The Idaho Head Start State Collaboration Office (IDHSSCO) is located in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW), Division of Family and Community Services. The Department that oversees the IDHSSCO is DHW, Family and Community Services: Infant Toddler Program, Part C. The mission of the DHW is to promote and protect the health and safety of Idahoans. Through the Early Childhood Coordinating Council (EC3), they provide leadership and education and coordinate resources for Idaho's young children and their families.
Major partnerships include:
- Idaho Head Start Association
- State Department of Education's Part B-619 Coordinator and Collaboration Director
- Interagency Agreement and Protocol team
- Early Learning eGuidelines (ELeG) team
- Idaho STARS Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
The EC3 Head Start Committee serves as the Advisory Committee to the Collaboration Office.
IDHSSCO serves on the following committees:
- Early Childhood Coordinating Council and Head Start Committee
- Medicaid Blood Lead Advisory Committee
- Idaho Oral Health Initiative 2014 Advisory Committee
- Consortium for the Preparation of Early Childhood Professionals (higher education)
- Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visitation Advisory Committee
- Secure Beginnings Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Committee (state level)
- Idaho Children's Trust Fund/Strengthening Families Roundtable
- Division of Welfare Ford Foundation Grant Partner
The major goals of IDHSSCO include:
- Supporting and promoting Head Start programs' priorities and initiatives within DHW and with early childhood partners.
- Contributing to state early childhood systems building.
- Maintaining and linking ELeG to early childhood systems, professional development, parents, and programs that serve young children and promote school readiness.
- Supporting and contributing to early childhood professional development, including higher education, Idaho STARS QRIS, and early mental health.
In addition to the contributions listed above, IDHSSCO has accomplished the following:
- Sponsored Early Years Professional Development Conferences in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012.
- Worked with Secure Beginnings, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health state committee to provide and plan promotional materials in English and Spanish for parents and providers, annual symposiums, support for Idaho's acquisition of Michigan Infant Mental Health Endorsement, and formational support for Idaho Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.
- Led the development, promotion, and maintenance of ELeG, including: research updates, crosswalk with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework, crosswalk with K-12 Common Core Standards, and two supplemental books.
- Developed and supported interagency agreements between DHW and the State Department of Education with protocols for early intervention services in Head Start programs and local school districts.