Developing A Head Start
Training Plan
Administration for Children and Families
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
Head Start Bureau

Table of Contents


Purpose of This Handbook
What is Training?
What is Effective Training?
How Can a Training Plan Help?
Steps for Building a Training Plan
STEP 1: Determine Needs of the Program and Organization
STEP 2: Describe Expected Outcomes of Training
STEP 3: Set Training Priorities
STEP 4: Identify Training Options, Resources Available, and Cost Estimates
Training Costs Guide
STEP 5: Develop a Budget and Allocate Funding
STEP 6: Prepare the Final Training Plan
STEP 7: Carry Out the Training Plan
STEP 8: Evaluate the Staff Development Events
STEP 9: Provide Follow-Up
STEP 10: Evaluate the Training Plan


Appendix: Work Sheets
The worksheets are available in Acrobat .pdf format. Click the Acrobat Reader icon if you need instructions on how to download Acrobat Reader.
Worksheets 1 - 10
Worksheets 11 - 18

Work Sheet #1: Program Description
Work Sheet #2: Program Objectives.
Work Sheet #3: Sources Used to Determine Organizational Training Needs
Work Sheet #4: Individual Staff Development Needs Assessment
Work Sheet #5: Organizational Training Needs
Work Sheet #6: Identifying Learning Outcomes
Work Sheet #7: Evaluating Learning Outcome
Work Sheet #8: Setting Training Priorities
Work Sheet #9: Identifying Training Delivery Options
Work Sheet #10: Cost Estimates for Training Delivery Options
Work Sheet #11: Training Budget
Work Sheet #12: Final Training Plan
Work Sheet #13: Training Plan. Narrative
Work Sheet #14: Training Tracking Form
Work Sheet #15: Consultant/Trainer Agreement
Work Sheet #16: Training Evaluation: Participant
Work Sheet #17: Training Evaluation: Program,
Work Sheet #18: Evaluation of Training Plan


On January 12, 1994, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala presented recommendations to improve, expand, and reform America's Head Start program. These recommendations were contained in the Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Head Start Quality and Expansion, "Creating a 21st Century Head Start."

The Advisory Committee stated in its report that "the quality of services must be a first priority." Step One toward achieving this goal, according to the Advisory Committee, is to focus on creating a learning community within Head Start that supports ongoing training and staff development. 'The Committee highlighted the following principles:

To implement these principles, the Advisory Committee stated that "Every Head Start program should have a staffing plan that addresses staff qualifications, job descriptions, staffing levels, and linkages to education and training that will allow staff to advance through various roles with increasing levels of responsibility and compensation" (p. 25). Specific recommendations include: Learning in Head Start should be an ongoing process, and one that is available in a variety of ways to everyone in the Head Start community. The step-by-step approach to developing staff training plans outlined in this handbook will assist Head Start grantees in defining their program and staff needs, their operating environment, and the steps that should be taken to better achieve their program goals. As training enhances the capabilities of Head Start staff, the quality and creativity in interactions between staff and children and parents will be assured.

Author's Note
People use a variety of terms to describe staff training, including staff development and learning opportunities. All of these terms are used interchangeably throughout this handbook, in an attempt to reflect the diversity of preferences within the Head Start community. 


"We need to create a culture of continuous improvement in Head Start. A culture of quality."

The Honorable Donna E. Shalala
Secretary of Health & Human Services
January 12, 1994
Purpose of this Handbook

The Head Start management team is responsible for developing and carrying out a training plan for staff, members of the Policy Council or Policy Committee, parents, volunteers, and others involved in the operation of the Head Start program. A good training plan contributes to the development of skills and knowledge needed to operate a successful and effective Head Start program, one that fully meets Head Start Program Performance Standards and the program objectives of the grantee or delegate agency. The training plan should be an integral part of the total program management.

A training plan outlines what training will take place; who will benefit; and how, when, and where the training will be conducted. This handbook provides a step-by-step guide for developing a successful Head Start training plan. It takes the reader through a ten-step, flexible planning process that lays out the important questions that need to be addressed when developing a training plan. The handbook encourages independent thinking about what training is needed, what it will accomplish, and how it will be provided.

The planning process described in the handbook is deliberately flexible. Grantees and delegate agencies can use it to stimulate their thinking about how training can enhance their own staff development and improve their programs. Head Start programs of varying size and complexity can modify the process to design a training program that fits their special needs. Experience proves that a comprehensive and well-developed training plan will produce many benefits for a Head Start program and instill the "culture of quality" that is an integral part of Head Start.

What is Training?

Training is an ongoing activity designed to increase the level of competence and expertise of staff and volunteers. It is also an effective means of helping staff, parents, and volunteers to gain a greater sense of ownership and responsibility for the program.

Learning opportunities come in many different forms and can be used for different purposes. Depending on its purpose, training can be: formal or informal; costly or inexpensive; intensive or casual. Learning can take place on the job, in a classroom, in group settings such as staff meetings or supervisor-staff discussions, or at special training conferences. Training can be provided by a supervisor, a program specialist, an outside expert, or a training consultant.

Head Start Training is Designed To:

What is Effective Training?

Effective, behavior-changing training will:

These components are the essence of "skill-based" training. Skill-based training consists of a sequence of learning events that ensure participants have the opportunity to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge and to receive feedback on their performance. Because of the interrelationship between learning and practice, grantees and delegate agencies are the most appropriate settings for this type of training.

Training plans need to include a variety of learning experiences so that they can meet different needs. The learning strategy chosen may vary according to several factors, such as:

Sometimes providing information through a lecture or a workshop will meet a learning need. In other circumstances, intensive practice and feedback sessions to build participant skills and confidence may be required.

Staff development delivery strategies may include one or more of the following:
· lectures 
· on-the-job training 
· self-study 
· video presentations 
· college courses 
· satellite distance learning 
· shadowing
· discussions 
· peer tutoring/consultation 
· role playing 
· observing other programs 
· practical exercises 
· coaching/mentoring 
· group workshops
How Can a Training Plan Help?
A well-developed, strategic training plan can be of great benefit to an organization, especially when it is referred to and used on a regular basis. It facilitates the development of a learning community within Head Start. It is important, therefore, to decide how a training plan will be implemented and integrated into the overall program management and planning operations of the organization.
An effective training plan should:

Steps for Building a Training Plan
The following steps are recommended to develop an effective training plan:

Step 1. Determine Needs of the Program and Organization. Review the Head Start program, particularly the program's mission, objectives and organization. Look for areas where learning opportunities can increase staff competence, enrich the program for children and families, and improve the administration of the organization.
Step 2. Describe Expected Outcomes of Training. Describe how the training will benefit Head Start staff, volunteers, parents, children, or the organization.
Step 3. Set Training Priorities. Make a list of what staff development is needed. Review the list and rank learning needs according to their importance, keeping in mind the availability of time and resources.
Step 4. Identify Training Options, Resources Available, and Cost Estimates. Examine the list of staff development needs and determine what resources are necessary to conduct the training. Seek out and identify different options and resources available to produce specific learning outcomes. Then estimate the cost of each option.
Step 5. Prepare a Training Budget and Allocate Funds. Decide which training options will be used. Estimate the costs of each training option. Prepare a detailed training budget.
Step 6. Prepare the Final Training Plan. Write a comprehensive training plan covering the next three to five years, accompanied by a narrative description to provide additional background information. Include in this final plan such details as learning objectives, delivery strategies, and costs.
Step 7. Implement the Training Plan. Prepare a schedule, assign staff responsibilities, and adopt strategies that will ensure the training is conducted according to the plan.
Step 8. Evaluate the Staff Development Event. Assess the learning event in terms of planning, presentation, and effectiveness. Evaluation should take place both immediately following the event and several weeks or months later, to see whether it accomplished its objectives.
Step 9. Provide Follow-up. After the learning event has been evaluated, it may be useful to provide follow-up. The need for follow-up training is revealed when: (1) the learning objectives have not been met; (2) staff require additional information; and (3) other staff will benefit from successful training.
Step 10. Evaluate the Training Plan. Evaluation of the training plan will reveal whether the overall learning objectives were met. This will help to determine whether the training strategy was successful and what adjustments, if any, need to be made to the plan or the implementation process. 

Step 1:  

Determine the needs of the Program and Organization

Purpose: To find out where and how training can benefit the staff, program operations, and the organization.

#1: Program Description
#2: Program Objectives
#3: Sources Used to Determine Organizational Training Needs
#4: Individual Staff Development Needs
#5: Organizational Training Needs

The first step in developing a training plan is to determine where and how training can benefit the Head Start program. To identify what staff development needs exist, carefully analyze the skill level of staff, the program offered to the children, and the organization.

Answering the following questions will help you analyze the program and the organization:

The questions on the following pages and the work sheets in the appendix are designed to help in analyzing the program, the program objectives, and the needs of individual staff members and the organization. In completing Step 1, create two lists: one of program objectives and one of organizational needs. If the lists overlap, do not worry. Issues that appear on both will most likely be selected as priority issues to consider.

All Head Start programs share a common mission: to bring about a greater degree of social competence in children of low-income families by involving and supporting. children's families, which are perceived as the principal source of nurture and influence on the child's development.

Although they share a common mission, Head Start programs may differ in other respects. A program assessment will identify those special characteristics of the program, particularly the program's vision and objectives. What is special about a Head Start program must be identified so that the program's unique strengths, needs, and circumstances are considered in the training plan.
Worksheet # 1- Program Description: Describe the local Head Start program.
The  description should include:

· Options offered by the program
· Size of the program (i.e., number of children served)
· Needs of the children and families served by the program
· Number of delegate agencies
· Number of centers
· Geographic location and spread
· Demographics of the community
· Age of the program
· Size of recent expansions
· Discretionary grants

What are the program objectives?

The objectives of the Head Start program should be considered when developing the training plan. Program objectives include the Head Start mission, as stated in the Program Performance Standards, and special goals and initiatives adopted by the local program.

When developing the training plan, examine all statements that relate to the program objectives. Documents that may be relevant include:

The following are two examples of a Head Start program objective:

· Increase family participation in the program. Set as a goal involving the parent(s) of 75 percent of the children in at least two or more major events this program year.
· Design our program's regular Head Start services to fit the special needs of homeless families in the area.
Worksheet #2- Program Objectives: Identify those program objectives that may require training. List each objective and its source.

Determine the staff development needs of the organization. These might include learning related to management, planning, and information systems. They may also include the learning needs of the staff, volunteers, the Policy Council, board members, and parent committees.

Use on-site review reports, self-assessment results, audit reports, and staff interviews to determine organizational training needs.
Question to Consider

While examining organizational and individual training needs, consider the questions listed below. Encourage the management team to hold a meeting and discuss these questions as a group. These questions are also appropriate for staff and parent discussions, individual interviews, and discussions about training needs with regional and national training and technical assistance providers and regional office staff.

Work Sheet #3- Sources Used to Determine Organizational Training Needs: Check those strategies used to determine organizational training needs.
Work Sheet #4 - Individual Staff Development Needs: This work sheet can be completed by the employee or it can be used as a guide to interview staff about what training they think is needed.

A variety of methods can be used to determine an organization's training needs. The following are some recommended strategies.

· Review and discuss the jobs in the program to determine what knowledge, skills, and competencies are needed by staff to perform them successfully. Pay particular attention to those positions with high turnover and jobs that are not being performed adequately.

· Ask the staff, parents, and members of the Policy Council to find out what training they believe is needed. Employees can be asked to complete an individual needs assessment form, or arrange for an employee to talk with his/her supervisor about job needs. Ask the supervisors to record their impressions and ideas.

· Talk to staff about career development. Where do individuals see themselves in the organization? Where would they like to be in three to five years?

· Review staff performance appraisals to help determine where staff skills can be improved. Do they reveal clusters of needs? Who appears to need training: the employee, the supervisor, or both?

· Review the monitoring reports (OSPRI) for clues about where improvement is needed. (For example, the monitoring team's report may include recommendations for training.)

· Anticipate staff turnover and estimate how it will affect training needs.

· Consider upcoming changes in the program (e.g., expansion, new regulations) and determine whether they will require training.

· Review the needs of the community, particularly if the community is changing.

· Use the self-assessment instruments (SAVI) and monitoring instruments (OSPRI) to conduct a program self-assessment.

· Seek input from regional office staff and regional technical assistance providers.

· Establish a training or staff development committee made up of parents and representatives of various staff groups within the organization.

Work Sheet #5- Organizational Training Needs: Record the organizational needs that were identified. The list should include the training needs of specific program components, as well as management. (Note: Not all needs can be met with training. Include on Work Sheet #5 only those needs that will benefit from training.)

The Head Start Bureau encourages Head Start programs to use training for career development. Training provides Head Start staff with the knowledge and skills that enable them to take on positions of greater complexity and responsibility. Training helps the individual build personal and professional self-esteem and competence, thereby helping them to realize their professional objectives. However, all staff career development activities should directly benefit the Head Start program and help the program meet its objectives.

Credentialing for Education Staff

Remember to consider training and credentialing for classroom staff when determining organizational training needs. The Head Start Act of 1994 mandates that by September 30, 1996 each Head Start classroom in a center-based program must have at least one teacher who meets teacher qualifications as defined in the Head Start Act. A primary qualification is the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.

The CDA credential is available for center-based staff working with preschool children (3-5 years) or infants and toddlers (birth to 36 months), family child care providers (birth to 5 years}, and home visitors (birth to 5 years). CDA credentials are also available for other age groups, for home-based care, and for family child care. Program managers should work with staff to determine which ODA credential is appropriate for their roles and responsibilities.

Six CDA competency goals and 13 functional areas define the skills needed by providers in specific child care settings. They are the means to measure the performance of candidates during the CDA assessment process. These goals and functional areas are useful for determining staff development needs. A bilingual specialization is also available in each of these areas.

Currently there are two approaches to CDA credentialing:

· Direct assessment for candidates who have previous child care work, experience, and training
· CDA Professional Preparation Program (CDA P3), a one-year training program consisting of child development coursework and field experiences

There are a variety of options for meeting the learning requirements for the CDA. Consult with staff to select the option which best fits their needs and is available in the community. Options include:

· CDA P3 enrollment through the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition
· College course work
· Training provided by the local program or neighboring programs

There are several ways to meet the costs for CDA training and assessment.

· Grantees can use direct funding, quality improvement funds, and base grant funds to pay CDA costs.
· CDA candidates can pay for their own staff development and assessment.
· Scholarships are available to CDA candidates who meet income eligibility requirements. Interested candidates should contact the State administering agency or the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition for more information.
The CDA staff is a baseline credential for early childhood staff. It is a beginning - not an end. Development in early childhood and child development should continue beyond the CDA. When a program meets the 1996 teacher qualification requirement, the staff should continue to have opportunities for ongoing learning and development.

The Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition is the administrative agency for the CDA National Credentialing Program. For more information on CDA requirements, contact the Council at: 1341 0 Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005-3105, telephone (800) 424-4310. 

A plan of carefully designed learning opportunities for staff is a critical resource for maintaining and improving program quality.

Step 2  

Describe Expected Outcomes of Training

Purpose:To describe the outcomes expected from each training program or event. Describing what is expected from a training program or event helps to ensure that the training is realistic and appropriate for the purpose intended.

#6: Learning Outcomes
#2: Program Objectives (for reference)
#5: Organizational Training Needs (or reference)

Develop Learning Outcomes
The learning outcomes identified should:

Work Sheet #6 - Learning Outcomes: Referring to the information from Work Sheets #2 and #5, identify a learning outcome for each program objective and/or organizational need that a training program or event is expected to meet. This will help you to decide whether training is the best and most realistic option for meeting particular program and organization needs.

When describing learning outcomes, be alert to including only those areas that training can improve. Training is sometimes used inappropriately to try to solve problems that require other solutions (e.g., ineffective communication, unclear job descriptions, or overlapping responsibilities). The following two pages offer some examples of learning outcomes.

Program/Organization Need: Children's records and grantee management systems need to be fully automated.

WHY TRAINING? It will be necessary to teach staff who work with children's records how to use computer hardware and software.

LEARNING OUTCOME: Staff who work with children's records will be able to access, use, and update the records with the automated system.

Program/Organization Need: Head Start families need interdisciplinary support and case management skills in meeting the many challenges they encounter.

WHY TRAINING? Staff members who work with families need to learn techniques and strategies that will help them to function more effectively in an interdisciplinary team.

LEARNING OUTCOME: Staff will learn, practice, and use in behalf of Head Start families the techniques needed to work as an interdisciplinary team: effective listening skills, group management, and negotiation skills, as well as information-sharing.

Program/Organization Need: The program serves children who are living in stressful environments, including substance abuse, homelessness, violence, and other tension-producing circumstances.

WHY TRAINING? The Education Coordinator, teacher, and teachers' aides need assistance in identifying the special needs of children living in stressful environments, and in providing those children with appropriate support.

LEARNING OUTCOME: The education staff will learn how to identify and carry out appropriate classroom and teaching strategies to work with children under stress, and to communicate effectively with parents living under stress.

Program/Organization Need: Meals served to Head Start children must provide one-third of their daily nutritional needs throughout the program year.

WHY TRAINING? The four new cooks lack the budgeting and planning skills necessary to provide nutritious meals within the present budget.

LEARNING OUTCOME: The cooks will learn to budget food purchases and plan their meals so that the food budget lasts through each month, while still providing the children with nutritious meals and snacks.

Program/Organization Need: The Head Start Policy Council is responsible for conducting a self-evaluation of the local Head Start program.

WHY TRAINING? New members of the council need to learn the requirements of the Performance Standards and how to use the SAVI and/or OSPRI as assessment tools.

LEARNING OUTCOME: The Head Start Policy Council will learn about the Performance Standards and how to use the SAVI and/or OSPRI to do an effective self-assessment of the program.

Program/Organization Need: Classrooms and centers must meet health and safety standards.

WHY TRAINING? Training may or may not be necessary to meet this need. For example, if the building is structurally unsound, training is not a suitable solution. However, training may be necessary if the teachers are not familiar with good safety habits in the classroom.

LEARNING OUTCOME: Center directors and teachers will learn how to create safe classrooms and centers. They will learn how to regularly check the center, classrooms, and playground for safety.

Program/Organization Need: Families and children in the program do not have access to health care providers.

WHY TRAINING? Training may or may not be a solution to meet this need. If there are insufficient health care providers in the community, training will not meet the basic need. Where the number of health care providers is sufficient, staff training in community collaboration and building partnerships will enable program staff to help families successfully reach local providers.

LEARNING OUTCOME: Program staff will learn about community resources and how to contact them. Increased community collaboration will ensure that more children and families have access to local health care providers.

Training cannot solve every problem or meet every need. Try to find out why a need exists, and then determine whether training is a possible solution. 

Step 3 

Set Training Priorities

Purpose: To decide what training programs will be included in the short- and long-term training plans.

#7: Ranking Learning Outcomes
#8: Setting Training Priorities
#5: Organizational Training Needs (for reference)
#6: Learning Outcomes (for reference)

Budget and time constraints are likely to limit the amount of training available. It will be necessary, therefore, to decide which training needs are most important. To start, review the list of training needs and outcomes already prepared (refer to Work Sheets #5 and #6). Consider training programs that meet both an organizational need and a program objective. Assign high priorities to training needed to meet licensing or regulatory requirements or to correct areas where the program is out of compliance.

Recognize that some training needs can only be met on a multi-year basis. Needs that can be addressed this year will be part of the first year of the training plan, with the next phase in the second year of the plan.

Work Sheet #7 - Evaluating Learning Outcomes: Evaluate each learning outcome according to specific criteria listed on Work Sheet #7. Add or subtract criteria according to the special needs of a program.

Work Sheet #8  Setting Training Priorities: Use the findings listed on Work Sheet #7 and decide into which of the following categories each learning outcome falls:

1. Required: This category is for training that must be provided. If training is not provided, then some area of the program will not work properly (e.g., training to improve unsatisfactory performance of staff members or components; training to meet the requirements of Performance Standards, regulations, and licensing; and training necessary to bring the program into compliance).
When a learning outcome receives a yes answer to eight or more of the questions listed on Work Sheet #7, it probably belongs in the "Required" category.

2. Program Improvement: This category includes training that will improve the quality of the program.

When a learning outcome receives a yes answer to four-to-seven of the questions on Work Sheet #7, it probably belongs in this category.

3. Enrichment: This category includes training that will enrich the program and/or staff but is not essential at this time.
If a learning outcome receives a yes answer to one-to-three questions on Work Sheet #7, it probably fits in this category.

These three categories are broad; use Work Sheet #7 to help set priorities among training requirements. The criteria on Work Sheet #7 are only rough indicators of training priorities. You can be flexible. For example, do not follow the results of the priority listing if you believe it is not appropriate under the circumstances.


Your long-term training plan will likely include most of the training needs identified. Setting priorities will help you to determine what training will be conducted in the first year, what will be conducted in the second year, and so forth. It will also help to ensure that the plan follows a logical order and that training sessions build on one another as appropriate.

Step 4 

Identify Training Options, Resources Available, and Cost Estimates

Purpose: To explore options for conducting high priority training programs and events and to estimate the cost of each option. This analysis will make it possible to learn how much training is feasible and at what point during the long- term training plan it might best be conducted.

#9: Identifying Training Delivery Options
#10: Cost Estimates for Training Delivery Options
#8: Setting Training Priorities (for reference)

Identify Options for Delivery Training
To begin developing training delivery options, examine each of the priority learning outcomes. This involves understanding the needs and learning styles of the staff to be trained, what is to be learned (e.g., a skill, new knowledge), and how the program can best accommodate the training.

For each learning outcome identified on Work Sheet #8, prepare answers to the following questions (there may be more than one answer):

Identify Available Resources
Resources for training are available from a variety of sources. Using low-cost training resources can help stretch a training budget. Another approach is to find a partner with whom to conduct training jointly and share the cost. This option has the added benefit of building interagency relationships.

Arrange to brainstorm with the management team, staff, and Policy Council. With their help, develop a list of community resources with the potential to help meet some or all of the program's training needs. After brainstorming, list materials, resources, organizations, and providers that are available in the community. Contact the organizations and research the materials and resources further to assess what kinds of cooperative relationships might be developed to your mutual advantage.

For Example:

· Seek free or low-cost training through other Federal programs, State, or local governments, community groups, or agencies:
4-H clubs 
State Education Agencies
community health centers 
State child care agencies
United Way agencies 
extension agents and services
public school systems 
public television
community colleges
mental health centers
local JOBS program 
college courses via television
Red Cross
human services offices
vocational education institutions
 local JTPA program and Private Industry Council (PLC)
· Use alternative forms of training such as:
on-the-job training 
self study
site visits 
formal courses
role plays 
group discussions
competency-based training 
peer consultation 

Work Sheet #9- Identifying Training Delivery Options: Record all the delivery options identified for each learning outcome. Try to think of more than one delivery option for each outcome.

Estimate the Costs
After identifying the different training delivery options, estimate the costs for each option. The box on page 21 lists some costs that need to be considered in each expense category when estimating the total cost of various options.

Review each of these cost categories, even those for "free" training. For example, a local professional contributes her time to conduct a training session on stress management. There is no cost for her time; however, she may ask to have materials photocopied for the participants, or seek reimbursement for such out- of -pocket costs as transportation to the training site.

In-house and local training is usually less expensive than formal training courses, college courses, or training requiring substantial travel. When developing the training plan, consider the costs of different training delivery options.

Work Sheet #10 - Cost Estimates for Training Delivery Options: Estimate and record the cost of each learning outcome identified on Work Sheet #9. Use the guide on the next page to ensure that all possible costs have been considered. 

You can get more "bang for the buck" if you think creatively about ways to utilize existing community resources. 

 Training Costs Guide
Course Fees:

How much is the registration fee, course fee, or tuition for the
staff development event?

Trainer or Consultant Fees:

What is the trainer's or consultant's hourly, daily, or weekly fee?

Does the trainer or consultant charge for time spent preparing and planning for the training? If so, how much?


Are there handbooks, manuals, or other course materials associated with the training? Are they required or recommended? How much do they cost? Does each trainee need a copy, or can they share?

Will the training require printing or photocopying of materials? If so, how much will these services cost? Are they included in the consultant's or trainer's fees?

Will the learning require funds to support interactive technology (e.g., satellite time, computer on-line time, or audio-visual conferencing)?

Will the consultant or trainer need audio or visual aids (e.g., flip charts, overhead projector and slides, VCR and TV)? How much will it cost to purchase or rent these items?

Will other miscellaneous materials be needed (e.g., name tags, paper and pens, toys, or games)? If so, what is the cost?

Will refreshments be needed (e.g., coffee, tea, snacks)? If so, what is the cost?


Can the training be provided in a center? If not, will other space need to be rented? Will adult chairs need to be rented? Is there space to write? Are there break-out rooms? What is the cost for space?

Will it be necessary to provide child care on-site? Are the necessary space and resources available? What is the cost?


If the training will require the staff to travel, what will be the cost of the travel, including mileage, per diem, and lodging?

If the consultants or trainers are from out of town, what will their travel, lodging, and per diem expenses total? Are the travel costs covered separately or included in the contract?

If parents and volunteers will be included in the learning event, will they have transportation or parking expenses? Will they need baby-sitting or day care services? Are they eligible to be reimbursed for these expenses?

Staff Time/Substitutes:

Will some employees involved in the training need to be replaced by substitute staff? How much will the substitutes cost?

How much time will managers and staff need to spend to follow up on the training? What is the cost?

If follow-up training or assistance will be needed, what will the time and travel cost?

If training occurs outside of regular working hours, will participants need compensation for their time? What is the cost?

Step 5: 

Develop a Budget and Allocate Funding

Purpose:To develop a budget that will meet priority training needs, and to set aside funds from the program budget and other sources to pay for the training.

#11: Training Budget
#10: Cost Estimates for Training Delivery Options (for reference)

Because training is only one of many expenses associated with operating a Head Start program, it is important to budget the funds necessary to meet priority learning outcomes. Include projected training costs as part of the annual funding request.

Prepare a training budget based on the availability of funds from different sources including:

The basic grant should be the foundation of the training budget. Direct funding (PA 20) should be used as a supplemental source to pay for training expenditures. In addition to the basic grant, certain on-going and supplemental funds may be used for training. The availability of these funds changes from year to year, both in terms of the amount and when they become available. When available, however, these funds can significantly enhance training budgets. Examples include:

· Quality Improvement Funds. These funds may be used to provide training to improve staff qualifications and to support staff training. Through such training, staff can better address the problems facing Head Start children, including chronic violence in their communities and children whose families experience substance abuse.

· Expansion/Start-up Funds. If the training is a one-time expense associated with the grantee's plans for expansion, these funds can be used to train new employees. Expansion/Start-up funds are also available for new grantees.

· Program Improvement Funds. These funds are available to provide training that is designed to strengthen the management and leadership capacity of Head Start management staff, as well as other components. Program Improvement Funds are awarded on a competitive basis, do not become part of the basic grant, and may not always be available.

Work Sheet #11 - Training Budget: Determine how much of the program budget will be allocated for training. Refer back to the cost estimates on Work Sheet #10 to determine the cost of meeting training needs. If the program's training needs cannot be met within the current level of funding, then additional funds should be sought, such as foundation grants, State and local resources, in-kind contributions, or volunteer contributions. 

Use your training delivery options and cost estimates (Work Sheets #9 and #10) when allocating scarce training resources to help determine which staff development events will be covered by the program budget and which might be covered through foundation grants, collaborative training arrangements, in-kind contributions, or volunteer contributions. 

Step 6: 

Prepare the Final Training Plan

Purpose:To develop a comprehensive, strategic training plan for the next three-to-five years, accompanied by a narrative to document the planning process. The plan will help the program to manage its training budget and ensure that training occurs.

#12: Final Training Plan
#13: Training Plan Narrative

Once learning outcomes have been developed, prioritized, delivery options selected, and a budget developed, a formal training plan should be written. The training plan should be comprehensive and outline training expectations over the next three-to-five years. In preparing the plan, include the following information:

1. Period of time covered by the training plan
2. Grantee name, number, and region
3. Contact person and phone number
4. Total training budget from various sources
5. Methods used to assess training needs

In addition, include the following information for each anticipated learning event:

1. Focus of the learning event and the expected outcome
2. Approximate dates of learning event and duration
3. Preliminary location of learning event and any travel that may be involved
4. Estimated number of participants
5. Type of learning event (e.g., workshop, lecture)
6. Provider (e.g., in-house, consultant)
7. Cost (total dollar amount)
8. Funding source(s) (PA 20, PA 22, or other)
9. Contact person

You should also prepare a more detailed description of the learning events planned for the current year, including:

· Name of provider
· Name of participant(s)
· Details regarding implementation (as outlined in Step 7)

A narrative description should be attached to the training plan. This training plan narrative should describe how your training needs and the proposed learning events relate to the Performance Standards, your program objectives, and organizational needs. It also documents the process used to develop the training plan and the framework within which decisions were made.

Work Sheet #12 - Final Training Plan: Develop a timetable for training over the next three-to-five years, based on priority training needs and funding availability. Describe each learning event that will be offered.

Work Sheet #13 - Training Plan Narrative: Summarize the process used to develop the training plan and describe how the training plan relates to the Performance Standards, your program objectives, and organizational needs. Attach the narrative description to Work Sheet #12.

As the training plan is being finalized, answer the following questions to make sure that the plan is comprehensive and will meet the needs of the program and staff:

The Final Training Plan provides an overall framework for assessing your program and staff needs, planning your budget requests, and ensuring that resources are used to their maximum advantage in meeting program needs.

Step 7: 

Purpose: To put training plans into action.

#14: Training Tracking Form
#15: Consultant/Trainer Agreement

Assign Responsibility for Implementation
The training plan should be incorporated into other management and component plans. To ensure that the training plan is carried out, assign someone the responsibility for implementing each learning event. Other strategies include:

Consider using one or more of the following strategies to facilitate carrying out the training plan: Work Sheet #14 - Training Tracking Form: Document each learning event as it is carried out.

The person(s) responsible for carrying out the training plan for each learning event must consider all aspects of the training.

Arrange Each Learning Event
To arrange for a learning event, the person(s) in charge of planning training must:

Work Sheet #15 - Consultant/Trainer Agreement: Negotiate and record these arrangements when a consultant or outside trainer will provide the training. Prepare Participants
In advance of the training, inform participants about what to expect. As far in advance as possible, make certain participants:

The greatest training plan in the world is nothing without adequate implementation. 

Step 8: 

Evaluate the Staff Development Events

Purpose: To learn the degree to which training accomplished its objectives and how it could be improved.

#16: Training Evaluation: Participants
#17: Training Evaluation: Program

Did the Training Accomplish Its Objectives?
It is important to evaluate training and determine the extent to which it achieved its objectives. The results of the evaluation will be valuable when planning subsequent learning events to reinforce and enhance skills.

How Successful Was the Actual Training Event?
The results of this assessment will be helpful in determining the need for future training, follow-up activities, and/or technical assistance. Methods for Assessing Training
Evaluate training both immediately following the learning event and a few weeks or months later to see if it accomplished its objectives. One or more of the following methods may be useful: Work Sheet #16 -Training Evaluation- Participant: Ask participants to evaluate the training event on this evaluation form.

Work Sheet #17-Training Evaluation-Program: This evaluation form should be completed by the staff person responsible for overseeing the event, a member of the management team, or other designated program administrator. 

Remember: Evaluating each staff development event helps to ensure that
the training is both interesting and effective. 

Step 9:

Provide Follow-Up

Reinforce training with practice, observation, information, and feedback. Without follow-up, the benefits of training may quickly be forgotten or never used.

After evaluating the training, assess what impact the training had on staff and the total program and identify the need for follow-up activities.

Training can be followed up in many ways, such as: During follow-up, feed the results of the training evaluation back into the training planning process. This includes information on who has been trained, in what areas and skills, how well different types of training worked for particular staff positions, and what other training or technical assistance might be needed.

Reinforcing the training with follow-up is important in maintaining increased levels of knowledge and skill.

Step 10: 

Evaluate the Training Plan

Purpose:To determine the degree to which the training plan accomplished its objectives and how it could be improved.

Is the Training Plan Accomplishing Its Goal?
In addition to evaluating each learning event, it is important to evaluate the training plan itself to determine the extent to which it is achieving its goals. The results of the evaluation will enable you to make any adjustments to the plan that may be necessary.

Training alone is not a solution to most problems. Therefore, when evaluating
training and the training plan, it is important to be aware of what training can reasonably accomplish and acknowledge that other factors may determine whether a program objective or organizational need can be met.

It is also important to distinguish between the conceptual basis of the training plan and its implementation. A learning event may not fulfill expectations because of logistical problems. It is possible to have a good training plan that failed to meet expectations simply because it was poorly implemented.

Questions to Consider

Work Sheet: #18 - Evaluation of Training Plan 

Remember: If your training plan does not seem to be meeting your expectations, check to be sure that training will solve the problem and that training has been implemented effectively.