Do you want to make a difference in a  child’s life or in your community? If so, becoming an Early Head Start or Head Start educator in Detroit would be a great career choice for you. Check out the questions and answers below to learn what you need to know to get on the path.

Tip: You can download the information on this page here.


What experience and degrees/certifications are needed to get a Head Start job?

The required credentials vary by position, and in some cases by agency. Most teaching positions with Head Start and Early Head Start agencies in Detroit require at minimum a Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate, a child care and development associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate

  • Nationally recognized certification
  • Requires 480 hours of experience working with children
  • Requires 120 clock hours of training, which can be obtained at community colleges or through other training organizations
  • T.E.A.C.H. scholarships are available

Child Care and Development Associate Degree

  • Ranges from 60 to 72 credit hours depending upon the program
  • Most community colleges or universities offer CDA training classes and an associate degree

Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

  • Usually earned at a four-year institution
  • 25 educational institutions in Michigan offer this degree:
  • Articulation agreements with 11 four-year colleges and universities in Michigan allow professionals working in the field of early childhood to transfer credits and apply them toward a bachelor’s degree

Where can I get early childhood education training?

The following Southeast Michigan Institutions offer early childhood education training:

  • University of Michigan – Flint
  • Mott Community College
  • St. Clair Community College
  • Macomb Community College
  • Schoolcraft Community College
  • Madonna University
  • Marygrove College
  • Wayne State University
  • Wayne County Community College
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • Henry Ford Community College
  • Baker College
  • Monroe Community College
  • Washtenaw Community College
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Oakland Community College
  • Rochester College
  • Oakland University

How do I find a job? What’s the hiring process?

More than eight agencies provide Early Head Start and Head Start services locally. Each program’s hiring process varies, but generally, agencies follow these steps:

  1. The job announcement is shared. You can find career opportunities in a variety of ways, including on this website, on Head Start agency websites, and online job boards.
  2. Resumes are screened.
    • Candidates must have requisite education + experience
    • Teachers must have bachelor’s degree in early childhood + 2 years’ experience
    • Assistant teachers must have associate degree + 1 year experience
  3. Interviews are scheduled
    • A team of staff (and sometimes parents) participate in interviews
    • Team uses a rating system with each interviewed candidate
    • The candidate who scores highest is chosen to fill the position
  4. The candidate is approved
    • The agency’s governing council (called Policy Council), including parents, must approve (or be made aware of) the chosen candidate before an offer is made
  5. An offer is extended (pending step 6)
  6. The candidate must complete the following pre-employment requirements:
    • Background checks
    • Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT)
    • Transcripts
    • Letter of recommendation
  7. The candidate is officially hired
  8. The new hire completes an agency orientation and receives a training orientation from the education or center manager.

Don’t forget to take a look at current posted positions.



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