By Sarah Merrill
Did you ever wonder why you need specific professional qualifications to work with young children? Head Start has always known the importance of having qualified, well-trained staff in working with young children. Back in the 60’s, our early Head Start leaders worried that “the goals of … the fullest social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of the child can be missed, sometimes hindered, because the teacher in charge is not qualified” (Project Head Start, 1967, The Staff for a child development center, pp. 8-9). In fact, in 1967 they advised that “ideally teachers in Head Start Programs should be graduates of a four-year college program with a major in Nursery Education, Nursery-Kindergarten Education, or Early Childhood Education” (p. 3) and have the “the personal qualities … [which] are fully as important as her training” (p. 4).
Source: Office of Head Start, Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center