Skip to content

Research shows that process quality in early childhood education (ECE) programs—specifically teacher–child interactions—is the strongest predictor of children’s gains in learning and development. Due to a number of factors associated with the city’s early childhood infrastructure and the budgets of the current Head Start grants, it has been difficult for Detroit Head Start programs to recruit and retain effective teachers to engage in the types of interactions that are most important for children’s development and learning. Three of the four Detroit grantees are facing competition because of low process quality as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). This report provides clear evidence for the need for stronger ECE workforce supports in Detroit that increase staff retention, provide more impactful and valuable professional development, and improve staff morale. The Detroit Head Start Funding Opportunity Announcement provides an opportunity for grantees to propose the following to address these issues: A common, clearly defined pay scale with higher staff salaries; year-round benefits packages for all programs; and more impactful professional development opportunities.