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About Early Learning

The mission of the Division of Early Learning (DEL) is to provide leadership and coordination to ensure that all District of Columbia children, from birth to kindergarten entrance, have access to high quality early childhood development programs and are well prepared for school.

Education and Program Improvement Unit

The Education and Program Improvement Unit focuses on connecting the dots between all early childhood development programs through training and technical assistance, program quality assurance and evaluation. The Unit consists of Program Monitoring and Professional Development of subsidized facilities.

Licensing and Compliance Unit

The Licensing and Compliance Unit is responsible for ensuring compliance through the enforcement of federal and District of Columbia laws and regulations in child development facilities (CDF).  The Unit comprises of two (2) programs: CDF Licensing of Centers and Homes, and Investigations of Complaints and Unusual Incidents.

Operation and Administrative Services Unit

The Operation and Administrative Services Unit supports all DEL programs in providing access to high-quality early learning environments.  The major functions are, but not limited to, budget preparation and analysis, grants management, provider agreements and subsidy payroll, contracts and procurement, invoice reimbursement, program analysis, coordination and submission of Key Performance Indicators and performance measures and score card, Language Access Act Report and customer service report, eligibility determination and monitoring, Freedom of Information Act requests, Child Care and Development Fund Block Grant, and financial reports.

Policy and Research Unit

The Policy and Research Unit is a multidisciplinary unit focused on steering collaborative research to support policy development and recommendation for policy review.  The key functions are to coordinate programmatic and statistical reports, coordinate the early learning information management system development, and coordinate and monitor research projects and development of priorities for new projects.

Head Start State Collaboration Office

The Head Start Collaboration Office (HSSCO) exists to “facilitate collaboration among Head Start agencies and entities which carry out activities designed to benefit low income children from birth to school entry, and their families.”

The HSSCO provides a structure and a process for the Office of Head Start (OHS) to work with State agencies and local entities to leverage their common interests around young children and their families to formulate, implement and improve, state and local policy and practice.

The HSSCO promotes alignment of curricula used in Head Start programs and continuity of services with the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework and State Early Learning Standards and support transition to local education agencies.

The HSSCO works to promote better linkages between Head Start agencies and other child and family agencies, including agencies that provide health, mental health, family services or other child and family supportive services, such as services provided under section 619 or part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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