Head Start is a national program administered by the Office of Head Start within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Head Start programs provide comprehensive developmental services for low-income children from birth to entry into elementary school.
Head Start is currently funded at over $7.5 billion and serves nearly one million low-income children and families nationwide. The program is child-centered, family-focused, comprehensive, and community-based. Head Start services are designed to address developmental goals for children, employment and self-sufficiency goals for adults, and support for parents in their work and child-caring roles.
Head Start is a direct federal-to-local program administered by over 1,600 locally based public or private organizations, called "grantees," across the country.
Why are there Collaboration Offices?
The ACF recognized the important role of states in the development and implementation of policies and initiatives that affect low-income families and their children. Because of its federal-to-local funding, Head Start programs were often not included in policy and implementation discussions at the state level. As a result, Collaboration Office grants were developed to create a visible presence for Head Start at the state level and to assist in the development of multi-agency and public-private partnerships among Head Start and other interested stakeholders.
Why is collaboration between Head Start and state programs important?
California's Head Start program is the largest in the nation. In 2012, over 111,000 children were served by Head Start with a program budget of over $965 million. California's Head Start programs are administered through a system of 74 grantees and 88 delegate agencies. The majority of these agencies also have contracts with the California Department of Education (CDE), to administer general child care and/or State Preschool programs. Many of the programs are located at the same site.State child care and development services in California are funded at over $1.8 billion in a mix of state and federal funds. The CDE currently has over 1,316 contracts dispersed through approximately 718 public and private agencies providing services to approximately 400,000 children.
For more information about the Head Start programs in California, visit the California Head Start Association Web site .
Over 4,000 Early Head Start professionals have participated in the Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) Institutes. For information about PITC and other training opportunities, visit WestEd's Early Head Start Web page .
What is the California Head Start-State Collaboration Office?
In 1990, the ACF funded the first "wave" of collaboration grants in 12 states. California was first awarded a grant in 1992 to the CDE, and the California Head Start-State Collaboration Office (CHSSCO) was created. The program was expanded in 1992, 1996, and 1997, and now all states participate. Each state is awarded between $125,000 to $225,000 yearly (with a 25 percent state match) for a five-year period.
The CHSSCO works closely with:
- The California Head Start Association.
- The ACF regional office.
- The Office of Head Start and the Child Care Bureau.
- The Head Start technical assistance providers.
- The CDE, other state departments, and other organizations and agencies in the child care and development community.
The CHSSCO creates partnership activities in a yearly work plan leading to:
- Improving access to health care services.
- Improving the availability, accessibility, and quality of child care services.
- Improving collaboration with welfare systems.
- Expanding and improving education opportunities in early childhood programs.
- Initiating interaction with community service agencies.
- Improving access to family literacy services.
- Improving opportunities for children with disabilities.
- Increasing opportunities for homeless children and families.
For a sampling of some of the publications developed through these partnerships, visit the CHSSCO Publications Web site.
For more information about the California Head Start-State Collaboration Office, please contact:
Stephanie Myers, Coordinator
Head Start State Collaboration Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 3410
Sacramento, CA 95814
The California Head Start-State Collaboration Office is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, and the California Department of Education.