ECECD Head Start Collaboration Office 

Preparing children for school while providing families access to community resources and comprehensive support services to ensure their children’s success. 

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What is Early Head Start/Head Start? 

Early Head Start/Head Start is a federally funded program that prepares America’s most vulnerable children to succeed in school and beyond. Head Start programs deliver services to children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners every step of the way. 

Because the program focuses on the family as a whole, children receive early screenings which may lead to early identification of developmental delays, lead poisoning, and dental, health care, and mental health service needs. The program also provides nutritious meals to children and referrals to community resources for families. 

Head Start Educators 

Head Start provides financial opportunities for educators to gain additional training in a variety of areas while working. These opportunities include child development, health, nutrition, disabilities, mental health, community resources, and more. 

Parents and former students also have the opportunity to volunteer and become educators with Head Start. 

Early Head Start has two options: 
  • The Home Based program serves children prenatal to 3 and is available for working or non-working families. 
  • Center Based programs serve children 6 weeks to 3 years old and are designed for working families. 

Both options support families to transition to Center Based Head Start when age appropriate, or for those in Home Based to transition to Center Based Early Head Start when needed for working purposes. 

Head Start provides preschool services for 3- and 4-year-old children in a Center Based model.  

ECECD Head Start Collaboration Office

ECECD maintains a strong partnership with federal Early Head Start/Tribal Head Start programs through its Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) and engagement with the New Mexico Head Start Association. ECECD facilitates partnership between Head Start programs and the other services addressing the needs of low income pregnant women, children, and families. The HSSCO also works to coordinate efforts to meet local needs and deploy limited resources efficiently in communities.

Head Start Collaboration Offices are located in every state. The role of this office is to facilitate partnerships between Head Start agencies and other state entities that provide services to benefit low-income children and their families.

In New Mexico, the Head Start Collaboration Office is housed in the Early Childhood Education and Care Department.