The Head Start Act requires THSSCO to conduct an annual needs assessment and develop a strategic plan to assist Head Start and Early Head Start grantees.
The Head Start Act, as amended December 12, 2007, requires Head Start State Collaboration Offices to conduct a yearly needs assessment of Head Start programs in the state that includes the national priority areas noted in the Needs Assessment. The Head Start Act also requires Head Start State Collaboration Offices to use the results of the needs assessment to develop a strategic plan outlining how they will assist and support Head Start and Early Head Start grantees in meeting the requirements of the Head Start Act for coordination, collaboration, transition to elementary school and alignment with K-12 education. Head Start State Collaboration Offices must also annually update the needs assessment and strategic plan and make the results of the needs assessment and strategic plan available to the general public.
Appointed by Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Early Learning Council serves as Texas’ state advisory council as required by the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007. Housed at the Texas Education Agency, the Council utilizes its breadth of stakeholder representation to increase coordination and collaboration across state agencies and local program and service providers in order to improve the quality of and access to early childhood services across Texas. In 2019, the Council led a statewide birth-five needs assessment and strategic plan as part of Texas’ Preschool Development Grant project.