Who We Are
The ECAC is comprised of experts in education, health care, child welfare and mental health. Members represent state agencies, community-based non-profit organizations, foundations, higher education, unions and other key entities across the state, appointed by the Governor. This ensures that a diversity of perspectives and experiences inform our work. Formed in 2009, the ECAC provides counsel to the Governor on issues related to young children and their families.
Vision and Mission
Vision: The Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) believes every child in New York State should be healthy, learning and thriving in a family that is supported by a full complement of services and resources essential for successful development.
Mission: The Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) will provide strategic direction and advice to the Governor and 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.
The Early Childhood Advisory Council holds a deep commitment to social justice and racial equity, as a process and a goal, as evidenced by our work across the state. We recognize that, in order to uphold our vision and mission to support young children’s development, we must actively, critically and continuously work to disrupt and dismantle systemic racism. It is our responsibility to address the inequities impacting the lives of children and families on individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural levels. In doing so, we interrupt and address disproportionate outcomes and build systems that provide all children equitable access to the services, resources and experiences that they deserve in order to thrive.
The New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) was created through federal action. In 2007, the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act required every Governor in the United States to create a State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided funding for the state entities.
The goal of these state advisory councils is to strengthen statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services, including child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, IDEA preschool, infant and family programs, and prekindergarten. To meet this federal requirement, New York State chose to create the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC).
In New York, the ECAC has expanded the scope of its work beyond the federal requirement to take a more comprehensive approach to the early years including human services, health and mental health, and services, beginning with pregnancy. By tapping federal funds for planning, data collection, and other system-building efforts, we are focusing on structural issues that impede the development of comprehensive systems for early childhood.