The purposes of the Illinois Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) are to facilitate Early/Head Start collaboration, coordination and planning at the State and local levels in order to help develop a comprehensive system of early childhood services for low income families with young children. The HSSCO is to serve as a State point of contact for information about Illinois Early/Head Start. The Illinois HSSCO works closely with the Illinois Head start Association in carrying out its responsibilities.
Funded by a federal grant from the US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Head Start Bureau, the Illinois HSSCO is located in the Illinois Dept. of Human Services’ (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care & Development and is staffed by one person. The Illinois HSSCO performs a number of activities to carry out its purposes, including: administering the IDHS Child Care Collaboration Program; facilitating completion & implementation of statewide memoranda of agreement, producing information on Early/Head Start in Illinois; and, serving on various groups and committees, representing Early/Head Start.
The Illinois HSSCO is federally mandated by The Head Start Act to work in various service areas that mirror Early/Head Start’s comprehensive services, including health care, welfare, child care, education, community service activities, family literacy, activities relating to children with disabilities and services for homeless families.