SD Head Start Collaboration Office
The creation of State and National Collaboration Offices is authorized by Section 642B(a)(2)(A) of the Head Start Act. The purpose of the Head Start State and National Collaboration Offices is to guide the work of all collaboration offices. Since 1990, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has awarded Head Start collaboration grants to support the development of multi-agency and public and private partnerships at the state and national levels.
HSCOs 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 families." They provide a structure and a process for the Office of Head Start (OHS) to work and partner with state agencies and local entities. Together, these partners work to leverage their common interests around young children and their families to formulate, implement, and improve state and local policy and practices.
These partnerships are intended to:
- Assist in building early childhood systems
- Provide access to comprehensive services and support for all low-income children
- Encourage widespread collaboration between Head Start and other appropriate programs, services, and initiatives
- Augment 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 target populations and other low-income families
Head Start and Early Head Start Programs provide free comprehensive services to pregnant women and children birth to 5 years. To help children succeed in school and in life, Head Start programs deliver the following benefits:
- Support in learning through play, creative expressions, and guided activities;
- Build strong relationships as foundation of early learning;
- Promote language and literacy development, early math and science concepts, and positive attitudes toward learning;
- Promote health and wellness;
- Serve breakfast, lunch, and healthy snacks;
- Provide medical, dental, hearing, vision, behavioral, and developmental screenings;
- Help families find assistance during challenging times;
- Help families identify and reach goals around employment, training and parenting;
- Build on children’s strengths and individualize experiences to meet their needs;
- Collaborate with community agencies in all areas of health, mental health, education, transition, nutrition, and family services
To find a program in your community, use the Head Start Center Locator Tool.
If you have questions, contact Jodi Berscheid, Head Start State Collaboration Director, 605-773-4640.