On Monday, June 24, 2013, surrounded by early childhood advocates, legislators, Commissioner Bremby of the Department of Social Services and Commissioner Pryor of the State Department of Education, Governor Malloy signed Executive Order Number 35. The Executive Order “recognizes the Office of Early Childhood as the lead state agency for the coordination and delivery of early childhood services and charges all state agencies with coordinating and collaborating with the Office of Early Childhood. Funding and programs from four state agencies will move to the Office of Early Childhood,” explained the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.
Importantly, Governor Malloy noted that this Executive Order was only intended to
ensure that early childhood programs would not lose funding come July 1, which would likely have happened due to legislative complications in which funding was appropriated to the Office of Early Childhood in the state budget, while the actual bill to establish the Office of Early Childhood failed to be raised before the end of the legislative session. The Governor asserted that further legislative action was needed to put the Office of Early Childhood in statute and ensure its viability for years to come.
Maggie Adair, executive director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, echoed this sentiment in her remarks at the event: “The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance views this Executive Order as an interim bridge needed until legislation that statutorily establishes an Office of Early Childhood with autonomy and authority is passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. Such legislation is needed as we not only want current early childhood services to continue, we want to build a comprehensive and coordinated early childhood system that will serve children and families more effectively and efficiently.”
Today, it was announced that Connecticut’s Early Childhood Planning Director Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor has been named Executive Director of the Office of Early Childhood. Myra spent the past year gathering input from communities across Connecticut and creating a plan for a comprehensive early childhood system. The creation of an Office of Early Childhood is the very first step of that plan. As implementation of the Office of Early Childhood continues, advocates look forward to the conversations that remain to be had about how this entity can, moving forward, create a truly effective and meaningful system for our state.
For more information, check out the following news outlets’ articles:
For background information about the Office of Early Childhood, view our past blog posts:
Governor Malloy puts children and families first, establishes Office of Early Childhood
All Our Kin voices support for an Office of Early Childhood
Office of Early Childhood bill moves forward
Dissappointment and Renewed Determination as State Legislature Fails to Create Office of Early Childhood
All Our Kin op-ed in The CT Mirror: We need the Office of Early Childhood