Heather Craiglow is the National Partnerships and Head Start Collaboration Office Director within the Department of Early Childhood’s Partnerships, Alignment, and Collaboration Team. Heather’s role is to provide leadership and facilitate collaboration among Head Start agencies and entities that carry out activities designed to benefit low-income children and their families from birth to school entry. The Collaboration Office provides a structure and a process for the federal Office of Head Start to work and partner 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 practices.
Heather’s portfolio includes leading the Colorado Shines Brighter Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Transition to Kindergarten activities and children with special health care needs. She oversees American Rescue Plan Act activities for Early Literacy and Child Care Outreach, Health and Mental Health activities, and an Early Head Start-Child Care Expansion Model.
Prior to joining the Department of Early Childhood, Heather was an infant toddler, preschool and before and after school teacher, education manager, and child care director. She provided training and technical assistance (T/TA) to Head Start programs throughout Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming as an Early Childhood Specialist with the Office of Head Start’s T/TA Team. The focus for T/TA was concentrated on School Readiness, Collaboration, and Parent, Family and Community Engagement. She has over twenty years of experience working in Head Start and Early Care and Learning settings. Currently, Heather serves as a Commissioner on the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC) and is a co-chair for the Early Childhood Workforce Development Subcommittee. She is a systems builder, championing equity, diversity, and inclusive practices while being a connector of resources to ensure all children are valued, healthy, and thriving.
Heather has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and received her Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Dakota. She is currently enrolled in the National P-3 Center’s Leadership Certificate program.