The Head Start State Collaboration Office

The Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO), located in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Department, exists "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."

It provides 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.

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 has awarded Head Start collaboration grants to support the development of multi-agency and public and private partnerships at the state and national levels. Each state must designate a Collaboration Office director and they must hold a full-time position of "sufficient authority" to ensure effective collaboration.

In Michigan, the Collaboration Office is led by director Kaitlin Ferrick, of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She is reachable at

This and other Collaboration Offices:

  • 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

Collaboration Offices coordinate and lead efforts for diverse entities to work together by:

  • Convening stakeholder groups for information sharing, planning, and partnering, and serve as a conduit of information between Regional Offices and state and local early childhood systems.
  • Facilitating 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.
  • Supporting 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.

The Office of Head Start prioritizes the goals of Collaboration Offices into six areas:

  1. Partnering with state child care systems emphasizing the Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership Initiative
    • Convening Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership grantees; piloting development
  2. Working with state efforts to collect data regarding early childhood programs and child outcomes
    • Race to the Top - ELC Head Start projects
  3. Supporting the expansion and access of high-quality workforce and career development opportunities for staff
    • Professional development works group; Early EDU state team; partnering with Michigan Head Start Association events
  4. Collaborating with State Quality Rating Improvement Systems
    • Great Start to Quality Core Team
  5. Working with state school systems to ensure continuity between Head Start and Kindergarten Entrance Assessment
    • Ongoing collaboration with Great Start Readiness Program staff
  6. Regional/State Priorities
    • Health Manager Workgroup; Homelessness Workgroup; Coordination with Migrant and Tribal programs

                                    Region V Head Start Association

The Region V Head Start Association Board of Directors is comprised of four representatives from each of the six states in the region. They are: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The four representatives are elected from these categories of membership: Directors, Staff, Parents and Friends.

The 2017 officers are: President Kathy Fudge White, Secretary Debbie Beeler, Treasurer Marie Pace and Parliamentarian Teresa Harrington.

Purpose: Traditionally, the purposes of the Region 5 Head Start Association have been to: sponsor a biennial regional conference; coordinate issues and information between the National and State Associations, including selecting the Regional scholarship winners; and, elect board members to the National Head Start Association to represent the states in Region V.

State Head Start Associations pay annual dues to the Region V Head Start Association. There are no individual members at the regional level.

Training and Technical Assistance Centers

The Administration for Children and Families' Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care are collaborating to more effectively provide training and technical assistance (T/TA) across early care and education programs. This joint T/TA system supports Early Childhood Education programs and educators in delivering quality services to children and their families across the country.

In 2015, six national centers were launched to promote excellence through high-quality, practical resources and approaches that build program capacity for early childhood education programs. The Centers also support consistent practices across communities, states, tribes and territories. Currently, the Office of Head Start offers T/TA program staff support in their delivery of quality services to low-income children and families. The Office's T/TA consists of three components: direct funding to grantees; state T/TA network, including Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start; and the national centers.

Nine centers lead the delivery of training and technical assistance nationally:

  1. The National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations
  2. The National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
  3. The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement
  4. The National Center on Health and Wellness
  5. The National Center on Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships
  6. The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance
  7. The National Center on Tribal Child Care Implementation and Innovation
  8. The National Center on Child Care Subsidy Innovation and Accountability
  9. The National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment

Learn more at the Office of Head Start, the Administration for Children and Families here.