Missouri Head Start State Collaboration Office

Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office

Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office

Center for Family Policy & Research

Department of Human Development and Family Science

1400 Rock Quarry Road, Columbia MO 65211

Inter-agency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support families and children with disabilities. 

2024 MOU

Head Start & Child Welfare: Partnering to Support Children & Families in Their Communities

A Resource to Support Missouri Local Partnership Efforts


Needs Assessment Information:

2023 Missouri Head Start Needs Assessment:

2023 Final Report

2022 Missouri Head Start Needs Assessment:

Head Start Needs Assessment Report 2022 – Final 2-27-23


MHSSCO FY 2020 Needs Assessment Fact Sheet 12-3-2020 FINAL1.pdf


 Early Care and Education Partnership Resource

A work group convened by the MHSSCO, and facilitated by Dialogic Dimensions, LLC., completed work for the purpose of developing an example (or template) “Memorandum of Understanding” as a resource for Missouri’s Early Head Start and Head Start programs and partnering early learning programs and service agencies as they enter into relationships with potential or ongoing like-missioned partners. Known now as the Partnership Guide to Developing Local Agreements this document was designed utilizing a values-based approach. The guide includes key elements of an agreement while also allowing parties developing local agreements to individualize based on their identified values, guiding principles, activities, outcomes, and collaborative efforts in supporting children and families.

Guide to Support Early Care MO HS Collab Office July 2017.pdf


The Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office (MHSSCO) hosted a Roundtable in February 2016 that offered many opportunities to begin the dialogue regarding partnerships and issues and needs of young children and their families who may experience homelessness.

As part of the post-Missouri Roundtable on Homelessness, MHSCO would like to share the report, MO Roundtable Proceedings-2016.pdf

MHSCO is also pleased to share the video of the event, via the links below. The video is divided into four (4) segments.

2016 Round Table Discussion on Homelessness part 1


2016 Round Table Discussion on Homelessness part 2


2016 Round Table Discussion on Homelessness part 3


2016 Round Table Discussion on Homelessness part 4


Resources & Community of Practice: A Missouri Example



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. 

 Strategic Collaboration Handbook: Establishing State & Community Based Partnerships:

Collaboration Manual 7th Edition 2018.pdf

We 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 Missouri Early Childhood Advisory Council. The HSCO director serves on this council.

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. 

The Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office is housed in the Center for Family Policy & Research at the University of Missouri. Center for Family Policy and Research // Human Development and Family Science (missouri.edu)