State Early Childhood Advisory Council: State Profiles April 2011 NEW JERSEY

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1 COUNCIL NAME New Jersey Council for Young Children NEW JERSEY DESIGNATED STATE AGENCY New Jersey Department of Education COUNCIL HISTORY STAFFING The council was established by executive order in January 2010 to meet the requirements of the Head Start Reauthorization Act of The council will build on early childhood systems-building work that began in 2003 through the BUILD Initiative, a national effort to support comprehensive, state early childhood services. MEMBERSHIP Number of members: 25 Chair(s) of Council: The director of early childhood education at the New Jersey Department of Education chairs the council. Subcommittees: The council s subcommittees have work plans designed to meet objectives and complete tasks identified by the council. Subcommittees address the following areas: Coordinated information systems development and use, including needs assessment Improved outreach through public-private partnerships Birth through age 8 (B 8) learning and development standards and B 8 program standards Workforce development Comprehensive B 8 program improvement system Strategic communications and information exchange Council support and public accountability 1

2 Advisory Council Membership MEMBER TYPE INCLUSION MEMBER DESCRIPTION Assistant director, child care operations, Division of Family Development, New Jersey Department of Human Services State agency responsible for child care State educational agency Director, Office of Preschool Education, Division of Early Childhood Education, New Jersey Department of Education Local education agency Two school district superintendents Institutions of higher education Community college president; professor; and research center director Local providers of early childhood education/development services Director, child care center on air force base Head Start agency President, New Jersey Head Start Association State director of Head Start New Jersey Head Start collaboration State agency responsible for programs under Part C of IDEA Collaboration director Representatives from the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services Coordinator of Part B, 619 of IDEA Director, Office of Preschool Education, Division of Early Childhood Education, New Jersey Department of Education State agency responsible for health or mental health Director, Division of Prevention and Community Partnerships, Department of Children and Families; and Assistant Commissioner, Division of Family Health Services, New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services. Representative from governor s office Legislator(s) Parent representative The council is exploring involving parents in the council, potentially by adding a parent representative. Tribal representative Migrant representative Deputy for Child and Family Development Program, New Jersey Migrant Head Start Business representative Businessperson Foundation representative Foundation executive director 2

3 Statewide and community organizations Representatives from Catholic Charities; Coalition of Infant/Toddler Educators; Association for the Children of New Jersey; National Institute for Early Education Research; New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children; New Jersey Head Start Directors Association; and YCS Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health OTHER Other state agencies Representative from New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development COUNCIL ACTIVITIES and PRIORITIES The council has seven goals, developed through its 2010 strategic report: Coordinated information systems development and use, including needs assessment. The council will map existing datasets, develop a framework for a new information system, implement a unique child ID, and implement a coordinated data system. The council will also map regulations across state agencies. Improved outreach through public-private partnerships. The council will evaluate and improve outreach through partnerships and target underserved populations, including: homeless children, English language learners, and children with special needs. B 8 early learning and development standards and B 8 program standards. The council will develop infant/toddler early learning and developmental standards aligned with preschool through grade three standards; adopt kindergarten program standards aligned with preschool standards; and cross-walk all existing program standards. Workforce development. Tasks include mapping professional development opportunities; developing and implementing a workforce registry; reviewing and improving the content and delivery of higher education and professional development programs; and expanding requirements and learning opportunities for early childhood leaders. Comprehensive B 8 program improvement system. The council will plan for a continuous quality improvement system and adoption of a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). They will map and assess quality in a sample of infant and toddler programs and employ unique child IDs to track the impact of program quality over time. Strategic communications and information exchange. The council will expand subcommittee participation, promote family involvement and input, and launch a public education campaign. Council support and public accountability. The council will ensure that its progress is documented and that challenges are identified and brought to council members for resolution. Reports and presentations will be provided to key stakeholders. 3

4 Council s Proposed Activities for Federal Grant Period Note: This analysis reflects only state priorities cited in council action plans for the grant period. States may be addressing additional priorities as part of a broader early childhood policy agenda. Conduct needs assessment. Promote coordination across programs. Increase access to programs. Develop data system. Improve professional development system. Assess capacity of higher education. Improve early learning standards. Promote program quality improvement, for example, through quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS). Promote family/community engagement Focus on prenatal and child health. Focus on mental health and social-emotional development. Focus on infants/toddlers Focus on children with special needs. Focus on English language learners. Develop links to grades K 3. Focus on financing and sustainability. Conduct public awareness campaign. SOURCE OF STATE MATCH FOR FEDERAL GRANT State general revenue for the pre-k program. COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES The council will engage additional stakeholders in its work through participation in subcommittees. An interactive website will solicit feedback on the work of the council. The council will also identify mechanisms for input and feedback from families and ensure that families are involved in the development and implementation of council activities. 4

5 UNIQUE FEATURES The council is described in the application for federal funding as a separate body located in but not of the New Jersey Department of Education. The department of education s early childhood division, which serves as a fiscal agent for the council, is responsible for the alignment of preschool through third grade. WEBSITE 5

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