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Head Start Priorities

School Transitions: Head Start State Collaboration Offices (HSSCOs) will foster seamless transitions and long-term success of Head Start children by promoting continuity of services between the Head Start Child Development and Learning Framework and state early learning standards including pre-k entry assessment and interoperable data systems.


Professional Development: HSSCOs will collaborate with institutions of higher education to promote professional development through education and credentialing programs for early childhood providers in states.


Child Care and Early Childhood Systems: HSSCOs will coordinate activities, referrals, and resources with the state agency responsible for the state Child and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program and resource and referral, to make full-working day and full-calendar year child care services available to children. They will also include the Head Start Program Performance Standards in state efforts to rate the quality of programs (Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)) and support Head Start programs when participating in QRIS and partnering with child care and early childhood systems at the local level.


Regional Office Priorities: HSSCOs will support other regional office priorities such as family and community partnerships; health, mental health, and oral health; disabilities; and support to military families. Other special OHS and ACF initiative requests for HSSCO support should be routed through the OHS Regional Offices.


Priorities may include:

Health Services: To promote access to timely health care services, including general health, oral health, and mental health services.
Services to Children who are Experiencing Homelessness: To support access to services for children and families experiencing homelessness through coordination with state and local education agencies implementing McKinney-Vento requirements.
Services to Children with Disabilities: To increase opportunities for children with disabilities.
Child Welfare: To improve or enhance coordination with child welfare services, including foster care and child protective services.
Family Literacy: To promote and support state and local connections that enhance family literacy.
Welfare: To encourage and support collaboration with welfare systems (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program).
Community Services: To promote and support full utilization of relevant community services, including public schools, public libraries, museums, and law enforcement agencies, and promote effective outreach efforts to Head Start-eligible families.
Military Families: To promote outreach by Head Start grantees to military families whose children do not have access to quality early childhood services when located away from military installations.