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The Maine Head Start State Collaboration Office must work in partnership with entities in the public and private sector to improve the support and services available to children and families. These partnerships are important for maximizing resources and ensuring access to comprehensive early childhood systems for children from low-income families. Collaboration Offices serve as a vehicle for including Head Start in state policy discussions and initiatives affecting the Head Start target population and other low-income families. Maintaining relationships with partners in the Head Start community is crucial for Collaboration Offices to stay current on issues of importance to Head Start programs.

The Maine Head Start State Collaboration Office works closely with the following:

Federal and Regional Office of Head Start (OHS)

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.

Maine Head Start Directors Association

The Maine Head Start Directors Association (MHSDA) is made up of directors of the 11 Head Start grantees in Maine, and state and federal support staff. The association meets monthly to network, provide support to each other, to plan and assist in developing statewide systems that support strong, quality early care and education in Maine. The current MHSDA president is Doug Orville,

Maine Head Start Grantees

The Head Start grantees in Maine administer programs throughout the state. Contact the agency in your area to learn more about eligibility requirements, and openings that may be available.

Maine Children’s Growth Council

The Maine Children’s Growth Council was created by state statute to look at and act upon the critical economic issue of early childhood. Charged to achieve sustainable social and financial investments in the healthy development of Maine’s young children and their families, the Children’s Growth Council is working with a diverse group of legislators, business leaders, providers, parents, researchers, community leaders and government officials to implement the plan for a unified, statewide early childhood services system.

Head Start Training and Technical Assistance System

The Office of Head Start (OHS) Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) system supports program staff in their delivery of quality services to children and families. The current system consists of three levels of T/TA: national, state or regional, and grantee. While each level has distinct and unique functions, they are designed to complement each other. Structured, intentional, high-quality T/TA best supports the school readiness of all children and families.

Maine Head Start Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Network

The Maine Head Start TTA Network is the state-based option funded by the Office of Head Start. The Maine Network is staffed by Linda Capone-Newton,, and Nancy Darlington, They provide technical assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees throughout Maine. They are also available to provide training to clusters of grantees with similar interests or concerns at state and regional events. The Network’s mission is to ensure, through the provision of expert knowledge and technical support, that Head Start and Early Head Start grantees in Maine receive the support and information they need to deliver high quality services that meet all national Head Start Performance Standards and requirements.

National Head Start Association

The National Head Start Association is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States.

New England Head Start Association

The New England Head Start Association (NEHSA) is committed to providing strong support to New England Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout the region. They provide professional development opportunities, represent a regional voice at national forums and provide a regional response to policies and initiatives impacting Head Start’s future.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services (HSSCO grantee)

Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services

Child Welfare

Child and Family Services joins with families and the community to promote long-term safety, well-being, and permanent families for children.

Children’s Behavioral Health

Children’s Behavioral Health services focus on behavioral health treatment and services for children from birth up to their 21st birthday. Services include providing information and assistance with referrals for children and youth with developmental disabilities/delays, intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and mental health disorders.

Early Childhood

Early Childhood Services focus on increasing access to and quality of  child care services, supporting Head Start programs, coordination of child care licensing, technical assistance, training and employer incentives. The Associate Director of the Policy & Prevention Team is responsible for the oversight, integration, and coordination of Early Childhood Services to support Maine’s Families.

Maine Families

At Maine Families professional home visitors partner with parents and parents-to-be to access the information and resources that can support the physical and emotional health of their baby and entire family.

Maine Department of Education

Child Development Services

The Child Development Services system is an Intermediate Educational Unit that provides both Early Intervention (birth through two years) and Free Appropriate Public Education (for ages three through five years) under the supervision of the Maine Department of Education. The CDS system ensures the provision of special education rules, federal and state regulations statewide, through a network of regional sites.

Public Preschool

Any school district in Maine may develop a public preschool program, also known as a four-year-old program. Districts seeking to develop a public preschool program must submit a proposal for approval to the Maine DOE. Upon Department approval, public preschool programs are eligible for subsidy through the Essential Programs and Services funding formula.

As part of the application process, school districts are required to collaborate with other local early childhood programs (Head Start, child care centers, family child care programs, nursery schools, Even Start programs) in order to understand the unique needs of each community and determine the best way in which to offer a preschool program.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education

The Maine Department of Education and Maine schools follow the provisions of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which aims to minimize the educational disruptions experienced by homeless students. Under McKinney-Vento, homeless students are guaranteed the right to a free, appropriate, public education.

State Agencies Interdepartmental Early Learning Team (SAIEL)

SAIEL serves as the administrative governance structure between the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure interagency coordination, streamline decision-making, allocate resources effectively, incorporate findings from the various demonstration projects statewide, and create long-term sustainability for its early learning and development reform.

Child Care Advisory Council

The Child Care Advisory Council has three legislatively-mandated duties:

  • To advise Maine’s Legislature and the Department of Health and Human Services regarding child care services in the state;
  • To encourage the development of coordinated policies among state agencies that promote quality, consistency, and efficiency in child care services;
  • To facilitate community input on child care issues through communication with state government, the legislature, service providers, and the public.

Maine Association of Infant Mental Health

The Maine Association for Infant Mental Health was founded in 1982 in response to a growing interest and concern in Maine for the psychosocial and physical well-being of infants and their families.

Maine Dental Access Coalition

The Maine Dental Access Coalition (MDAC) is a public-private partnership focused on improving access to oral care. The Coalition’s mission is “to advocate for and improve access to quality preventive and comprehensive oral health care for all Maine residents.

Maine Roads to Quality

Maine Roads to Quality is the Early Care and Education Career Development Center for Maine. Established in 1999, its purpose is to promote and support professionalism in the early care and education field.