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Acorn Evaluation

Acorn Evaluation is a full-service data science partner for local Head Start grantees.

Acorn Evaluation is a full-service data science partner for local Head Start grantees, providing external evaluation services as well as training and technical assistance to develop and support a successful system of data collection and analysis in support of improved outcomes for children and families.

Every Acorn client is unique. We use an easy four-step process to partner with you:

  1. We learn about your unique Head Start program by meeting with you and listening to your goals and aspirations.
  2. We collect your data from various sources (ChildPlus, PROMIS, DRDP Tech, etc.)
  3. We analyze your data and visualize your outcomes using modern data science methods.
  4. We collaborate with you to develop a scope of work that builds and supports a culture of evidence-based decision-making and CQI.

Using these services, Head Start senior administrators are able to sustain funding, engage families and staff, implement successful interventions, and share their program’s outcomes in compelling and powerful ways.  Acorn is dedicated to helping our clients to prepare to exceed present and future performance standards through the development of a culture of evidence-based continuous quality improvement.  We are committed to helping you improve outcomes for children and families.  Contact us to learn what we can do for you.
Phone(800) 208-3215

DNL Food Management

DNL Food Management services offer immediate solutions in all aspects of food service management.

Do you know that Head Start funding is contingent on the effective management of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and that when Head programs ineffectively manage the Child and Adult Care Food Program they run the risk of losing federal funding?

What we do is partner with Head Start programs to help evaluate and develop systems to effectively manage the Child and Adult Care Food Program. In addition, we offer consulting services to help Head Start programs achieve and maintain effective management controls of their Child and Adult Care Food Program. Therefore, organizations can invest in child and employee wellness programs.

Phone: (214) 919-4669
Web site:



Mrs. Love was phenomenal. She uses a hands-on approach with her trainings. I have sent my staff to other professional companies; however, once Mrs. Love incorporated her techniques, my staff has since then flourished. I am so grateful for her. We will continue to partner with her for many years to come.  — TW


Teachstone: the authorized provider of CLASS® certification & CLASS-based professional development.

As the authorized provider of CLASS® certification and CLASS-based professional development, Teachstone focuses on solutions to help you improve teaching quality and CLASS scores.   

Teachstone has its roots in one bold purpose: to capture the most important aspect of learning–the relationships between teachers and children–while providing the supports needed to strengthen these relationships. As owner of the CLASS tool, Teachstone provides research-based professional development solutions to help programs achieve sustainable improvements in teaching quality.  

Teachstone has been working with Head Start since the company was founded in 2008, and is here to support you with the resources you need to improve teaching quality in Head Start classrooms. Together, we will ease the educational journey and improve outcomes for Head Start children everywhere.

Our resources include:

  • Training and certification – Learn how to collect CLASS data that is reliable and consistent. This data is crucial in informing your professional development work.
  • Professional development – We provide interactive online courses for both teachers and coaches, video clips and discussion guides to help engage teachers in meaningful conversations, training on strategies for improving interactions in the Instructional Support domain, and coaching aligned with the CLASS framework.
  • Free learning resources –
  1. Case Studies: Learn how other programs have used CLASS training and professional development to overcome challenges and meet their improvement goals. 
  2. Webinars: We provide free webinars demonstrating how the CLASS system addresses educational challenges and goals.
  3. Blog: Our regularly updated blog provides insights on topics ranging from teaching and coaching tips to federal policy and Instructional Support strategies, along with much more.
  4. E-books: Our selection of free e-books covers topics like teacher tips, online learning, tips for implementing change in your program, coaching tips, and observer tips. 
  5. Research: You can also access research articles and studies conducted by the University of Virginia, the Gates Foundation, and more. 
  • Guidance and tools to help with grant applications.
  • Free events and opportunities to meet and learn from people using CLASS all over the globe.


Contact: Jennifer Lally


Phone: (866) 998-8352 

Kevin N. Wright

Kevin N. Wright assists Head Start agencies, schools and child service organizations...

Kevin N. Wright assists Head Start agencies, schools and child service organizations in understanding and effectively addressing aggressive, disruptive and non-compliant behaviors in children. Much of his work focuses on family dynamics and parenting practices that have detrimental effects on children and their development. He created the Positive Thinking for Parents program for Head Start agencies to address parenting practices that contribute to hyper-aggressive behavior in children.

Wright holds the Ph.D. in Community Systems Planning and Development and is Professor of Human Development at Binghamton University where he has taught for more than 30 years. He served as the evaluator for many nationally funded parent education programs. Wright is the author of Family Life and Delinquency: A Policymaker’s Guide along with five books and more than 60 scholarly articles.

Wright provides consultation, training and workshops on aggressive behavior in children; trauma-informed practice; and family dynamics, parenting practices and child development.

Phone: (607) 427-7781

A Parent-Developed Parent Training Program (PDF)

A Qualitative Assessment of a Parent-developed, Parent-run Program to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy (PDF)

Dr. Jean Foster Paulsel

Ph.D. in Family Studies and 30 years of experience in roles related to early childhood.

Dr. Jean Foster Paulsel holds a Ph.D. in Family Studies and has 30 years of experience in roles related to early childhood, family services, and business management.  She is a Certified Family Life Educator, certified through the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Paulsel can work with you on grant application and/or administration or training needs for your program.

Areas of emphasis:

  • Grants writing and consultation, having successfully written local, state, and Federal grants totaling almost $45,000,000. References are available upon request.
  • Head Start/Early Head Start programming, curricula, environments, value of play, language and literacy, quality interactions, and full implementation of family literacy as defined by the Act.
  • Early care and education including child growth and development, inclusion of children with disabilities, increasing parent engagement and involvement, or customized trainings designed for your program.

Background and experience:

  • Administrator for two Head Start / Early Head Start programs, each serving more than 1,100 children over several counties.
  • Reader and reviewer of HS/EHS grants for the Office of Head Start and the Office of Family Assistance.
  • CDA Professional Development Specialist
  • Master Trainer, Texas Early Childhood Trainer Registry
  • Associate Professor/Extension Specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension  (Texas A&M University System)
  • Department chair for Child Development (community college level)
  • Kindergarten teacher

Phone: (817) 341-6310
Member of MP Consulting Resources (A Consortium of Early Childhood Educators)

Find out more about Dr. Paulsel

John R. Gunnarson

Professional development on CLASS, projects and Studies, environments, and dual language learners.

John Gunnarson facilitates practice-based professional development for Head Start and Early Head Start teachers on curriculum development. He provides both short-term, one-day seminars and long-term professional development series that include training, coaching, and hands-on technical assistance in the classroom.

His areas of expertise include:

  • CLASS: In-depth professional development on individual Instructional Support indicators focused on how teachers implement CLASS in their curriculum and in their conversations with children.  Practical, concrete examples and strategies that teachers can immediately use are emphasized.
  • Projects and Studies:  Professional development on the Project Approach and Creative Curriculum Studies followed up with individual meetings with classroom teams to develop a topic and an action plan for implementing their first project.  
  • Classroom Environments:  Seminar on the principles of high quality, aesthetically-pleasing classroom environments that intellectually stimulate and engage children, followed up with technical assistance to set up the classroom environment with each teaching team.
  • Dual Language Learners:  Training on concrete strategies for working with dual language learners using the CLASS Language Modeling indicators with an emphasis on developing both English and the home language using an individualized model.

Phone: (415) 488-4097

Read more from John Gunnarson

CLASS - Analysis and Reasoning

CLASS - Open Ended Questions

Dual Language Learners

High Quality Environments

Professional Development Options

Ideal Early Learning, LLC

Ideal Early Learning works to meet the growing need for more proficient early educators.

Ideal Early Learning, LLC is a service company providing quality technical assistance and professional development opportunities for early childhood program administrators, Early Head Start, Head Start, Easter Seals, child care providers, pre-k teachers, and school-age/after school care providers. The company was founded in 2000 by education expert Dr. Bisa Batten Lewis, in an effort to meet the growing need for more proficient early educators. It is the mission of Ideal Early Learning, LLC to provide early care and education practitioners the necessary knowledge and skill enhancements to appropriately guide tomorrow’s leaders.

Phone: (678) 632-4085


Web site:

Temple University Harrisburg

Temple University Harrisburg provides professional development training and consultation services...

Temple University Harrisburg (TUH) provides professional development training and consultation services to build the capacity of help giving professionals, agencies and systems.

Services include:

  • Strengths-based Family Worker Training and Credentialing
  • Strengths-based Leadership Certificate
  • National Strengths-based Family Worker Conference (June 2015)
  • Certificate in International Nonprofit Training & Leadership Program
  • Community Health Worker Training and Credentialing
  • Personal Care Home Administrators Training
  • curriculum and training design
  • grant writing
  • program development and evaluation
  • needs assessments
  • strategic planning
  • literature review
  • statistical analysis
  • continuing education

TUH works to assist nonprofit organizations and governmental human service agencies to effectively serve their communities through best practices in management, research and training. 

Read more about Temple University Harrisburg


Essential Elements

Providing Training & Technical Assistance Services to Head Start & Early Head Start nationally.

We are a Customer Service-focused organization that provides Custom-designed Training & Technical Assistance Services to Head Start & Early Head Start Programs across the country.

Our Services include:

  • Highly interactive Training for Teaching staff, Family Service Workers, Home Visitors, Center Directors & Management teams – on a wide range of topics
  • Training for New Head Start Directors
  • Training for New Content Area Coordinators
  • Policy Council & Board of Directors training
  • Mock Reviews (to prepare for successful Federal Monitoring Review Events)
  • CLASS observations
  • Long-distance Mentor Coaching
  • Strategic Planning
  • Writing 5 Year Grant Applications
  • Grant Writing for Recompetition
  • Creation of Community Assessments & other programmatic documents

Deborah Kaiser is the Owner of Essential Elements as well as a Consultant and Grant Writer for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. For more than 20 years, Kaiser has worked in and consulted for non-profit organizations. She has been a Head Start Coordinator and a Head Start Director. Kaiser holds a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in School Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).

Our priority is providing you with excellent customer service...... and results.

Read more from Essential Elements:
"A Good Community Assessment is Essential"
"Here are my CLASS Scores... Now What?"

Phone : (713) 594-7060