The Utah Head Start State Collaboration Office (UTHSSCO) is located in the Utah Department of Workforce Services. The Utah Office of Child Care oversees UTHSSCO. The Office of Child Care provides information, resources, and support to help improve the economic stability and well-being of Utah children and families. They also help families access quality child care and after school programs.
Major partnerships include:
- Department of Workforce Services
- Utah Health Department
- Dental Initiatives Office
- Office of Child Care
- UT Association for the Education of Young Children
- State quality rating and improvement system (QRIS)
- UT Early Childhood Data System Committee
- Baby Watch Early Intervention
- Help Me Grow parent support program
- Early Childhood Workforce Data Committee
- Office of Home Visiting
- State Refugee Office
- Utah Head Start Association
- Utah Head Start Director Group
- Mentor/coaching credential initiative work group
- Many other entities at both the state and local level.
The State Advisory Council that UTHSSCO identifies with is called Early Childhood Utah. The UTHSSCO director currently co-chairs the early education committee.The role of UTHSSCO is to ensure Head Start programs in Utah are considered for partnerships, collaborative efforts, and resource-sharing, as well as ensuring the needs of Head Start-eligible children and families are being addressed.
The major goals of UTHSSCO include:
- Ensuring Head Start staff has appropriate early childhood training and professional development certification and degree earning opportunities. These programs will be available to and beneficial for all early childhood professionals.
- Supporting statewide efforts that strengthen Head Start programs and the families to whom they provide services.
- Moving forward the ability to collect and analyze state-wide early childhood data.
- Supporting the priorities of the Office of Head Start and Region VIII in statewide early childhood work and planning.
- Ensuring the needs of Head Start programs efforts are voiced and that the success of these efforts will benefit other early childhood partners.
- Helping early childhood efforts focus on outcomes that promote school readiness for all children.
In addition to the contributions listed above, UTHSSCO has accomplished the following:
- Assisted with the creation of the State Early Learning Standards using the Head Start Child Development Early Learning Framework as a guide. Teaching strategies and activities have been added to these, and all have been translated into Spanish and printed for wide distribution.
- Helped the work of Early Childhood Utah move forward with the formation of four working committees and the development of a vision and mission statement.
- Achieved substantial progress in the creation of a statewide early childhood data system that will include all Head Start programs in UT. It will benefit all contributing programs in their data collecting, analyzing, and sharing efforts.
- Increased knowledge of Head Start's mission and its impact on the lives of children and families through outreach efforts to state partners.