State Advisory Councils Fact Sheet

Section 642 B(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Head Start Act requires the Governor of each State to designate or establish a council to serve as the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care for children from birth to school entry.

The overall responsibility of the State Advisory Council is to lead the development or enhancement of a high-quality, comprehensive system of early childhood development and care that ensures statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services in the State, including child care, Head Start, IDEA preschool and infants and families programs, and pre-kindergarten programs and services.

All 50 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands of the United States, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Republic of Palau were eligible to receive a grant.

Required Activities of the State Advisory Councils include:

  • Conduct periodic statewide needs assessments on the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services from birth to school entry
  • Identify opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination;
  • Develop recommendations on increasing participation in child care and early education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations;
  • Develop recommendations on the development of a unified data collection systems for public early childhood and development programs and services;
  • Develop recommendations on statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educations;
  • Assess the capacity and effectiveness of institutes of higher education supporting the development of early childhood educators;
  • Make recommendations for improvements in State early learning standards and undertake efforts to develop high-quality comprehensive early learning standards, as appropriate; and
  • Facilitate the development or enhancement of high-quality systems of early childhood education and care designed to improve school readiness through one or more of the following activities:
    •  Promoting school preparedness of children from birth through school entry
    •  Supporting professional development, recruitment, and retention initiatives for early childhood educators;
    •  Enhancing existing early childhood education and development programs; and services
    •  Carrying out other activities consistent with the State’s plan and application.

ACF successfully awarded the $100 million of ARRA funding earmarked for State Advisory Councils (minus $29). ACF awarded 50 State Advisory Council grants totaling $92.8 million, as part of the original application submission. These awards were given to 45 States, DC, PR, VI, Guam, and American Samoa.

Since a number of States and/or Territories did not apply (and not all States/Territories applied for the full amount), there was a balance of $7.2 million in SAC ARRA funding. ACF than sought supplemental applications of equal amounts from the original 50, resulting in awarding the remaining funds across 44 of the 50 States/Territories that submitted an original application and who again had the needed 70% match.

The States/Territories that did not apply for original funding were AK, ID, IN, ND, SD, Palau, and CNMI. The States/Territories that did not apply for supplemental funding were AR, NE, PR, TX, UT, and WY.

Of the 7 States and/or Territories not receiving any ARRA funds, most have Councils already in
existence but were unable to meet all the application requirements. Whether or not they received
these ARRA funds, all States/Territories will be invited to participate in webinars and face-to-face
meetings to discuss opportunities, challenges, lessons learned, and best practices.

Download the State Advisory Councils Fact Sheet (PDF)