Hawaii Head Start Collaboration Office



Website: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/programs/hawaii-head-start-collaboration-office



The Hawaii Head Start State Collaboration Office (HHSSCO) was established in the mid-1990s – first within the State Department of Education (DOE), then within the State Department of Human Services (DHS), and since July 2013, within the Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL), which is administratively attached to the Hawaii State Department of Education.

The primary role of the HHSSCO is to serve as a liaison between the federal Office of Head Start (OHS) and the OHS Region 9 office with the state of Hawaii, and between the state and the local Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) grantees. In the latter capacity, the HHSSCO links HS/EHS agencies with State and community partners to increase access to comprehensive services for eligible children, birth to five, and their families; establishes new and/or enhances existing partnerships for increased coordination and collaboration for service delivery as well as to support quality enhancement; brings the Head Start voice to planning and policy conversations in the State, and serves as point person for questions and data requests around Head Start in Hawaii.

As the grant manager for the federal Collaboration grant that Hawaii receives, the HHSSCO Director develops a 5-year grant and submits annual refunding applications to the OHS, in consultation with the Hawaii Head Start Association of Hawaii (HSAH), to address OHS, state and local grantee priorities. Plans developed as the focus of the HHSSCO work are aligned to the extent possible with ongoing initiatives and efforts within the State as a collective impact approach with strategic partners.



Strategic partnerships are in place with the following agencies. In some instances, partnerships are formalized between Hawaii Head Start and the agency through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) facilitated by the HHSSCO. In other instances, partnerships are supported through HHSSCO participation on advisory and/or planning committees.

  • Early Childhood Action Strategy (ECAS): Co-convener of two sub-committees
  • Early Learning Board (ELB): Former member and now logistics support
  • DHS/Child Care Program Office (CCPO): Community member on Child Care Advisory Committee
  • DHS/Child Welfare Services Branch (CWS): MOU in place
  • DOE/Homeless Concerns Office (HCO): MOU in place
  • DOE/Special Education Section (SPED): MOU in place
  • DOH/Early Intervention Section (EIS): MOU in place
  • DOH/Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC): MOU in place
  • DOH/Newborn Hearing Screening Program (NHSP): MOU in place; Advisory Committee member
  • DOH/Public Health Nursing Branch (PHN): MOU in place
  • UH Center on Disabilities Studies/Family Engagement Center: Advisory Committee member
  • Head Start Association of Hawaii (HSAH): advisory to the HHSSCO; HHSSCO is a “friend” of the HSAH



The major goals of the HHSSCO are based on the priorities of the federal Office of Head Start. Current priorities and long-term goals include the following:

PRIORITY: Partner with State Child Care Systems

  • Goal: Strengthen the partnership between the Department of Human Services/Child Care Program Office and the Head Start Association of Hawaii to support greater coordination and collaboration

PRIORITY: Work with State Efforts to Collect Data Regarding Early Childhood Programs and Child Outcomes

  • Goal: Support data collection and data sharing between state entities and HS/EHS

PRIORITY: Support for the Expansion and Access of High Quality Workforce and Career Development Opportunities for Staff

  • Goal: In partnership with the EOEL, the Head Start Association of Hawaii, Higher Education institutions, and other State partners, increase opportunities for HS and EHS staff professional development

PRIORITY: Collaboration with QRIS

  • Goal: none at this time as Hawaii does not have a QRIS in place

PRIORITY: Work with State School Systems to Ensure Continuity between Head Start and Kindergarten

  • Goal: Strengthen transition supports and practices for HS children, statewide

PRIORITY: Regional Priority (Comprehensive Services)

  • Goal: Strengthen/establish strategic partnerships with State agencies to promote healthier outcomes for children and families



Head Start and Early Head Start programs have provided critical family strengthening and comprehensive child development services for vulnerable children across the nation since its launch in 1965. In Hawaii, 6 local grantees serve approximately 3,000 children (birth to age five) and their families annually through center-based (classroom), home-based (weekly home visits and socialization activities), and locally-designed options to meet the needs of families. Priority for enrollment include children whose families’ household incomes fall at or below the federal poverty guidelines and who are eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); as well as children who have special needs, are experiencing housing instability/homelessness, and/or are in the foster care system.

Hawaii Island:






Data around services provided by local HS/EHS programs are captured in annual fact sheets developed by the Head Start Collaboration Office, in partnership with the Head Start Association of Hawaii. These are our most recent infographics.




Christine S. Jackson, HHSSCO Director
Office: 808-784-5354
Mobile: 808-295-6019
Email: [email protected]
Mailing Address:
Hawaii Head Start Collaboration Office
Executive Office on Early Learning
2759 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826
Website: earlylearning.hawaii.gov