About Head Start Collaboration Office
Collaboration on behalf of children and families is one of Head Start’s highest priorities.
Head Start Collaboration Office in each state and each national administrative office serving either Indian Head Start programs or Migrant/Seasonal Head Start programs are awarded funds under Section 642B of the Head Start Act of 2007 to facilitate and enhance coordination and collaboration among Head Start and Early Head Start agencies and other state and local entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low-income children from birth to school entry and their families, as well as pregnant women.
Head Start Collaboration Office engages in the following activities mandated by the Head Start Act:
Head Start Collaboration Office supports the development of Head Start participation in multi-agency, public/private partnerships to benefit low-income children and families at the state and local levels.
- Assisting Head Start agencies to collaborate with entities involved in State and local planning processes to better meet the needs of low-income children from birth to school entry, and their families;
- Assisting Head Start agencies to coordinate activities with the State agency responsible for administering the State program carried out under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 and entities providing resource and referral services in the State, to make full-working-day and full calendar year services available to children;
- Promoting the alignment of curricula used in Head Start programs and continuity of services with the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework and, as appropriate, State early learning standards; and
- Promoting better linkages between Head Start agencies and other child and family agencies, including agencies that provide health, mental health, or family services, or other child or family supportive services, such as services provided under section 619 or part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The Head Start Act of 2007 identified or expanded eight priority areas for Head Start Collaboration. These updated priority areas are:
- Child Care Services – Including making full-working day and full calendar year services available to children and families.
- Health Care Services – Including mental health.
- Welfare – Including child protective services, services for children in foster care, and children referred to Head Start by child welfare agencies.
- Services Relating to Children with Disabilities.
- Community Service Activities – Including the promotion of partnerships between Head Start agencies, schools, law enforcement, relevant community-based organizations, and substance and mental health treatment agencies to strengthen family and community environments; and, to reduce the impact on child development of substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and other high risk behaviors that compromise health development.
- Services to Children who are Homeless.
- Family Literacy.
- Education – Including reading readiness programs, programs offered by public and school libraries, services offered by museums, early childhood education and development for children with limited English proficiency, partnerships to promote the inclusion of more books in Head Start classrooms, and professional development.
A detailed list of the eight priority areas which includes directives from the Head Start Act of 2007 and Head Start Collaboration activities related to each priority area is available on ECLKC. To get a greater sense of how the eight priorities outlined in the Head Start Act of 2007 have changed or developed since 1998, please peruse this side-by-side comparison describing the purpose, roles, and responsibilities of Head Start Collaboration in 1998 and 2007. The “2007 Head Start Act” column in the comparison also includes information on state Governors’ Early Childhood Education Advisory Councils.
More information about Head Start Collaboration is available at the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC) Collaboration page.