Executive Branch--Early Childhood Advisory Council
WHEREAS, early childhood programs have the potential to change children’s lives in significant and lasting ways;
WHEREAS, improving child outcomes should be the ultimate goal of publicly-funded early childhood programs;
WHEREAS, families, the fundamental unit of our society, should have access to high quality options and have information to make the best choices for our children;
WHEREAS, supporting early childhood professionals to improve will lead to positive child outcomes;
WHEREAS, an Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) is an important mechanism necessary to build, maintain, and strengthen a comprehensive, outcomes-based, integrated early childhood system that ensures all children enter Kindergarten prepared for success;
WHEREAS, an ECAC advises the state on the creation, maintenance and strength of such a system focused on Kindergarten readiness;
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the citizens of the state of Louisiana to continue implementation of this centralized and coordinated effort through the ECAC created under the Children’s Cabinet; and
NOW THEREFORE, I, Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Children’s Cabinet, located in the Office of the Governor, shall create an Early Childhood Advisory Council.
SECTION 2: The Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet shall serve as the State Director of the Early Childhood Advisory Council (hereafter “Council”).
SECTION 3: In accordance with federal law, the Council shall consist of (13) members as follows:
A. A representative of the state agency responsible for child care;
B. A representative of the Department of Education, early childhood programs;
C. A representative of local education agencies;
D. A representative of institutions of higher education;
E. A representative of local providers of early childhood education and development services;
F. A representative of the Head Start Association;
G. The State Director of Head Start Collaboration;
H. A representative of Louisiana EarlySteps;
I. A representative of the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Behavioral Health;
J. A representative of the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health;
K. A representative of the Department of Children and Family Services;
L. A representative of the Office of the Governor; and
M. A parent representative.
SECTION 4: The members of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. All members shall serve without compensation. The Chair of the Council shall be selected by the Governor.
SECTION 5: Executive Order No. BJ 2011-11 is hereby terminated, effective September 1, 2013.
SECTION 6: In addition to any other responsibilities designated by the Governor or approved by the Children’s Cabinet, the Council shall:
A. Make recommendations to the Children’s Cabinet, through the executive director, regarding the development of a high-quality, comprehensive early childhood system that enables children from birth through age five and their families to access opportunities for optimal physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development so that children enter school Kindergarten ready.
B. Conduct a periodic statewide assessment concerning the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services for children from birth to school entry, including an assessment of the availability of high-quality pre-Kindergarten services for low-income children in the state.
C. Identify opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among federally-funded and state-funded early childhood care and education programs and services, including collaboration and coordination among State agencies responsible for administering such programs.
D. Make recommendations to the Children’s Cabinet to support the implementation of the Early Childhood Care and Education Network regarding the following:
1. Increasing the participation of children in existing federal, state, and local child care and early childhood education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations;
2. Establishment of a unified data collection system for public early childhood education and development programs and services throughout the State;
3. Statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educators; and
4. Improvements in state early learning standards.
E. Assess the capacity and effectiveness of 2-year and 4-year public and private institutions of higher education in the State toward supporting the development of early childhood educators.
F. Serve as an Advisory Council on other early childhood matters as requested.
SECTION 7: 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 Children’s Cabinet in implementing and maintaining the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 8: 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 3rd day of September, 2013.
Secretary of State