Collaboration Office

Virginia Head Start State Collaboration Project

The Virginia Head Start State Collaboration Project is administered through the Virginia Department of Social Services. It is located within the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Development.  For more information, contact Aleta Lawson, Director, at 804-726-7468 or aleta.lawson@dss.virginia.gov. Additional information is available  on the DSS Head Start website.

Purpose of the Head Start State and National Collaboration Offices

Head Start State and National Collaboration Offices (HSSNCOs) exist “to facilitate collaboration among Head Start/Early Head Start agencies and entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low income children from birth to school entry, and their families. HSSNCOs provide a structure and a process for the Office of Head Start (OHS) to work with state and local entities to leverage their common interests around young children and their families. Working together, they formulate, implement, and improve state and local policies and practices.

Methods of Coordination

Methods by which HSSNCOs coordinate and lead efforts for diverse entities to work together include:

 Communication  Access  Systems
 Convene stakeholder groups for information sharing and planning. Be a conduit of information between the OHS Regional Office and the State and local early childhood system.  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. 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.

 

Scope of Work

HSSNCOs facilitate collaboration among Head Start agencies and State and local entities as charged by the Office of Head Start in the Regional Office.

  • School Transitions: Foster seamless transitions and long-term success of Head Start children by promoting continuity of services between the Head Start Child Development and Learning Framework and State early learning standards including pre-k entry assessment and interoperable data systems.
  • Professional Development: Collaborate with institutions of higher education to promote professional development through education and credentialing programs for early childhood providers in states.
  • Child Care and Early Childhood Systems: Coordinate activities with the agency responsible for the State Child Care and Development Block Grant, as well as resource and referral services, to make full-working-day and full-calendar-year services available to children. Include the Head Start Program Performance Standards in state efforts to rate the quality of programs using the Quality Rating and Improvement System, (QRIS). Support Head Start program participation in QRIS and partnering with child care and early childhood systems at the local level.
  • Regional Office Priorities: Support other Regional Office priorities such as family and community partnerships; health, mental health, and oral health; disabilities; and support to military families.