The Wyoming Head Start State Collaboration Office (WYHSSCO) is located in the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS). The mission of DWS is to link human and economic development for Wyoming's future. The WYHSSCO is member of the Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council (WECSAC) and serves on many of the committees formed under the council.
The primary organizations and agencies WYHSSCO works with to achieve the desired outcomes are:
- Wyoming Head Start Association (WHSA)
- Wyoming Head Start Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TA)
- Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council (WECSAC)
- Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS)
- Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) – administers the Child Care Development Block Grant and provides resource and referral services
- Wyoming Department of Health (DOH)
- Wyoming Department of Education (WDE)
- University of Wyoming (UW)
- Wyoming community colleges
- Local education agencies (LEAs)
- Wyoming Early Childhood Partnership (WECP)
- Wyoming Children's Action Alliance (WCAA)
- Wyoming Citizen's Review Panel (CRP)
- Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND)
- Wyoming Governor's office
- Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Region VIII and central offices
- Other public and private key collaborators
WYHSSCO will continue to strengthen relationships with these organizations to focus on statewide systems building efforts for early childhood education.
The major goals of WYHSSCO include:
- Building and maintaining a coordinated and collaborative relationship with WHSA
- Collaborating with LEAs to cultivate coordinated and smooth transition processes for all children entering the K-12 system, including children experiencing homelessness and military children and families, and to include interoperable data systems for statewide longitudinal study purposes
- Collaborating with state departments of higher education and other partners to support professional development activities, including non-credit-bearing training accrual, appropriate data collection, and focus on other early childhood education workforce improvement activities
- Working to improve child care and early childhood systems statewide
- Promoting access to timely health care services, including general health, oral health, and mental health services
- Promoting and supporting state and local programs that enhance family literacy
- Collaborating with other state efforts to increase opportunities and improve services for children with disabilities
- Leading efforts to improve supports and services for infants and toddlers in the state
In addition to the contributions listed above, WYHSSCO has accomplished the following:
- Worked with the DOH to ensure Head Start access to the Wyoming Immunization Registry (WyIR). It is a secure, confidential, online immunization database containing the vaccination records of Wyoming residents. Historically, Head Start programs have been denied access to WyIR to obtain immunization records for the children in their program. WyIR allows programs to access child immunization records within a timely manner to comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
- Supported systems building initiatives to coordinate and collaborate with the Head Start agencies and other agencies to create a seamless system with capacity to support all children and families in our state.