Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office

In 2007, the Children’s Learning Institute was selected by the Governor of Texas to be the community partner with and home base for the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office. Members of the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office are housed in the Children’s Learning Institute offices, take advantage of access to the experts within the facilities, and are partially supported by funds from the Institute over and above the budget provided by the state.

Capitalizing on this unique public/private partnership, Texas is the first state in the nation to formally house and pair up nationally recognized experts in early childhood education with the Head Start program. This close proximity enables staff to take advantage of a broad range of expertise in each program for the benefit of low-income children, and their families, from birth to school entry, by providing access to and ensure collaboration among a range of state agencies.

Purpose of the Head Start State Collaboration Offices

The Head Start State and National Collaboration Offices (HSSNCOs) 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[1].  They provide a structure and a process for OHS to work 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 practice. To be effective, the HSSNCO director must hold a full-time position of sufficient authority and access to ensure collaboration is effective and involves a range of State agencies[2].

HSSCO methods by which they coordinate and lead efforts for diverse entities to work together:

  • Communication: Convene stakeholder groups for information sharing and planning.  Be a conduit of information between the regional office and the State and local early childhood system.
  • 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, and implementation of cross agency State systems for early childhood, including the State Advisory Council, that include and serve the Head Start community.

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

[2] Head Start Act Section 642(B)(a)(3)(B)


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