Head Start Field Placement Guide

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
Head Start offers many placement opportunities for students in early childhood education in nearly every county in Iowa. To help you find viable and unique placement opportunities, here is a comprehensive list of potential Head Start field placement sites. This list does not include all Head Start sites in Iowa. Rather, only those sites in which Head Start programs have experienced teachers and interest in providing opportunities to students. The Field Placement Guide of Iowa Head Start Programs is designed for college and university faculty who are considering options for sending students for a day visit, a class assignment that has a practicum component, or otherwise want to give their students an experience of high-end early childhood education including student teaching. In the case of student teaching, the teacher working with a student must be appropriately licensed, but that is indicated in the guide.

Even if the site does not include a licensed teacher, it may still be useful site to visit or explore internship opportunities. Because many faculty want to provide students experiences teaching diverse populations of children, the guide includes sites with significant populations of children of color, children with disabilities, and/or dual language learners. The guide also provides information about Early Head Start sites if student interest or course subject matter leans toward care and education practices among infants and toddlers. Teacher quality in these sites is high. Most Head Start teachers are evaluated annually using the CLASS instrument, and all use some consistent formative assessment such as Teaching Strategies GOLD®. All assistant teachers have at least a CDA and can provide a model for career pathways moving from assistant teacher to teacher to program level management. Many Head Start programs are also involved with implementing Early Childhood Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and provide a model for Pyramid Model practices.

Once you find a site that meets your and your students’ needs, please contact the Head Start program. Contact information is found by clicking on the Head Start program name which links you to contact information, including the program’s website and phone number. Please do contact them because the information in the guide may not be up-to-date if circumstances at specific sites changes.