Governor Matt Mead announced that the Head Start State Collaboration Office is moving from the University of Wyoming Institute for Disabilities to the Department of Workforce Services. The Governor of each state designates the location of the Collaboration Office when renewing the state's five-year grant. Wyoming's current grant expires on July 31, 2012.
"One of my goals as Governor is to streamline government services and particularly services for children and families," Governor Mead said. "This change houses Head Start alongside "WY Quality Counts!' integrating high quality child care with early education." "WY Quality Counts!" is a Department of Workforce Services program that collects data and raises awareness about early childhood care as part of its program. Wyoming Head Start provides early education services for eligible, at-risk students. It also provides health services and screenings. There are over 2,500 students enrolled in Head Start programs in Wyoming. "WY Quality Counts!" funding can be used for scholarships for early childhood educators to pursue degrees. There is a new federal requirement effective in 2013 that requires Head Start education coordinators and 50% of Head Start teachers to have a bachelor's degree.
"The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services is thrilled to have the Head Start State Collaboration Office join in our efforts to serve the people of Wyoming," said Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Director Joan Evans. "This move will streamline the Head Start State Collaboration Office's mission with DWS's "WY Quality Counts!" program. Working alongside other early childhood stakeholders in our communities, this improved collaboration will allow us to more effectively work toward our shared goal: ensuring Wyoming children are well-prepared to succeed in school, and in their future."