Head Start

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What is the purpose of the Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO)?

Head Start is a federal funded program that awards grants to local public agencies, tribal governments, private non- profit/for-profit agencies, and school divisions. The purpose of the HSSCO is to serve as a liaison between the Office of Head Start (OHS), Region 3 Office with the Early Head Start and Head Start recipient agencies or other Head Start entities within Virginia. The creation of State Collaboration Offices was authorized by Section 642B(a)(2)(A) of the Head Start Act. The office was established to build linkages between Early Head Start and Head Start Recipient Agencies, state and community partner agencies, and to increase access to comprehensive services for all income eligible children and families across the Commonwealth from birth until entry into kindergarten. The HSSCO provides leadership on the state level through collaborative partnerships that focus on effective implementation of state early care and education resources in alignment with state priorities. The HSSCO Director serves as an Ambassador for Head Start by supporting state efforts to ensure high quality comprehensive services to Early Head Start and Head Start families. The HSSCO does not provide direct administrative functions for Early Head Start and Head Start programs.

Locate a Head Start Program in your Area

Office of Head Start

National Priorities

The Office of Head Start has established national priorities that guide the work plans of all state Head Start Collaboration Offices.

  • Partner with state child care systems emphasizing the Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CCP) Partnership Initiatives.
  • Work with state efforts to collect data regarding early childhood programs and child outcomes.
  • Support the expansion and access of high quality, workforce and career development opportunities for staff.
  • State Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS).
  • Work with state school systems to ensure continuity between Head Start programs and Kindergarten Entrance Assessment (KEA).


HSSCO Resources

  • Head Start State Collaboration Office Strategic Plan 2020-2025
  • Head Start State Needs Assessment Survey Report
    • 2020-2021
    • 2021-2022

Office of Head Start (OHS) Resources

Partner Resources

  • Early Impact Virginia – State Alliance that works with home visiting and early childhood leaders to develop policies to support home-based programming.
  • Project Hope Virginia – State Coordinator for the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Virginia Head Start Association - The state Association focuses on training and advocacy that fosters growth for its members and partners.
  • Virginia Department of Health - A statewide central office with 35 local health districts dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Virginians.