What is the ECAC?

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.

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 concerned with the wellbeing of young children and their families, as appointed by the Governor.

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Our Current Work

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    Strong Families

    Children need stable, nurturing homes to thrive. Learn how the ECAC is working to better identify at-risk families and deliver the network of services and support they need.

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    Healthy Children

    Healthy development begins before birth. Learn how the ECAC is working to coordinate a more comprehensive system to address the physical, oral, cognitive, and social-emotional health of children.

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    High Quality Early Learning

    Children who receive high quality early care and education do better in school and in life. Learn how the ECAC is working to unify standards and expand access to high quality programs.

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    Coordinated and Responsive Systems and Communities

    By coordinating existing resources and data, children will receive greater continuity of care. Learn how the ECAC is working to improve collaboration, cost effectiveness and accountability of services.


Our 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.

ECAC Highlights

  • New York State First Book Grant

    New York State is one of eight BUILD states benefiting from a grant of $2,500 sponsored by First Book (http://www.firstbook.org/) to purchase books for children from birth to 18 years of age at 50-90% discount. Because there was a quick turnaround, five Reach Out and Read programs, including the New York City Reach Out and Read regional office, will each be able to order up to $500 worth of high quality children’s books from the First Book website. We want to thank the BUILD sponsors and Bob Frawley and Sherry Cleary, the co-chairs of our New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council), for bringing this initiative to our attention. For more information on the benefits of Reach Out and Read, please see:
    • Reach Out and Read: http://www.reachoutandread.org/
    • Reach Out and Read and Greater New York: http://reachoutandreadnyc.org/

  • ECAC Releases Guidance Briefs for Prek Administrators and Teachers

    The ECAC released five briefs that provide research-based practical guidance to support effective early childhood practices that help young learners gain the foundational skills necessary to achieve success in school. The five guidance briefs are aim to support administrators and teachers in making decisions that will lead to higher quality early childhood classrooms with positive outcomes for children. These briefs include material from interviews with school principals and teachers and have been vetted by the field. Copies of the briefs are available for download on the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council website.

  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice Briefs Shared with Full School Community

    A principal, who was interviewed for the ECAC's developmentally appropriate practice brief on prek leadership, was highlighted on his school district's website.

  • Prekindergarten Expansion for 3-year olds in New York State

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has outlined his proposal to expand pre-K to 3-year olds in the State’s highest-need communities. The Governor is committing $25 million to fund this pilot program that will support a projected 5,000 seats for 3-year olds across the State. Sherry Cleary, Executive Director of the NY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and co-chair of the NYS ECAC had an opportunity to present at the Governor’s Cabinet Meeting the benefits of investing in early education. To view her presentation click on

  • New York State Library Summit Advances Early Learning and Public Libraries.

    ECAC members Patty Persell and Meg McNiff along with our partner Susan Perkins State Coordinator of New York State Project LAUNCH participated in the New York State Library Summit Advances Early Learning and Public Libraries.