The Early Childhood Advisory Council was established by the Governor and the commissioners of health, education, human services agencies to implement strategies to better meet the needs of young children and their families. This action also met a federal requirement included in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 for Governors to establish State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the goal of the state councils was to strengthen statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services in the state that include child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Intervention, Preschool Special Education, home visiting, and prekindergarten. To meet this requirement and to address the specific needs in New York State, a new body was established — the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) – and the scope of its work was delineated to cover human services, social-emotional development, and health care supports and services, beginning with pregnancy.
Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the ECAC has implemented QUALITYstarsNY, developed and disseminated Early Learning Guidelines, strengthened New York’s early childhood education professional development system (New York Works for Children), and developed a number of resources to support professionals working with young children.