Who We Are

The ECAC, established within the New York State Council on Children and Families (Social Services Law § 483-g), is comprised of New York State experts in early care and education, health care, child welfare, mental health, business and community engagement. Membership is set forth in the authorizing law and represents state agencies, community-based non-profit organizations, foundations, higher education, unions and other key entities across the state, All members are appointed by the Governor and serve without compensation. The ECAC meets quarterly in Albany. Details about ECAC meetings can be found here.


The ECAC also seeks additional perspectives through its Parent Advisory Council, work group participation, and annual community Town Hall conversations and listening sessions. To the extent funds are available, parents are reimbursed for their expenses and time.

Vision and Mission

Vision: The ECAC believes every child in New York State should be healthy, learning and thriving in a family that is supported by a full complement of services and resources essential for successful development.

Mission: The ECAC will provide strategic direction to the Governor and State of New York on early childhood issues. By recommending 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.

Equity Statement

The ECAC holds a deep commitment to social justice and racial equity, as a process and a goal, as evidenced by our work across the state.  We recognize that, in order to uphold our vision and mission to support young children’s development, we must actively, critically and continuously work to disrupt and dismantle systemic racism.  It is our responsibility to address the inequities impacting the lives of children and families on individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural levels.  In doing so, we interrupt and address disproportionate outcomes and build systems that provide all children equitable access to the services, resources and experiences that they deserve in order to thrive. 


The ECAC was created through federal action. In 2007, the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act required every Governor in the United States to create a State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided funding for the state entities, with the goal of these state advisory councils being to strengthen statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services, including child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, IDEA preschool, infant and family programs, and prekindergarten. To meet this federal requirement, New York State created the ECAC. Since its creation, the ECAC has been co-chaired and  administratively supported by the Council on Children and Families.


In accordance with Social Services Law § 483-g, the ECAC shall submit a statewide strategic report. See the January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2027 ECAC Strategic Plan here. The ECAC also holds public hearings and provides an opportunity for public comment on its activities.


Contact Us


Patricia E. Persell, ECAC Co-chair

NYS Council on Children and Families, Early Childhood Policy Director

New York State Head Start Collaboration Office, Collaboration Director


Dona Anderson, ECAC Co-chair

NY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Executive Director

CUNY Office of Early Childhood Initiatives


New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council
52 Washington Street
West Building, Suite 99
Rensselaer, NY 12144

Phone: (518) 473-3652

Email: ecac@ccf.ny.gov


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