children are meeting all requirements while focusing on the needs of each individual child. Head Start and Early Head Start programs are able to generate reports that align children’s skills, abilities, and behaviors with The Early Learning Outcomes Framework.


Professional Development

Teaching Strategies offers a wide range of professional development opportunities to support fidelity of implementation across the Teaching Strategies ecosystem. The Professional Development Teacher Membership includes all training required for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, a minimum requirement for Head Start teachers. Teaching Strategies also offers free, live, and on-demand Head Start webinars in which our team discusses pertinent topics related to Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant Seasonal Head Start.

Teaching Strategies Products Are Aligned to the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework
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