The South Dakota Head Start State Collaboration Office (SDHSSCO) is located in the SD Department of Education. SDHSSCOis overseen by the Division of Education Services and Supports. The purpose of the Division of Education Services and Supports is helping children learn, facilitating leadership, and providing services.
SDHSSCO provides a structure and process for Head Start grantees to work with statewide agencies that have common interests around young children and families. They work to formulate, implement, and improve state and local policy and practice.
Major partnerships include:
- Department of Social Services
- Child Care Services
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Office
- Department of Education, Special Education
- Parts B and C
- Title Office
- Departments of Health and Oral Health
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Title V home visiting programs
- SD Head Start Association
- SD Kids Count
- SD Delta Dental Association
- Local education agencies (LEAs)
The major goals of SDHSSCO include:
- Influencing policy and programming related to young children and their families at the state and local levels.
- Ensuring access for all children in low-income families to high-quality services and programs in the target areas of education, child care services, health care services, and services for children with disabilities.
- Ensuring all low-income families have access to support programs in the target areas of welfare, child welfare, family literacy, services to homeless families, and involvement in community services.
In addition to the contributions listed above, SDHSSCO has accomplished the following:
- Developed memoranda of understanding with SD Department of Education Special Education and Title offices; SD Department of Health Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Office; and SD Department of Social Services Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid Offices.
- Provided opportunities to initiate and strengthen relationships between grantees, LEAs, and local community partners through regional school readiness discussions.
- The SD Department of Social Services, Child Care Services, Pathways to Professional Development Career Lattice is being utilized by Head Start staff to record training and promote high quality in the early learning profession.