The Collaboration and Program Improvement Branch manages early childhood initiatives and administers early care contracts and grants. Their initiatives and programs include:
- The Head Start State Collaboration Project coordinates early learning and comprehensive services between local Head Start programs and local, state, federal government agencies that are informed by the current Head Start Assessment Report and Strategic Plan.
- The Infant Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) Consultation Project assists early care and education programs in identifying and addressing child behavioral issues in early learning environments.
- The Family Support Centers, overseen by grantee Maryland Family Network, provide free, comprehensive services, either on-site or through referral, to families, targeting parents and their children from birth through age three.
- State Advisory Council and Local Councils include the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care and 24 Local Early Childhood Advisory Councils. Together, they build and support a comprehensive early childhood infrastructure to overcome local school readiness achievement gaps for children with high needs and maximize federal, state and local resources for early childhood through collaborations and consistent coordination.
- Family Engagement Initiatives include the implementation of a Maryland Framework for Family Engagement.