Although Head Start is a federal-to-local program structure, the Head Start and Early Head Start communities recognize the important role of the states 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 (HSSCO) was established through these funds in 1993, and the decision by the governor was to house this office in the Iowa Department of Education.
The HSSCO 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.
The Iowa HSSCO has established itself as an effective single point of contact in the state for informing the Head Start community about state planning and programs. Likewise, the HSSCO is an important resource for state agencies seeking out Head Start. Effective partnerships continue because the interests and needs of both Head Start and the states are addressed.
Knowledge about child development and quality early childhood services has 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 HSSCO 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.
The HSSCOs are established in the Head Start Act (Public Law 105-285; Section 640(a)(5):
Section 640(a)(5)(A): From amounts reserved and allotted pursuant to paragraph (4), the Secretary shall reserve such sums as may be necessary to award the collaboration grants described in subparagraphs (B) and (D).
Section 640(a)(5)(B): From the reserved sums, the Secretary may award a collaboration grant to each State to facilitate collaboration regarding activities carried out in the State under this subchapter, and other activities carried out in, and by, the State that are designed to benefit low-income children and families and to encourage Head Start agencies to collaborate with entities involved in State and local planning processes (including the State lead agency administering the financial assistance received under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858 et seq.) and the entities providing resource and referral services in the State) in order to better meet the needs of low-income children and families.
Section 640(a)(5)(C): A State that receives a grant under subparagraph (B) shall--
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(i): appoint an individual to serve as a State liaison between--
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(i)(I): the appropriate regional office of the Administration for Children and Families and agencies and individuals carrying out Head Start programs in the State;
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(i)(II): agencies (including local educational agencies) and entities carrying out programs serving low-income children and families;
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(ii): involve the State Head Start Association in the selection of the individual, and involve the association in determinations relating to the ongoing direction of the collaboration;
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(iii): ensure that the individual holds a position with sufficient authority and access to ensure that the collaboration described in subparagraph (B) is effective and involves a range of State agencies;
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(iv): ensure that the collaboration described in subparagraph (B) involves coordination of Head Start services with health care, welfare, child care, education, and community service activities, family literacy services, activities relating to children with disabilities (including coordination of services with those State officials who are responsible for administering part C and section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C.1431-1445,1419)), and services for homeless children;
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(v): include representatives of the State Head Start Association and local Head Start agencies in unified planning regarding early care and education services at both the State and local levels, including collaborative efforts to plan for the provision of full-working-day, full calendar year early care and education services for children; and
Section 640(a)(5)(C)(vi): encourage local Head Start agencies to appoint a State level representative to represent Head Start agencies within the State in conducting collaborative efforts described in subparagraphs (B) and (D) and in clause (v).
Section 640(a)(5)(D): Following the award of collaboration grants described in subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall provide, from the reserved sums, supplemental funding for collaboration grants--
Section 640(a)(5)(D)(i): to States that (in consultation with their State Head Start Associations) develop statewide, regional, or local unified plans for early childhood education and child care that include the participation of Head Start agencies; and
Section 640(a)(5)(D)(ii): to States that engage in other innovative collaborative initiatives, including plans for collaborative training and professional development initiatives for child care, early childhood education and Head Start service managers, providers, and staff.
For a complete look at the Head Start Act , visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/hsb/legislation/HS_act.html.
HSSCOs are asked to work in eight priority areas:
- Child Care
- Health Care
- Children with Disabilities
- Family Literacy Services
- Welfare Reform
- Community Services
- Homeless Children
In 1995, the Head Start office in Washington issued an Information Memorandum (ACYF-IM-HS-95-30) that stated the HSSCOs were to:
- Help build early childhood systems and enhance access to comprehensive services and support for all low-income children.
- Encourage widespread collaboration between Head Start and other appropriate programs, services, and initiatives, augmenting Head Start's capacity to be a partner in State initiatives on behalf of children and their families.
- Facilitate the involvement of Head Start in State policies, plans, processes, and decisions affecting the Head Start target population and other low-income families.
These remain the bedrock of Collaboration office work planning and implementation. The Iowa HSSCO is currently addressing three objectives approved for its current funding cycle:
- To support the Iowa Head Start agencies and the Iowa Head Start Association in their efforts to achieve desired program results and to meet and exceed the expectations of the Head Start Performance Standards and other Federal initiatives.
- Collaborations between agencies which have as their vision improving the well-being of the lives of young children and their families at the State and local level are promoted by the Iowa HSSCO.
- The development of a comprehensive, compelling and unifying vision for all Iowa's young children and their families is supported by the Iowa HSSCO.
Reports to the Administration for Children and Families:
Iowa HSSCO Profiles:
The Iowa HSSCO is supported by Management Team to advise, guide and do the work of the collaboration office. The Management Team meets quarterly.
Management Team Members:
Delora Jespersen Hade
Head Start Director
Department of Public Health
Head Start Parent
Department of Education
Iowa Head Start Association
Department of Human Services
Region VII Head Start TA Network
Department of Human Rights
Child Care Resource and Referral
Lou Ann Mowrey
Head Start Staff
Department of Education (Iowa HSSCO Director)
The Iowa HSSCO is funded by a grant from the Office of Head Start. The Region VII Administration for Children and Families Office in Kansas City, Missouri, administers the grant. The grant is $125,000 annually.
RFP for a new contract reguarding Head Start State Collaboration services in adherence to 2007-2012 HSSCO Work Plan
Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and Memoranda of Agreement (MOA):
Iowa Head Start Calendar - A calendar of training and events for Iowa Head Start