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

Thank you to MO Head Start!


Needs Assessment Information:

2022 Missouri Head Start Needs Assessment:

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

2021 Missouri Head Start Needs Assessment:

MHSSCO Needs Assessment Report 2021FINAL (1)

2020 Missouri Head Start Needs Assessment: Summary

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

2018 Missouri Head Start Needs Assessment: Themes and Recommendations on Workforce Development

By Kathryn L. Fuger, Ph.D., UMKC Institute for Human Development and Stacey Owsley Wright, Missouri Head Start State Collaboration Office

MHSSCO Needs Assessment 2018 – Themes and Recommendations on Workforce Development FINAL11-15-12018.pdf

The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 specified a needs assessment process for each Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) to complete. In response, the Missouri Head Start-State Collaboration Office (MHSSCO) designed an abbreviated needs assessment that focused on the Office of Head Start Priority Area of Workforce Development (Supporting the Expansion and Access of High Quality Workforce and Career Development Opportunities for Staff). Thirty-four representatives from 14 Head Start/Early Head Start programs in Missouri participated in a meeting on September 13, 2018 or provided written information. Directors, staff, parents, and community partners responded to qualitative questions focused on early childhood workforce development – both the gravity of challenges and the examples of successful strategies.

*For a copy of the Full Report, please contact Stacey Wright at wrightst@missouri.edu

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

Webinar Resources

On behalf of the Missouri Head Start-State Collaboration Office and the Missouri Head Start Association, we would like to share with you a short webinar (approximately20 min.) entitled, Head Start: Connections That Make A Difference.

Head Start: Connections That Make A Differenceis sponsored by the Missouri Head Start-State Collaboration Office and the Missouri Head Start Association, with the support of the Missouri Department of Social Services.

In this webinar, viewers will hear from Early Childhood consultant, Rhodanne M. Schiller MS Ed on the historical beginnings of Head Start, including the four cornerstones:Child, Family, Staff and Community Development; Head Start’s responsive nature to changing needs; and strategies for developing collaborations with Head Start

“Improving Learning Outcomes for Students Experiencing Homelessness and Domestic Violence” conducted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV)



The Missouri Head Start State 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, MHSSCO would like to share the report, MO Roundtable Proceedings-2016.pdf

MHSSCO 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 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.

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 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)

For more information, please contact: 
Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office
Stacey Wright, Director
Carolyn Stemmons, Assistant Director
573-884-3080 or 573-884-0579 (p)

Missouri Resources & Links for Families & Programs

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP):

assures that nutritious meals and snacks are served to children and eligible adults enrolled in child care centers, family child care homes, after school programs, emergency shelters, and adult day care programs by providing reimbursement for meals that meet minimum nutritional standards. The CACFP requires that well-balanced meals are served and good eating habits are taught. The CACFP also provides training and technical assistance on nutrition, food service operations, program management, nutrition education and recordkeeping.

Child Care Aware® of Missouri

is the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency in Missouri. Information is available for parents, early care and education programs, and the general public about the many benefits of quality early learning. Partnering with state government agencies on system building and working with legislators on policy that affects early childhood, this network works to improve outcomes for children and families.

MO SNAP Program

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 renamed the federal program the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) effective October 1, 2008. SNAP is designed to promote the general welfare and safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s population by raising the levels of nutrition among low-income households. The program is called the Food Stamp Program in Missouri.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Laws and regulations for children with special needs from birth through three years (Part C) and three years to 21 years of age (Part B).

Missouri Early Head Start/Child Care Partnership Project

a nationally recognized effort to increase the capacity of and access to care for this vulnerable age group and to provide parents with a wider variety of quality child care settings from which to choose. The benefits of this partnership include allowing Missouri to maximize state funds by drawing down additional federal funds through a partnership with the Administration for Children and Families. It also positively impacts the overall quality of care in communities, and maximizes the number of children receiving benefits from this funding.

Missouri Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

has two components: Energy Assistance/Regular Heating (EA) and Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP). EA is designed to provide financial assistance to help pay heating bills for Missourians during the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March. Eligibility requirements for EA are based on income, household size, available resources and responsibility for payment of home heating costs. Eligibility for EA may also qualify individuals for additional financial assistance through ECIP.

Missouri’s Medicaid program is called MO HealthNet. MO HealthNet covers qualified medical expenses for individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. Eligible individuals receive a “MO HealthNet Identification Card” or a letter from the Family Support Division identifying them as eligible for certain medical care services.

MO HealthNet (Medicaid) for Families: provides medical care for children under 19 years of age whose family income falls within certain guidelines. After your application has been processed, you will receive a letter from the Family Support Division. If family members are eligible for services, they will be issued a “MO HealthNet Identification Card,” and explanation of the medical services available to them.


is a free program offering information on many topics helpful to families. ParentLink is operated by the University of Missouri. Parenting Specialists maintain a confidential toll-free warm-line at 800-552-8522 (en Español, 888-460-0008).

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

a program designed to provide cash benefits to low-income families for the household’s children such as clothing, utilities and other services. Upon approval of TANF, the recipient must participate in employment and training services through the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) program. The MWA program helps TANF recipients transition from TANF to a job by helping set goals and get the skills needed to find a job and support the recipient’s family.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

a special supplemental nutrition program which provides services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to their 5th birthday based on nutritional risk and income eligibility. The primary services provided are health screening, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and referrals to health care. Supplemental food is provided at no cost to participants.