Iowa Head Start State Collaboration Office

What is the State Collaboration Office?
Despite its federal-to-local program structure, the Head Start community recognizes that the states play an important role in the formulation and implementation of policies and initiatives that affect low-income children and their families. Collaboration on behalf of children and families is one of Head Start's highest priorities. Since 1990, the Head Start Bureau has funded Head Start-State Collaboration grants to create the capacity to support the development of multi-agency and public/private partnerships at the State level. The Iowa Head Start State Collaboration Office was established through these funds in 1993.

The Collaboration Office ensures the coordination of Head Start services with health care, welfare, child care, education and community service activities, family literacy services, services to homeless families, and activities relating to children with disabilities. As Iowa continues to invest in coordinated services for young children and their families, broad collaboration with Head Start occurs in a variety of ways, including the development and enhancement of State-level efforts to build early childhood systems through linkages, coordination, and integration of policies and services.

Why Collaboration?
The Head Start-State Collaboration Offices have established themselves as an effective single point of contact in the state for informing the Head Start community about state planning and programs. Likewise, the Collaboration Office is an important resource for Iowa state agencies and local organizations seeking to connect with Head Start programs in the state. Effective partnerships continue because the interests and needs of both Head Start and the state are addressed.

Our knowledge about child development and quality early childhood services have increased dramatically over the past several years, resulting in unexpected funding opportunities and shifts in programmatic priorities at the Federal and State levels. As a result, the Iowa Head Start-State Collaboration Office has developed the capacity to work with partners to adjust plans accordingly and to respond to new initiatives in a timely manner. This flexibility is based on strong relationships and effective systems for data management and communications with the Head Start community.

State Collaboration Office Priorities
School Transitions: to 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: to 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: to coordinate activities with the State agency responsible for the State CCDBG program and resource and referral, to make full-working-day and full calendar year services available to children. Include Head Start Program Performance Standards in State efforts to rate the quality of programs (Quality Rating and Improvement System, or QRIS) and support Head Start programs in participating in QRIS and partnering with child care and early childhood systems at the local level. 

Regional Office Priorities: to 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.  

To Iowa Head Start State Collaboration Office (Iowa Department of Education site):

HSSCO Overview

Link to video history of the Head Start State Collaboration Offices


Contact the Head Start State Collaboration Office:

Monica Garner