Colorado Head Start Collaboration Office

The Colorado Head Start State Collaboration Office (COHSSCO) is located in the Office of Early Childhood in the Colorado Department of Human Services. The COHSSCO assists in building high quality early childhood systems and works to encourage widespread collaboration between Head Start and other programs, services, and initiatives.

Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) is the State Advisory Council with which Colorado identifies. The ECLC was established by the governor in 2010 and codified in 2010 by the legislature. The 2013 legislative session reauthorized the ECLC until Sept. 1, 2018.

The ECLC advises and assists in ensuring and advancing a comprehensive service delivery system for the pregnant women and children from birth to 8 years of age, using data to improve decision making, alignment, and coordination among federally funded and state funded services and programs.


COHSCCO works to coordinate engagement and activities with Office of Early Childhood within the Department of Human Services, the Lt. Governor's Office, key state agencies, and other early childhood associations and advocacy groups. Other partnerships include:

  • Early Intervention/Special Education
  • Home Visiting
  • Infants and toddlers programs
  • State preschool program
  • Teacher credentialing and certification
  • Early Childhood Mental Health
  • State child care subsidy program
  • State child care licensing
  • Quality rating and improvement system (QRIS)


The major goals of COHSSCO include:

  • Assisting in building partnerships that facilitate and improve access to and utilization of high quality, comprehensive services that support the optimal development and long-term success of Head Start children
  • Contributing to state efforts to improve and rate the quality of and access to early learning programs, including Head Start, state preschool program, and child care programs
  • Supporting efforts to promote and enhance state level planning, policy development, and implementation of a statewide professional developmental system
  • Promoting alignment and continuity
  • Collaborating with other state efforts to promote access to timely health care services, including general, oral, and mental health services for low-income children

Outcomes and Successes

In addition to the contributions listed above, COHSSCO has worked with partners to accomplish the following:

  • Development and execution of the governor and lt. governor's Colorado Reads 2012 and 2013 Early Literacy Initiative
  • Design and implementation work for Colorado's next iteration of the QRIS
  • Development of Colorado's Competencies for Early Childhood Educators and Administrators
  • Successful application in Round 2 of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge
  • Development of Colorado's Early Learning and Development Guidelines and the integration with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework
  • Collaborated with key stakeholders and professional development partners to establish a comprehensive three-year early professional development system plan

For more information, visit

Colorado Directories and Resources:

General Directories and Resources:

Last Reviewed: March 2013

Last Updated: March 24, 2015