Who We Are
The ECAC is comprised of experts in education, health care, child welfare and mental health. Members represent state agencies, advocacy groups, foundations, higher education, unions and other key organizations, as appointed by the Governor. This ensures that a diversity of perspectives and experiences inform our work.
The New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) was formed in 2009, to provide counsel to the Governor on issues related to young children and their families.
Vision, Mission, Guiding Principles
Vision: The Early Childhood Advisory Council (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 Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) will provide 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.
Guiding Principles: To develop a comprehensive early childhood system to support New York families, ECAC members are guided by four key principles: diversity, whole health, parental involvement and public good.
- Diversity: New York's plan will encompass all children and families, recognizing diversity of cultures, languages, abilities, and family structures.
- Whole Health: Healthy development begins before birth and includes physical, oral, cognitive, and social-emotional health.
- Parental Involvement: Parents and families play the most influential role in a child's life. The term 'parent' includes all people with primary responsibility for nurturing children.
- Public good: Families are best supported by strong public policy and services, promoting economic stability, self-sufficiency, and strong and resilient relationships.
The New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council 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 councils.
The goal of the councils is 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 chose to create the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC).
In New York, the ECAC has expanded the scope of its work beyond the federal requirement to include human services, social-emotional development, and health care support and services, beginning with pregnancy. By tapping federal funds for planning, data collection and other system-building efforts, we are focusing on structural issues that impede development of comprehensive system of early childhood support and services.
New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council
52 Washington Street
West Building, Suite 99
Rensselaer, NY 12144