Executive Branch--Bright Start
WHEREAS, the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) is a cross-departmental project of the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Education to organize a coordinated network of broad services to ensure school readiness, health, and safety of Louisiana’s children;
WHEREAS, the ECAC was established to build, maintain, and strengthen a comprehensive and integrated early childhood system in Louisiana that ensures families and communities provide young children (0-5 years) with opportunities for optimal emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development;
WHEREAS, it is the best interests of the citizens of the State of Louisiana to implement this centralized and coordinated effort through the ECAC and its Executive Committee; and
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: BrightStart (formerly Louisiana’s Early Childhood Comprehensive System’s Grant Initiative) is hereby designated as Louisiana’s Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC).
SECTION 2: An Executive Committee of the Council shall be established and consist of (5) members as follows:
A. The secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services, or the secretary’s designee;
B. The superintendent of the Department of Education, or the superintendent’s designee;
C. The secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, or the secretary’s designee;
D. The Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet;
E. One (1) family representative.
SECTION 3: The BrightStart Early Childhood Advisory Council (hereafter “Council”) membership shall be established by the Executive Committee of the Council, in accordance with all relevant laws, rules, and regulations.
SECTION 4: The Executive Committee shall set policy for the governance of the Council. The duties of the Committee shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Establishing policy and monitoring adherence;
B. Setting standards;
C. Monitoring the quality, cost and adherence to these standards;
D. Defining target populations; and
E. Providing multi-departmental oversight.
SECTION 5: In addition to any other responsibilities designated by the Governor or approved by the Executive Committee, the Council shall:
A. Identify opportunities for collaboration and coordination among Louisiana community based activities, child development programs, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and other stakeholders responsible for child development, child care, and early childhood education programs and services.
B. Make recommendations for improvements in state early learning standards and a strategic plan to meet those learning standards.
C. Coordinate and develop recommendations, in collaboration with our state child-serving agencies, to ensure Louisiana is taking advantage of all available opportunities to support and sustain our early childhood efforts.
SECTION 6: The Director of the BrightStart Early Childhood Council shall be selected by the Governor. The Chair of the Council shall be selected by and from the membership. All other officers of the Council, if any, shall be selected by and from the membership. Members of the Council shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority.
SECTION 7: The Chair of the Executive Committee shall be an agency head, or agency designee, and selected by and from the membership. All other officers of the committee, if any, shall be selected by and from the membership.
A. Members of the committee shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority.
B. The Committee shall meet at regularly scheduled intervals (at a minimum of six times annually), and at the call of the chair.
SECTION 8: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana, or any other political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Council and Executive Committee in implementing and maintaining the provisions of this Order, including the execution of memorandums of understanding and the redirection of the designated funding of the agencies involved to finance the Early Childhood Advisory Council. This process will be fiscally managed by the Department of Children and Family Services.
SECTION 9: Reports on the status and progress of the Council shall be provided to the Children’s Cabinet by January 31 and July 31 of each year beginning July 31, 2011.
SECTION 10: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 5th day of July, 2011.
Secretary of State