Healthy Start Coalition
of Miami-Dade

Education | Training

pharmacy_software_trainingThe Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade (HSCMD) is committed to providing professional trainings and certification courses in the field of maternal, infant and child health. These include: Florida Outreach Childbirth Education Program (FOCEP), Partners for a Healthy Baby for Home Visitors, 18-20 Hour Breastfeeding Educator Certification Training, Interconception Care Education, and Smoking Cessation and Reduction in Pregnancy Treatment (SCRIPT) Program. In addition, a variety of specialized trainings are offered including: Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) Certification, Motivational Interviewing, Infant Massage Educator Certification Training and many more.

To view the our Refund policy please click here: HSCMD Refund Policy. For additional information, please feel free to contact the Coalition via our Contact us Page by clicking here.

HSCMD’s Contracted Service Providers are given priority for participation in most of our trainings; however, whenever possible we open our trainings to the community. To see a list of upcoming trainings and to register online, you can find the page below or click here "Upcoming Training Calendar."

Breastfeeding is the optimal method of infant feeding and nurturing.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk” cites research indicating that breastfeeding provides health, nutritional, immunologic, developmental, psychological, social, economic, and environmental advantages unmatched by other feeding options.  Human milk is recommended as the preferred feeding for all infants, including premature and sick newborns, with rare exceptions, for at least the first year of life, and longer as mutually desired by mother and child.  Breastfeeding also benefits women, reducing the risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding education and support services are:

  • The provision of anticipatory guidance and support in order to prevent breastfeeding problems and to address barriers to breastfeeding, and
  • Those services provided to postpartum women to increase the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding and to enable them to overcome any perceived breastfeeding problems

Our curriculum’s include:

  • 18-20 Hour Breastfeeding Educator Certification

This 18-hour course fulfills the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommendations for health care professionals. It complies with the World Health Organization (WHO) International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. The competencies of a Breastfeeding Support Educator include: Knowledge of principles of normal breastfeeding; Knowledge of barriers to breastfeeding and ability to address them; Ability to provide assessment of commonly recurring short term problems or complications; Knowledge and ability to give mothers breastfeeding information based on current breastfeeding research. Program materials include: La Leche League International’s “Breastfeeding Answer Book” and “Medications and Mothers’ Milk” by Thomas Hale, PhD.

  • Loving Support through Peer Counseling

“Loving Support© Through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together – For Training WIC Peer Counselors” is the nationally-approved training program for WIC peer counselors. This competency-based curriculum equips participants with skills in counseling and breastfeeding management to promote breastfeeding and address common.

  • Lactation Counselor Certificate Training (CLC) Program

This 5-day, 45 hour comprehensive breastfeeding management course includes practical skills, theoretical foundations, strategies and tips for the management of breastfeeding in the hospital, public health setting, and the community within a context of counseling the mother. Course content is guided by the Standards of Practice for Lactation Consultants developed by the International Lactation Consultant Association and the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. Successful completion results in the award of a certificate (C.L.C.).


Childbirth education refers to activities that provide information and education to the pregnant woman and her family, both during early and late pregnancy, which promote healthy outcomes for the woman and her infant. Childbirth education can be provided at any location in the community. The location should meet the needs of the participant by encouraging and supporting attendance.

Childbirth Education includes a comprehensive curriculum that is culturally sensitive and applicable for the participants receiving the service. When possible, classes are offered in the participant’s native language. Childbirth education services are intended to provide information to pregnant women in order to assure the most positive birth experience and outcome for her and her family.

Our curriculum’s include:

  • Florida Outreach Childbirth Education Program (FOCEP)

Childbirth educators can be from a variety of backgrounds:  social work, nursing, psychology, education, midwifery and others.  Ideal candidates for FOCEP  certification should have an interest in providing education.  A minimum of a high school diploma is required.  Learn to teach parents about pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum care, breastfeeding and baby care. You can have a beneficial impact by bringing quality childbirth education to your community! FOCEP training is a low-cost alternative certification that allows graduates to teach childbirth education in the State of Florida. FOCEP certification can be used as a step towards seeking an international certification in childbirth education.

Program Requirements:

  1. Attend 48 hours of classroom instruction by FOCEP Faculty
  2. Pass the final exam (80%)
  3. Observe 12 hours of  childbirth education classes
  4. Teach 12 hours of FOCEP classes with an approved childbirth education preceptor
  5. Observe two vaginal births
  6. Attend one maternal and child health community meeting
  7. Tour a birth facility

Participants have up to one year to complete the program requirements. Certificates are awarded following the completion of all program requirements.  The certificate enables the holder to use the FOCEP Curriculum with pregnant women and their families.

 Program Components

  1. Introduction: History of childbirth education, project goals
  2. Adult Education: Characteristics, principles and conditions, teaching styles, literacy
  3. Pregnancy: Conception, anatomy and physiology, fetal growth, health components
  4. Labor and Birth: Process, physiology, stages and phases, pain theory, coping techniques
  5. Postpartum: Anatomical changes, complications, behavior, contraceptives
  6. Newborn: Hospital care and procedures, circumcision, characteristics, behavior
  7. Breastfeeding: Benefits, techniques, nutrition, formula concerns
  8. Ethnocultural: Diversity, communication, expectations
  9. Bereavement: Unexpected outcomes, acceptance and stages of grief
  10. Community: Resources, Healthy Start, others 
  • Lamaze

The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices curriculum helps simplify the birth process with a natural approach that helps alleviates the woman’s fears and helps to manage pain. Regardless of the baby’s size, the length and complexity of labor, or the mother’s confidence level, these care practices will help keep labor and the baby’s birth as safe and healthy as possible. The curriculum has six lessons for the mother and her coach.

Selection Criterion

Lamaze is a research informed curriculum that is supported by literature demonstrating that birth outcomes improve with one-to-one labor support such as taught in Lamaze.  (e.g. Journal of Obstetrical Gynecological &Neonatal Nursing Volume 30(4) July 26, 2006

  • Early Pregnancy Care Education Certification**

The Early Pregnancy Care Education curriculum was designed in collaboration with community individuals with experience in the field of women’s health.

This curriculum includes information and multi-sensory activities that educate families about the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Including nutrition, food safety, physical discomforts, fetal development, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, dental care, proper seat belt use, sex during pregnancy, bonding, stress management, the importance of prenatal care and much more.  The curriculum is composed of 4 modules and includes multi-sensory activities. Successful completion of this  training and passing the final exam will certify attendees to teach Early Pregnancy Care Classes to women in the first half of pregnancy. This curriculum includes an educator toolkit including more than 15 items that represent safety concerns for pregnant women to encourage a discussion about what to avoid or limit during pregnancy. This includes: Beer bottle (alcohol), Cat (animal– borne diseases), Fish (foods to limit), Cigarette (smoking), Sun (high body temperature), Prenatal vitamins (nutrition).  Sample presentations are also included in the toolkit.

Selection Criterion: Approved by the Florida Department of Health for use in the Healthy Start Program.

**Trainings/Curricula in italics are specialized trainings.  Healthy Start coding can be done only for information covered within the specific topic. 


Interconceptional education and counseling services provide comprehensive information and education related to the optimal health status needed by any eligible woman of reproductive age to improve the birth outcome of a potential pregnancy. This service includes information on access to care, baby spacing, nutrition, physical activity, maternal infections, chronic health problems, substance abuse, smoking, mental health and environmental risk factors.

About the Curriculum

The HSCMD partnered with a community group to develop its culturally competent, accessible Interconceptional Care Education Training Manual. The community group included physicians, nurses, midwives, social workers, counselors and care coordinators with expertise in the field of women’s health. The training manual was the only one from a community-based organization invited for presentation by the CDC at its 2005 Summit on Promising Practice Models in Preconception Care. Additionally, the HSCMD participated in the CDC/ATSDR Preconception Care Work Group that developed its ten recommendations to improve preconception care in the United States.

The training manual consists of four core modules with multi-sensory activities for each module. The core modules are:

  • Baby Spacing
  • Health and Wellness
  • Nutrition and Exercise
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The training manual accompanies a toolkit that includes the following:

  • Birth control and safe sex kit
  • Teeth model for brushing and flossing with toothbrush
  • Breast Model with palpable and non-palpable lumps
  • Folic acid every day toolkit: A resource for learning and teaching about folic acid and neural tube defects

The development of the HSCMD Interconceptional Care Education Training Manual was driven by the Healthy Start Standards and Guidelines, but exceeds the breadth of topics. In addition, the curriculum has been tested in the community and was developed in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Family Learning Partnership, an organization that specializes in literacy and curriculum development, to ensure:

  1. Consistency throughout the modules
  2. Multi-sensory exercises using life-like models (e.g., teeth for oral health)
  3. Clear instructions for Educator
  4. All-Inclusive – language, definitions, concepts, objectives, community resources, activities, etc.
  5. Designed for delivery in any setting – not limited to health care
  6. Can be delivered in a group setting or one-on-one
  7. Versatile, adaptable and can be translated
  8. Average reading level of 8th grade
  9. Each module includes a list of important topics, key words, key concept mastery (learning objectives), two multi-sensory activities and a list of references, community resources & bibliography.

To download a pdf copy of the ICC Training Manual click here.


  • RTS Bereavement Training**

Founded in 1981, Resolve Through Sharing (RTS) Bereavement Training: Perinatal Death is a comprehensive 2-day training known world-wide as the “Gold Standard” in perinatal bereavement education.

The curriculum is modified regularly to reflect the latest in research, innovations in practice, and updated systems.

RTS Bereavement Training: Perinatal Death and RTS Coordinator Training help you comply with The Joint Commission standard for end-of-life care PC.02.02.13

  • Sharing & Caring: A Perinatal Loss Seminar**

This 2.5-day training is conducted by the National Share Office. The target audience of this workshop is open to anyone who wants to start their own Share Group, including social workers, counselors, nurses, hospital chaplains, and bereaved parents. The Sharing and Caring workshop is an intensive training that gives anyone who works with the bereaved the tools they need to work with families effectively, run support groups, and gain the support of their hospital staff.

  • Promoting Maternal Mental Health**

This course is based on the book “Promoting Maternal Mental Health During Pregnancy” by JoAnne Solchany, RN, PhD. It addresses a woman’s psychological and emotional state during pregnancy. The program includes the normal, typical course of pregnancy, high risk pregnancies, domestic violence, pregnant women with unresolved grief of loss, and those women experience depression or other mental health disruptions. It also covers issues critical to the development of the early mother-child relationship.

Course topics include: Pregnancy Studies/Beliefs, Risk Factors, Rubin’s Tasks, Mother-Child Relationship, Issues in Pregnancy, Social Support, Trauma & Loss, Depression/Anxiety, Assessment in Pregnancy, & Interventions


  • Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) refers to a counseling approach in developed in part by clinical psychologists William R. Miller, PhD. and Stephen Rollnick, PhD. The concept of motivational interviewing evolved from experience in the treatment of problem drinkers. Motivational Interviewing is a method that works on facilitating and engaging intrinsic motivation within the client in order to change behavior. MI is a goal-oriented, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. Compared with non-directive counseling, it’s more focused and goal-directed. The examination and resolution of ambivalence is a central purpose, and the counselor is intentionally directive in pursuing this goal.

Motivational interviewing is a form of collaborative conversation for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change. It is a person-centered counseling style for addressing the common problem of ambivalence about change by paying particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen an individual’s motivation for and, movement toward, a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.

Selection Criterion: MI is an evidence based strategy for behavior change.

Motivational interviewing: an evidence-based approach to counseling helps patients follow treatment recommendations by Levensky, et a in J Nurs. 2007 Oct; 107(10):50-8

**Trainings/Curricula in italics are specialized trainings. Healthy Start coding can be done only for information covered within the specific topic.


Parenting education and support services are based on a comprehensive curriculum that is culturally sensitive and applicable for the participant(s) receiving the service.  The curriculum content has a prevention-based focus to reduce factors that are associated with placing children at health, social, or behavioral risk.

Parenting support and education provides comprehensive information and education related to the care of the newborn, infant, and child.  This service includes information on normal growth and development, anticipatory guidance, changes in family dynamics, attachment behaviors, nutrition, resource management, safety, child injury prevention, immunizations, and child abuse prevention.

Our curriculum’s include:

  • International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) Postnatal Educator

The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) as a professional organization supports educators and other health care providers who believe in freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.

ICEA’s goals are to provide:

  1. Support for childbirth, postnatal, and perinatal fitness educators, and doulas
  2. Professional certification programs
  3. Training and continuing education programs
  4. Quality educational resources

ICEA encourages continuing education through local workshops, self-education, team teaching or a combination of these methods. ICEA believes that a certification program which verifies the acquisition of knowledge and skill will maintain the autonomy of the individual educator, thus ensuring the continuation of effective parent education programs.

  • Florida State University: Partners for a Healthy Baby for Home Visitors

Partners for a Healthy Baby is a curriculum developed at Florida State University for educating low income families.  The curriculum is unique in that it addresses issues of child health and development within the context of the multifaceted needs of expectant and parenting families. The research-based content in each book supports the home visitor’s ability to systematically plan home visits and address key topics that are essential in achieving both family and program outcomes.

Each book in the five-volume series — Before Baby Arrives, Baby’s First Six Months, Baby’s Months 7-12, Baby’s Months 13-18, Toddler’s Months 19-36 has a Research Basis, a User’s Guide, an Overview of Topics, and a set of full-color handouts for the home visitor to use when planning their visits.

Selection Criteria

Partners for a Healthy Baby is a research-based, practice-informed curriculum that has been used in several evidence-based programs that have achieved positive outcomes as documented in numerous studies. Findings include: decreased incidence of low birth weight; fewer small for gestational age babies; fewer repeat pregnancies; reduced rates of physical abuse and neglect; increased rates of up-to-date immunizations and enrollment in a medical home; significantly greater likelihood mothers will read to their children; improved child development and increased maternal responsiveness of adolescent mothers.

  • Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is an approved home visiting model meeting the evidence-based criteria of the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) and considered a promising approach for the Tribal Home Visiting Grantee.

  • Touchpoints Individual Level Training 

The Brazelton Touchpoints Individual Level Training Program is a three-day seminar designed for individual health care, early education, child care, and social service providers who want to incorporate elements of the Brazelton Touchpoints approach into their practice setting.

The Touchpoints approach helps professionals engage around key points in the development of young children. By helping parents identify and expect bursts and regressions in child behavior (the Touchpoints) professionals can reduce parental frustration and self-doubt while fostering parenting skills and the parents enjoyment of their child. In the process, the bond between the provider and the family is strengthened.

  • Healthy Steps Training Institute**

The three-day Healthy Steps Training Institute includes interactive strategies and case-based problem solving and discusses scientific data and clinical application of the following topics:

Behavior and brain development in the first three years; Cognitive, language, social, and emotional learning; Use of tools to gauge child development; The importance of relationships between mothers, fathers, and children, and between families and the practice; Parental health habits that are risk factors for child development; and Implementation strategies for office visits, practice management, and community networking.

The Healthy Steps Training Team is based at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and is made up of is made up of pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, and child development specialists from the staff at Boston University School of Medicine.

SAMHSA (LAUNCH grants) and HHS (MIECHV grants) have both designated Healthy Steps for Young Children as an approved evidence-based practice for service delivery grants to their agencies.

  • Ages & Stages**

Ages and Stages is a curriculum for training how to conduct scientifically based assessments to identify potential developmental delays in children. This will facilitate referral and early intervention. It provides training on how to conduct in-depth assessments throughout childhood that help to determine a child’s current level of functioning in five domains.  In addition to identifying individual children at risk for intervention it can be used to evaluate progress over time, as well as program planning.

Selection Criterion

Ages and Stages is an evidence based curriculum.  [Selecting Developmental Surveillance and Screening Tools by Dennis Drotar, et al in PEDIATRICS IN REVIEW  Vol. 29 (10) October 1, 2008  pp. e52 -e58].

  • LearningGames Curriculum Training**

Based on 30 years of research LearningGames, The Abecedarian Curriculum consists of activities to help parents or caregivers enhance child development from birth to 60 months. Each game is on an individual sheet and is illustrated with full-color photographs. A simple explanation of the game is given on the front of the page. On the back of the page there is a more detailed description of the game including different ways to play it, what to expect from the child, and why it is important.

  •  Child Passenger Safety Technician**

The National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program (CPS certification program) certifies people as child passenger safety technicians and instructors. Since the CPS certification program began in 1997, more than 129,000 people have successfully completed the CPS Certification Course, including 36,000 currently certified CPS technicians. Many technicians are trained health and safety professionals, others are parents, and some are volunteers. They all have one thing in common: they care deeply about kids and want to make sure they’re safe.

CPS technicians and instructors put their knowledge to work by conducting child safety seat checks, where parents and caregivers receive hands-on assistance for proper use of child restraint systems and safety belts. These dedicated technicians offer education, support and guidance in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

The U.S. CPS certification program is widely considered to be the gold standard across the globe. Recent Certification courses have been offered in Canada, Israel, Italy, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Conscious Discipline **

Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive social-emotional learning program based on current brain research.

It is the only program that utilizes everyday events as the curriculum, addresses the adult’s emotional intelligence as well as the child’s, and integrates social-emotional learning. Conscious Discipline empowers adults to consciously respond to daily conflict, transforming it into an opportunity to teach critical life skills to children.

Conscious Discipline is evidence-based, and was named as a national model for character education by the Florida State Legislature.

  • Certified Educator of Infant Massage**

The Infant Massage USA(R) educator training is an evidence-based comprehensive 4-day training course.  The Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) course covers all aspects of instructing parents on infant massage as well as supporting and loving their babies through nurturing touch.

The training curriculum covers:

  1. Massage techniques and how to adapt these skills as infants develop
  2. Communication, teaching, group facilitation and lesson planning skills
  3. Effects and benefits of infant massage
  4. Bonding and the relationship between massage and bonding
  5. Infant and child development in relationship to massage
  6. Infant cues, crying and behavioral states
  7. Massage for special situations (colic, babies born prematurely or with other additional needs, etc.)
  8. Infant handling and positioning
  9. Understanding, supporting and valuing parents
  10. Touch research
  11. Safety guidelines for the use of oil 
  • Home Safety (Injury Free Coalition)**

This curriculum was developed by the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, one of the country’s fastest growing and most effective injury prevention programs. The three goals of the curriculum are for participants to: understand the burden of child injury, gain knowledge about age-appropriate injury risks and their prevention, and to learn how to apply child safety standards within the home visiting setting.  This training includes hands-on activities aboard the Injury Free Mobile.

  • Using American Sign Language (ASL) for enhancing children’s communication and literacy **

In this one-day training, participants learn the research-based benefits of using American Sign Language (ASL) with babies and young children.  Benefits include social, communication and educational/literacy.  Participants learn basic signs that are appropriate to teach parents with babies.  A Sign with Your Baby Educator’s Toolkit is provided to participants of this training.  The toolkit includes a training Sign with Your Baby DVD, Sign with Your Baby quick reference guide, Sign with Your Baby book by Dr. Joseph Garcia, and American Sign Language Flash Cards Sets by Sign2Me.

**Trainings/Curricula in italics are specialized trainings.  Healthy Start coding can be done only for information covered within the specific topic. 


Psychosocial counseling is provided to Healthy Start families to address situational and developmental stress.  It is provided in a confidential setting to individuals, couples, groups or families.  The goal is to reduce identified risk factors and maximize positive pregnancy outcomes and infant/child health and development.

Psychosocial counseling is a relationship that occurs between a skilled professional counselor and an individual, family, group, or community for the purpose of helping to overcome specific emotional or social problems and achieve specified goals for well-being.  This is a form of psychosocial counseling that emphasizes prevention and the interface between the individual and the individual’s environment.

Our psychosocial counseling is provided by Master’s level counselors with various disciplines in Marriage and Family, Social Work, Psychology and other related discipline. For additional information, please feel free to contact the Coalition via our Contact us Page by clicking here.


Tobacco Education and Cessation

Tobacco education and cessation counseling is provided to Healthy Start families in order to reduce the incidence of prenatal smoking and to reduce the harmful effects to the mother and developing fetus when the mother ingests chemicals from tobacco or is exposed to passive smoke.  Passive smoke is damaging to all household members.  Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to upper and lower respiratory disease caused by tobacco smoke.

Tobacco education and cessation services include assessment of stage of change (pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, relapse), provision of educational brochures, specific assistance in how to quit smoking, support services and relapse services.  Nicotine patches or other pharmaceutical aids may be used in conjunction with these services.

Substance Abusing Pregnant Women
Substance Exposed Children and their Families
Prenatal substance abuse has a clear impact on the health of the pregnant woman.  Drugs and the woman’s lifestyle can affect fetal development, the infant’s birth weight, mortality and development.  Based on responses to the National Pregnancy and Health Survey (1996), an estimated 5.5 percent of pregnant women acknowledge that they used an illegal drug during pregnancy.

Identification of use/abuse of alcohol and/or illegal substances can be determined by:

  • The woman’s own admission to staff,
  • A positive drug toxicology,
  • A staff member witnessing the use, and/or
  • A report from a reliable source

Our curriculum’s include:

  • Make Yours a Fresh Start Family Tobacco Cessation

Fresh Start is the American Cancer Society’s smoking-cessation program. It consists of four one-hour face-to-face group sessions that take place during a two-week period.

The goal of the program is to teach participants skills to deal with not smoking, while also addressing other issues such as physical addiction and psychological dependency. The program helps smokers to increase their motivation to quit, identify their “triggers” or reasons for smoking and learn effective approaches for quitting. It also guides them in making a successful quit attempt and teaches them to deal with the stress that can often accompany the process of “quitting”.

Selection Criteria: Fresh Start is a research informed program which incorporates current guidelines for tobacco cessation. It uses evidence-based strategies including:

  1. Motivational intervention activities
  2. Practical counseling (problem solving skills)
  3. Social support
  4. Education about medication and approaches to quitting

It is recommended by American Cancer Society.


The Smoking Cessation and Reduction in Pregnancy Treatment (SCRIPT) is an award-winning, evidence-based program shown to be effective in helping thousands of pregnant women quit smoking. It is designed to be a component of a patient education program for prenatal care providers, and is cited by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality’s Smoking Cessation Clinical Practice Guidelines. The SCRIPT Program includes the following intervention components:

  1. A Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Quit Smoking: A 40-page tailored guide that outlines a self-evaluation process to help build women’s smoking cessation success over a seven-day period
  2. Commit to Quit Smoking During and After Pregnancy: A 15-minute motivational DVD
  3. Comprehensive counseling and follow-up by the health care professional

Selection Criteria

SCRIPT is an evidence based intervention as demonstrated by Dr. Richard Windsor, professor and NIH Principal Investigator in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. (RA Windsor, LL Woodby, TM Miller, JM Hardin, MA Crawford, CC DiClemente. Effectiveness of Agency for Health Care Policy and research clinical practice guideline and patient education methods for pregnant smokers in Medicaid Maternity care. AJOBGyn 182(1) Jan 2000 pages 68-75).

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