The Connecticut Head Start State Collaboration Office (CTHSSCO) is located in the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) under the deputy director.
OEC merges a variety of programs serving young children and their families, including early care and education, home visiting, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C and Part B/619, and child care and youth camp licensing. Its mission is to support all young children in their development by ensuring that early childhood policy, funding, and services strengthen the critical role families, providers, educators, and communities play in a child’s life.
Connecticut has a State Advisory Committee/Early Childhood (SAC/EC) Cabinet, which is in legislation and includes both the CTHSSCO director and a Head Start program representative as full members. The CTHSSCO also is on its leadership team.
The major goals of CTHSSCO include:
- Promoting partnerships to better support Early Head Start, Head Start, and other low-income and at-risk infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families.
- Involving Head Start in state-level policy and planning.
- Bringing the lessons learned in Head Start to state and local systems serving all low-income infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families.
In addition to the contributions listed above, CTHSSCO has accomplished the following:
- Better integration of health, oral health, and wellness into CT's early childhood vision, including for Head Start and Early Head Start.
- Developed close working relationships between Head Start and Early Head Start and child welfare and homelessness services.
- Increased the capacity of the infant/toddler workforce across sectors, including increased competency in infant mental health.
- Readied access to resources and materials necessary to fully implement the Oral Health Initiative, Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) trainings, and other initiatives statewide in Head Start and Early Head Start programs.