Head Start In Mississippi

The Mississippi Head Start Association’s (MHSA) mission is to provide the state’s children and families with a range of individualized services in the areas of education, early childhood development, medical, dental, mental health, nutrition and parent involvement. MHSA embraces a set of core values which promotes wellness, respects families’ cultures and diversity, and supports family empowerment and community development.
Use the tool below to find a head start center and enroll your child.

Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSCCO)

The Head Start-State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) was established in 1996 through a grant under the federal Head Start Act. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Head Start, has awarded grants to all 50 States as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The eight HSSCO priority areas are health care, welfare, child care, education, community service activities, family literacy services, activities relating to children with disabilities, and services for homeless children.
The Mississippi Head Start Collaboration Office facilitates communication and coordination of services, alignment of planning, enrollment, administration, and reporting systems among State and local leadership across funding streams and disciplines. More specifically, the Collab Office enhances collaborative partnerships that:

  • Assist in building early childhood systems and access to comprehensive services and support for all low-income children;
  • Promote widespread collaboration and partnership between Head Start and other appropriate programs, services, and initiatives, including child care and State preschool; and
  • Facilitate the involvement of Head Start in the development of State policies, plans, processes and decisions affecting the Head Start target population and other low- income families.

The Collab Office is located in the Office of the Governor and is administratively placed so that access to the Governor and other key policy makers or planning bodies is assured. The Mississippi Head Start Collaboration Office is under the direction of Holly Spivey. Holly can be reached by phone at 601.576.2021 or email at hspivey@governor.ms.gov.

Goals Of The Head Start Program

  • To enhance children’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.
  • To enable parents to be better caregivers and teachers to their children.
  • To help parents meet their own goals, including economic independence.

Children’s Services

  • School Readiness. Head Start prepares children for school by teaching them to listen, speak clearly, follow directions, solve problems, and use numbers and words.
  • Social. Head Start teaches children to respect others and how to cooperate and resolve differences.
  • Health. Head Start reinforces personal and dental hygiene and provides daily nutrition and health screenings and follow-up care by medical and dental professionals.
  • Disabilities. Head Start welcomes children with disabilities and provides services from specially trained teachers. At least 10 percent of Head Start participants have physical, social or intellectual disabilities.

Family/Community Services

Through personal counsel, resource-sharing, Head Start helps family members with academic, childrearing, job and housing issues.

  • Parents and grandparents volunteer in the classroom or on field trips and on Policy Council, which guides each local program.
  • Head Start partners with community groups and businesses to link children and families with resources such as medical/dental care, child care or job training.

Staff Services

The dedication of Head Start staff is reinforced by many opportunities to learn and grow in their profession. Up to 5 percent of program budgets go to staff education and training.