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California Head Start State Collaboration Office


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. Head Start programs provide comprehensive developmental services for low-income children from birth to entry into elementary school.

Signed into Public Law 115-245, the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019, on September 28, 2018, included is $10,063,095,000 for programs under the Head Start Act, an increase of $200 million over the fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding level. Head Start is currently funded at over $9 billion and serves nearly one million low-income children and families nationwide. Programs that operate as Head Start are 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 fiscal year 2019, approximately 122,000 children were served by Head Start. California's Head Start programs are administered through a system of grantees and delegate agencies. Over 100 grantees or delegate agencies 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.

California, many of the Head Start programs use both Head Start funding and California federal and state early education funding to provide a full year and full day of services for children and families who qualify. In most recent allocations, California’s federal CCDF FFY 2019 is approximately $793,508,396 million (FY 2019 CCDF Allocations Based on Appropriations Published: March 28, 2019 External link opens in new window or tab.).

For more information about the Head Start programs in California, visit the California Head Start Association Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

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 $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.

Current CHSSCO Advisory Committee members

CHSSCO Committees, Boards, and Liaisons

Head Start Collaboration Office Priorities

The CHSSCO creates partnership activities for the Head Start Collaboration office priorities.

Head Start Collaboration Offices (HSCO) exist “to facilitate collaboration among Head Start agencies…and entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low-income children from birth to school entry, and their families1. They provide a structure and a process for OHS to work and partner with State agencies and local entities to leverage their common interests around young children and their families to formulate, implement, and improve state and local policy and practices. To be effective, the HSCO director must hold a full-time position of sufficient authority and access to ensure collaboration is effective and involves a range of State agencies2.

The Office of Head Start has prioritized the work of the HSCO to guide their work. The six priorities include:
  1. Partner with State child care systems emphasizing the EHS-CC Partnership Initiatives
  2. Work with State efforts to collect data regarding early childhood programs and child outcomes
  3. Support the expansion and access of high quality, workforce and career development opportunities for staff
  4. Collaboration with State Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS)
  5. Work with State school systems to ensure continuity between Head Start and Kindergarten Entrance Assessment (KEA)
  6. Any additional Regional Priorities

The methods by which Head Start Collaboration offices coordinate and lead efforts for diverse entities to work together include:

Communication: Convene stakeholder groups for information sharing, planning, and partnering and serve as a conduit of information between regional offices, the State and local early childhood systems.

Access: Facilitate Head Start agencies’ access to, and utilization of, appropriate entities so Head Start children and families can secure needed services and critical partnerships are formalized.

Systems: Support policy, planning, partnerships, and implementation of cross agency State systems for early childhood, including the State Advisory Council, that include and serve the Head Start community.

1Head Start Act Section 642(B)(a)(2)(A)
2Head Start Act Section 642(B)(a)(3)(B)

For a sampling of some of the publications developed through these partnerships, visit the CHSSCO Publications and Resources web page..

Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP)

New DRDP video tutorial External link opens in new window or tab. now available: Watch it now! Recorded in April 2019, this 30-minute video will help answer some common questions about the DRDP, including site functionality, the current status of the tool, and what is coming next. Developed and presented by Tamarra Osborne from West Ed, in partnership with Stephanie Myers from the Head Start State Collaboration Office.

California Child Care Licensing

Videos for Parents and Providers External link opens in new window or tab.
This website includes videos that explain licensing topics relevant to families and licensed child care providers.

Resources for CCL Analysts

Find a Head Start Program External link opens in new window or tab.

For more information about the California Head Start-State Collaboration Office, please contact:

Head Start State Collaboration Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 3410
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-322-6233

For additional information and collaborative efforts with Head Start California please visit the Collaboration Office web page External link opens in new window or tab..  

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.

Questions:   Early Education Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 24, 2022
Recently Posted in Early Education