Nashville State Providing Professional Development for Metro Head Start Program


Nashville State Community College recently began partnering with the Metropolitan Action Commission Head Start Program of Nashville and Davidson County to provide required training for 25 Head Start staff members to earn the Child Development Associate Certificate.

Head Start had a workforce training challenge due to the coronavirus and Nashville State quickly reacted to support their need. Nashville State’s Early Childhood Development faculty collaborated and developed tailored courses that are being delivered online through late June.

The Metropolitan Action Commission Head Start Program offers high-quality instruction to pre-school/pre-K education at no cost to income eligible Davidson County families with children ages 3-5 years old. All lead teachers are required to possess a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field.

“This partnership with Nashville State will help us continue our focus on high quality classroom instruction by supporting our assistant teachers, some of whom are Head Start parents, in completion of the CDA credential from an institution that provides outstanding instruction. We are excited about our partnership and the effects it will have on the outcomes we receive with children,” said Dr. Phara Fondren, Metro Action Head Start and Early Head Start Director.

“Our Early Childhood Development faculty bring an incredible amount of experience and knowledge to the table,” said Brad Corcoran, Interim Dean, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division.

As the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education and is a vital part of professional development.

There are 7 Head Start Centers throughout Nashville, serving more than 1,400 children. Metro Action is the largest provider in Davidson County of early childhood education for children up to age five.

The local Head Start program provides an education and support services. Because the development of children is at its height at a young age, dental, vision and hearing are performed at various points during the school year. Speech and Language screenings are also a part of the Head Start/Early Head Start experience.

Families with young children that have diagnosed disabilities impeding their learning abilities are welcomed and encouraged to enroll. Children may qualify for enrollment in Head Start regardless of household income. All classrooms promote an inclusive learning environment for all children.

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