The Rhode Island Head Start State Collaboration Office (RIHSSCO) is located in the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. The Department of Child Care directly oversees the RIHSSCO within the Department of Human Services. The mission of the RIHSSCO is to provide early care and education services for children birth to 12 years.
Major partnerships include:
- Department of Health (DOH)
- RI Department of Education (RIDE)
- KIDSNET data system
- Home Visiting Initiative
- Family support
- Dental care
- Rite Smiles Initiative
- Child Welfare Partnership
- Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF)
RIHSSCO is affiliated with the Early Learning Council Collaboration, and has a seat on the steering committee.
Major goals of RIHSSCO include:
- Ensuring Head Start participation in all major state initiatives, especially the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC).
In addition to the contributions listed above, RIHSSCO has accomplished the following:
- Successfully prevented a 20 percent cut in state dollars originally proposed in state budget.
- Brought Head Start grantees into two emerging data coordination efforts around education at DOH and RIDE.
- Worked to align professional development with RTT-ELC standards and alignment.
- Promoted Head Start's comprehensive approach and Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) within RTT-ELC.