Missouri Head Start-State Collaboration Office
1400 Rock Quarry Road
Columbia, MO 65211

Community of Practice: A Missouri Example


Interested in better understanding the work of Head Start programs from across Missouri?  Click below for information regarding the Grantee Needs Assessment :

MHSSCO Needs Assessment Report 2014 FINAL.pdf

Strategic Collaboration: Establishing State and Community-Based Partnerships, was developed to assist Head Start grantees develop and manage community collaborations 

and resources to work towards outcomes focused on long-term, systemic changes in the community. In effective collaborations, everyone wins, especially children and families. Collaborations address complex issues that require a comprehensive approach. Member organizations and participants develop a common vision and share leadership. 


2015 Strategic Collaboration Handbook: Establishing State & Community Based Partnerships:

Collaboration Manual 5th Edition Final.pdf



e hope your efforts will result in improved coordination, enhanced functioning of your services, and ultimately, better support for the families and children served by Head Start. 

It is the intent of the Missouri Head Start-State Collaboration Office (MHSSCO) to develop additions to this manual in future years, highlighting local collaborations from different areas of the state.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Head Start & Local Education Agencies' Memorandums of  Understanding Agreements in Missouri

  Study and Report by Dr. Louis Manfra, University of Missouri-Columbia   2015-04-30 10.15 MHSSCO Advisory Council Mtg.wmv

What Do We Do?

Federal Requirements:

In addition to the federal purposes, federal Head Start legislation now requires Collaboration Offices to serve as a resource to local Head Start agencies in their coordination and collaborative efforts. Stronger linkages at the local level can support improvement and quality of early childhood services. Additionally, Collaboration Offices are required to conduct an annual needs assessment to analyze and address these local agency collaboration and coordination needs. 

Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act, (Dec. 12, 2007) requires the governor of each State to establish or designate an early childhood education and care advisory council to address issues of collaboration, coordination,alignment, quality and availability of early care and education services. The body designated by Missouri’s Governor is the existing Coordinating Board for Early Childhood. The HSSCO Director is an appointed member.

Federal Priorities:

Partner with State child care systems emphasizing the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Initiatives

Work with State efforts to collect data and regarding early childhood programs and child outcomes

Support and expansion and access of high quality, workforce and career development opportunities for staff

Collaboration with State Quality Rating Improvement Systems 

Work with State school systems to ensure continuity between Head and Kindergarten Entrance Assessment

Regional/State Priorities

The methods by which Head Start Collaboration Offices coordinate and lead efforts for diverse entities to work together include:

Communication:  Convene stakeholder groups for information sharing, planning, and partnering and serve as a conduit of information between regional offices, the State and local early childhood systems.

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, partnerships and implementation of cross agency State systems for early childhood, including the State Advisory Council, that include and serve the Head Start community.

Missouri Head Start State Collaboration Office's Support Structure:

MHSSCO Advisory Council - Provides guidance on activities and initiatives

 University of Missouri- College of Human Environmental Sciences, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Center for Family Policy & Research - houses the Collaboration Office.  The University of Missouri provides administrative oversight through funds from the Administration for Children and Families.  

Missouri Head Start Association - An important partner in collecting and disseminating information,and serving as the “voice of Head Start”

The Office of Head Start and Region VII Administration for Children and Families - provides funding and guidance

Missouri Department of Social Services, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services all provide funding to match the federal grant




Where to Find Us?


Collaboration Offices may be found in human services agencies, child care resource and referral agencies, public universities, departments of education, governor’s policy research offices, etc. Regardless of the where, all Collaboration Offices are charged 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 families1.  They provide a structure and a process for the Office of Head Start to work and partner with State agencies and local entities to leverage their common interest around young children and their families to formulate, implement, and improve state and local policy and practices. 


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


The Missouri Head Start-State Collaboration Office is housed in the Center For Family Policy & Research at the University of Missouri. http://mucenter.missouri.edu/home.htm 

For more information, please contact: 
Missouri Head Start-State Collaboration Office
Stacey Wright, Director

Carolyn Stemmons, Assistant Director
573-884-3080 or 573-884-0579 (p)




Missouri Head Start Association  "Working together for Missouri's children and families!"   
P.O. Box 817    Jefferson City, MO    65102    (573)884-5078

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