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Vermont Head Start State Collaboration Office

Vermont Head Start early educationOverview of the Vermont Head Start State Collaboration Office

The Head Start Act assigns Head Start State and National Collaboration Offices (HSSNCOs) with the responsibility to facilitate collaboration among Head Start and Early Head Start programs, State agencies and departments, and community organizations that carry out beneficial activities for children from birth to school entry and their low income families. The Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awards to each State a small grant to fund Head Start State Collaboration Offices (HSSCOs). The Vermont Head Start State Collaboration Office (VHSSCO) is located within the Child Development Division, Department of Children and Families, Vermont Agency of Human Services.

The VHSSCO provides a structure and process for OHS to work with the State of Vermont since federal funding to provide Head Start and Early Head Start services to young children from low-income families flows directly from OHS to community-based organizations, instead of flowing from OHS through the State to these organizations. Each HSSCO Director must hold a full-time position of sufficient authority and access to ensure collaboration is effective and involves a range of State agencies. The VHSSCO Director develops and implements the VHSSCO’s Five-Year Strategic Plan after taking into account the HSSCO’s authorities and responsibilities in Head Start Act, OHS Priorities for HSSCOs, an annually updated VHSSCO assessment of collaboration needs, and the input of VHSA, each Head Start/Early Head Start program, and their State and community partners.

The current OHS Priorities for HSSCOs are:

  1. Partner with State child care systems emphasizing the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships,
  2. Work with State in their efforts to collect data regarding early childhood programs and child outcomes,
  3. Support the expansion and access of high quality, workforce and career development opportunities for staff,
  4. Collaborate with Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS),
  5. Work with State school systems to ensure continuity between Head Start and the State’s Kindergarten Entrance Assessment (KEA), and
  6. Additional Federal OHS Regional Office Priorities.

The VHSSCO annual needs assessment gauges the extent of collaboration between the Head Start programs and their State and community partners and identifies areas of collaboration to prioritize. Please visit Reports for the most recent results of the needs assessment.

The new Vermont Head Start Association Wage and Fringe Benefits Comparability Report has been added to the Reports section.

Contact Ben Allen, Ph.D., VHSSCO Director, at (802) 769-6139 or

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