Head Start Teacher

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Head Start Teacher job description involves nurturing and promoting the educational and social development of young children. Head Start Teachers work in early childhood centers, where they plan and implement daily activities that stimulate children's intellectual, social, and emotional growth. They create a safe and inclusive learning environment, where all children can participate and thrive. Head Start Teachers typically work with children aged 3 to 5, using a variety of teaching methods that meet the diverse needs of each child. They also work closely with parents and guardians to assess children's progress and provide feedback on their development. A Head Start Teacher job requires a deep understanding of child development, excellent communication and organizational skills, and a passion for helping children reach their full potential. If you are looking for a rewarding career in the Education industry, becoming a Head Start Teacher may be a great option for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan and implement age-appropriate learning activities and educational programs.
  • Create a positive and inclusive learning environment that promotes the social, emotional, and academic growth of each child.
  • Observe and assess each child's progress, provide feedback, and develop educational plans for their individual needs.
  • Collaborate with parents, guardians, and other professionals to support the physical, mental, and social development of each child.
  • Maintain accurate records of each child's development, attendance, and progress to ensure compliance with program requirements.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for each child, including following health and safety policies and procedures.
  • Attend professional development opportunities to stay current on emerging trends, practices, and research in early childhood education.
  • Promote cultural competence and respect for diversity in a multicultural classroom and community.
  • Follow program guidelines and policies regarding teacher standards, curriculum, and assessments.
  • Provide timely and effective communication with families regarding their child's progress, behavior, and any concerns that arise.

Experience and Education Requirements

Being a Head Start Teacher in the Education industry requires a mix of Education and Experience. Typically, a minimum of an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education is required. Some employers may also require a Bachelor's degree or higher. In terms of Experience, a candidate should have extensive experience working with young children, preferably in a classroom setting. The candidate should have knowledge and experience with lesson planning, classroom management, and social-emotional development. Experience in working with families and communities is also highly valued. Strong communication and organizational skills are essential, as well as a passion for working with young children and ensuring their success in the classroom.

Salary Range

Head Start Teachers are skilled professionals who work to improve the academic and social outcomes of children from low-income families in the United States. According to data from PayScale, the average salary range for a Head Start Teacher is between $23,000 and $53,000 per year, with a median salary of $33,469. In some states, the salary range may be slightly higher or lower depending on cost of living and demand for skilled teachers. For example, in California, the salary range for Head Start Teachers is between $28,000 and $56,000 per year.


  • PayScale: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=HeadStartTeacher/Salary
  • California Department of Education: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fr/sa/hdstaffing.asp

Career Outlook

As a Head Start Teacher, the career outlook is looking bright over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow by 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the emphasis on the importance of early childhood education and the increased demand for preschool programs. 

Furthermore, the National Head Start Association reports that the Head Start program has bipartisan support and will likely continue to receive funding from the government. This means that there will be a consistent need for qualified Head Start Teachers, who play a critical role in the growth and development of young children. 

In conclusion, for those who have a passion for teaching and working with young children, becoming a Head Start Teacher is a smart career choice with a promising job outlook.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Head Start Teacher?

A: A Head Start Teacher is an educator who works with young children, typically from low-income families, in a government-funded program designed to prepare them for school.

Q: What are the job requirements for a Head Start Teacher?

A: The requirements to become a Head Start Teacher vary depending on the program, but typically include a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field, as well as experience working with young children.

Q: What does a typical day in the life of a Head Start Teacher look like?

A: A typical day for a Head Start Teacher includes planning and implementing age-appropriate activities, working with parents and families to support their children’s development, and observing, assessing, and documenting children’s progress.

Q: What skills are required to be a successful Head Start Teacher?

A: Successful Head Start Teachers should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as patience, creativity, and the ability to work collaboratively with other educators and support staff.

Q: What are the benefits of being a Head Start Teacher?

A: Benefits of working as a Head Start Teacher may vary depending on the program but commonly include competitive salaries, health and retirement benefits, and opportunities for professional development and advancement. Additionally, many Head Start Teachers find the work to be rewarding, as they are helping to prepare young children for success in school and beyond.

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