Information for Early Childhood Professionals

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Early Childhood Special Education

Office of Head Start Collaboration

Educators can find information about education requirements and staff qualifications on the Head Start/ECLKC website (under Head Start Policy and Regulation and Performance Standards).

Head Start also provides financial opportunities for educators to gain additional training in a variety of areas while working. These opportunities include child development, health, nutrition, disabilities, mental health, community resources, and more.

Parents and former students also have the opportunity to volunteer and become educators with Head Start. 


Providers have the opportunity to create strong relationships with community partners to enhance services for children and families. This includes conducting community needs assessments, which guide the process for determining program and community needs and approaches to collaboration. Providers also ensure that child development, professional development, and family engagement training are available for their staff.

Families FIRST Program

Families FIRST serves Medicaid-eligible families. Educators that care for children 0-3 years of age or prenatal mothers can offer referrals to Families FIRST for supportive services (including nutrition support, dental services, prenatal and pediatric care, and other services). Families FIRST care coordinators will assist families in obtaining these services.


Providers are welcome to refer any family that they feel would benefit from Families FIRST services.

Families First partners with programs including Women Infants & Children Program (WIC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Text4baby.

Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program

The Family Infant Toddler (FIT) program provides a statewide early intervention system in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C. FIT provides early intervention services to over 14,000 children from birth to age three who have or are at risk of developmental delay—as well as their families.


Please see the FIT Providers list for current providers and their contact information. These agencies are funded through a combination of state and federal funds, including Medicaid, IDEA Part C, and private health insurance.

Helpful Links