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The New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) was established in 2009 to provide advice to the Governor on issues related to the development of a comprehensive system of supports and services for young children and their families. We invite you to learn about the ECAC and its work.
This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children’s lifelong learning, health, and behavior.
The New York State Early Learning Guidelines describe a developmental progression of typical child development. They are not standards, but are meant to inform teachers and parents about how children typically develop from birth to age five and offer strategies for adults to help support the child’s full development in all domains. The Early Learning Guidelines have the potential of positively impacting the early development of all children under five in New York State (1.25 million children) as of 2012.
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If you would like to comment on our work, provide information on issues or strategies for better serving young children and families, or have a question about the ECAC, please click here.
The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 required Governors to establish, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included funding to support, State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care. The goal of the state councils is to strengthen statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services in the state, including child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, IDEA preschool and infants and families programs, pre kindergarten, and other early learning and development programs.
To respond to the federal requirement to establish or designate State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care, New York State established a new body— the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC). In New York State, we have expanded the scope of our collaboration to include human services, social-emotional development, and health care supports and services, beginning with pregnancy. The ECAC membership includes individuals with early childhood expertise who represent early learning and development, health care, child welfare, and mental health programs, as well as state agencies, advocacy organizations, foundations, higher education, unions, and others involved in the provision of services to young children and their families. The ECAC is focusing its efforts on addressing the structural issues that have impeded the development of a comprehensive system of early childhood supports and services.
While the creation of an advisory council is not unique, the availability of significant federal funds to support planning, data collection and other system-building efforts presents new opportunities. New York's federal allocation for the Early Childhood Advisory Council is $5.6 million over three years.
Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of the NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and Bob Frawley, Deputy Director of the New York State Council on Children and Families, co-chair the ECAC. Click here for a chart of the ECAC structure. Staff from the Council on Children and Families and the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy serve to support the ECAC and its work groups. Click here for a description of the work groups.
In addition to obtaining funding to support the Early Childhood Advisory Council, New York State receives three other federal grants designed to build system services for young children and their families. These initiatives include:
As is true of the ECAC, each of these projects are housed at and administered by the Council on Children and Families. This allows the staff of these projects to work closely together and to integrate their efforts when mutually beneficial to achieving their goals and objectives.
All young children are healthy, learning and thriving in families that are supported by a full complement of services and resources essential for successful development.
The Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) provides strategic direction and advice to the State of New York on early childhood issues. By monitoring and guiding the implementation of a range of strategies, the ECAC supports New York in building a comprehensive and sustainable early childhood system that will ensure success for all young children.
The ECAC defines a comprehensive early childhood system as a unified network of public and private supports and services that together prepare young children for success in school and life. Essential components of New York's system include early care and education, physical health, social-emotional development, and family support and education.
In their efforts to develop a comprehensive early childhood system to support New York's young children and their families, the members of the ECAC are guided by the following principles:
BUILD’s work and vision of comprehensive early childhood development systems are at the center of an emerging and vibrant state-based policy movement in the early childhood development field. BUILD is a national initiative created in 2002 by the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (ECFC), a consortium of private foundations. The ECFC provides networking, information sharing, and strategic grant making opportunities to its members. Through its work, the ECFC recognized that current programs, policies, and services for young children and their families often operated in isolation, at cross purposes, or without enough resources to meet critical needs. In response, the ECFC created BUILD to invest private funds to stimulate public investments in early learning to foster greater coordination of comprehensive programs, services, and policies for young children.
BUILD helps states construct a coordinated system of programs, policies, and services that responds to the needs of young children and their families. BUILD states are leaders in a national movement to innovate effective comprehensive services to children and families. Currently, BUILD works with eight states: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and New York. As part of its work with the states BUILD offers a combination of services including evaluation coordinated by the Child and Family Policy Center, technical assistance liaisons, and professional development opportunities.