About Head Start Collaboration
The purpose of Head Start State Collaboration Office is to build collaborative partnerships between federally funded Head Start programs and state-funded early childhood programs to improve the quality of services to low-income children and their families in Georgia.
These partnerships are intended to:
- facilitate the involvement of Bright from the Start and the Georgia Head Start Association in developing of state policies and plans which affect preschool children and their families;
- create significant cross-agency initiatives on behalf of children and families throughout the state;
- help build a more integrated and comprehensive service delivery system to improve families' access to services and to promote a high level of programmatic quality; and
- encourage local community collaboration between Pre-K, Head Start, and other early care and education programs.
The Head Start State Collaboration Office strives to align all early education and care programs in Georgia with the state's K-12 education standards, which include the Head Start program performance standards. These standards are aligned to ensure that the level of care and education are optimally implemented so that each child will have the best chance for success.
Each year, the Georgia Head Start Collaboration Office completes a Georgia Head Start Needs Assessment. This assessment is used to develop a plan to strategically address areas that may need improvement. To view this information click the document (below) in the Document List.
The Collaboration Office also conducts an evaluation of the State Collaboration Office annually. The results can also be found in the document list below.
Every early education and care program joins to form a true collaborative coalition whereby each Georgia child from pre-natal to mandatory school age is served to the highest quality standards and enters public school at the appropriate individual level in accordance with early education assessments ready to learn.
The plan consists of four phases: Research, Educate, Involve, Solve.
- collect, assimilate, and synthesize data and information from coalition partners
- disseminate it back to the coalition to assist them in their individual program planning requirements. Research is most important especially in early childhood education and care because things change so rapidly. Today's accepted theory may only be good for a couple of months or a year before it becomes obsolete.
- strive to partner with recognized experts in the field to stay current in theory and practicum.
- develop relationships with research partners and publicize their work and findings in multiple media formats.
Develop and implement a public awareness strategy to delineate the overall strategy, highlight purpose, discuss the need for cooperation and collaboration, solicit interest and participation, and communicate strategy throughout the community. The strategy will also solidify the collaboration through formal and informal agreements.
The coalition intends to share:
- training resources,
- educational opportunities,
- "best practices",
- mentor groups, and other events that support the overall vision. All partners will be included in every phase of the process.
Search for and invite
- non-early childhood community partners,
- corporate or business partners,
- community leaders, and
- legislators to join the coalition to educate them as to how the children and families we serve positively affect the community and state.
Work through the coalition to discuss strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges to:
- develop long term strategies with attainable goals,
- create systems for monitoring progress,
- assess outcomes for determining if they are meeting intended results, and
- establish communication systems for publicizing outcomes to the coalition and the community at large.
If we believe the brain research that suggests we learn most of what we will ever learn by the time we are five years old, then we need to do a better job of educating our children.
If educating our children is the cornerstone and the key to the future of this nation, then we really need to do better. The priorities we set today will determine this nation's future. Let us put early education and care first, at the top of the list.