Head Start Collaboration Offices and State Systems

Head Start Collaboration Offices: National Priorities

The Office of Head Start (OHS) established four priority areas to guide the work of the Head Start Collaboration Offices (HSCOs).

1. Collaborate with state systems to align early care and education services and supports for children and families prenatally to age 5.

Collaborate across systems to support:

  • Health, mental health, and social and emotional well-being
  • Home visiting
  • Comprehensive service delivery
  • Services and supports for children who are experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, children with disabilities, and children who are dual language learners
  • Quality improvements
  • School readiness initiatives
  • State background check systems
  • Child care
  • Child welfare
  • Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships
  • Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Health Integration Prenatal-to-3 Programs

2. Work with state efforts to collect and use data on early childhood programs to guide decision-making and improve child and family outcomes.

Support appropriate access to and use of data to guide decision-making and to improve outcomes in areas such as coordinated eligibility and disparities in access to services.

3. Support the expansion of and access to high-quality workforce and career development opportunities for staff.

Work with state professional development systems, including workforce registries and career pathways, and with institutions of higher education to promote expansion and high-quality career development opportunities.

4. Coordinate with school systems to ensure continuity and alignment across programs, as appropriate.

Promote continuity of services, program alignment, and support for successful transitions, particularly with state preschool, kindergarten, and with Title I, McKinney-Vento, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act programs.

State and Regional Priorities

According to the Head Start Act, HSCOs “facilitate collaboration among Head Start agencies and entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low-income children from birth to school entry, and their families (Sec. 642(B)(a)(2)(A))." They provide structure and a process for OHS to work and partner with state agencies and local entities to leverage their common interests around young children and their families to formulate, implement, and improve state and local policy and practices.