of New Jersey
WHEREAS, pursuant to the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, as amended by the Head Start Act amendments of 2007 enacted on December 12, 2007, 42 U.S.C. § 9837b, P.L. 110-134 (hereinafter referred to as the “federal requirements”), the State of New Jersey is required to designate or establish a state entity to serve as New Jersey’s advisory council on early childhood education and to care for children from birth to school entry; and
WHEREAS, the federal requirements provide that the advisory council is to be comprised of a diverse selection of individuals concerned with young children who represent a cross-section of the educational, child care, health, mental health, and disabled communities; and
WHEREAS, the federal requirements provide that the advisory council is to be charged with assuring collaboration and coordination among the various early childhood programs in the State; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain compliance with the federal law, it is appropriate for the State of New Jersey to establish a New Jersey Council for Young Children to carry out the duties set forth in the federal requirements;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- There is hereby established the New Jersey Council for Young Children (hereinafter referred to as “the Advisory Council”), which shall be established as a separate entity in, but not of, the New Jersey Department of Education.
- The Advisory Council is hereby designated the State entity responsible for assuring collaboration and coordination among all the early childhood programs in the State of New Jersey.
- The Advisory Council membership shall be comprised of no more than twenty-five members.
- The following officials, or their designees, shall serve on the Advisory Council, ex officio, and with a vote:
- the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services;
- the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education;
- the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services;
- the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and
- the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
- The Council also shall consist of the following public members:
- a representative of a local educational agency in the State;
- a representative of an institution of higher education in the State;
- a representative of a local provider of early childhood education and development services in the State or an organization representing such providers;
- a representative from Head Start agencies located in the State, including migrant and seasonal Head Start programs and Indian Head Start programs;
- the President of the New Jersey Head Start Association;
- the State Director of Head Start Collaboration; and
- at least six other members who either represent entities or interest groups or constituencies determined by the Governor to be relevant to the Advisory Council’s work, such that their participation will be of assistance to the Advisory Council, or who have expertise or significant experience in early childhood education, pre-school education, Head Start programs, child development, child care, or the education and training of early childhood teachers, regardless of their organizational affiliation.
- The public members of the advisory council shall serve for three year terms, except that of those first appointed, five members shall serve for a term of one year, ten shall serve for a term of two years, and the remainder shall serve for a term of three years. Council vacancies from among the members shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the remainder of the unexpired term. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council is to be filled in the same manner as an original appointment and the vacancy is not to affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Advisory Council. The Governor shall designate a member of the Advisory Council to serve as chair. The Advisory Council members shall serve without compensation.
- The Advisory Council shall:
- conduct a periodic statewide needs 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;
- identify opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among federally-funded and State-funded child development, child care, and early childhood education programs and services, including collaboration and coordination among state agencies responsible for administering such programs;
- develop recommendations for increasing the overall participation of children in existing federal, state, and local child care, as well as early childhood education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations;
- develop recommendations regarding the establishment of a unified data collection system for public early childhood education and development programs and services throughout the State;
- develop recommendations regarding statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educators in the State;
- assess the capacity and effectiveness of two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education in the State to support the development of early childhood educators, including the extent to which such institutions have in place articulation agreements, professional development and career advancement plans, and practice or internships for students to spend time in a Head Start or pre-kindergarten program;
- make recommendations for improvements in State early learning standards and undertake efforts to develop high-quality comprehensive early learning standards, as appropriate; and
- engage parents and develop improved communication strategies with families across New Jersey regarding the importance of their roles in quality programs for young children.
- The Advisory Council shall submit a statewide strategic report addressing its assessments and recommendations set forth in Section 7 of this Order to the State Director of Head Start Collaboration and the Governor no later than 18 months from the release of federal grant funds.
- After the submission of the statewide strategic report, described in the Section 8 of this Order, the Advisory Council shall convene at least four meetings each year to review the implementation of the recommendations in the strategic report and consider any changes to state and local needs.
- After the submission of the statewide strategic report, described in Section 8 of this Order, the Advisory Council shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Governor each July.
- The Advisory Council shall hold at least one public hearing per year and provide an opportunity for public comment regarding the issues set out in Section 7 of this Order.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 6th day
of January, Two Thousand and Ten, and
Independence of the United States,
Two Hundred and Thirty-Fourth.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine
/s/ William J. Castner, Jr.
Chief Counsel to the Governor