The Office of Early Childhood Development (ECD) acts as a catalyst to create a collective impact and support the early learning and care of our nation’s children and their families.
ECD strategies will include:
- Communication: ECD consistently communicates, within the organization and across HHS, an established set of values and norms that promote the importance of early childhood development across all our programs.
- Coordination and Partnerships: ECD develops governance, structures and champions that enable coordination across ACF, HHS, and other federal agencies; and mobilizes a network of public and private partners to support early childhood development.
- Sustainability: ECD aligns its initiatives across ACF to institutionalize and make the established values and norms sustainable.
- Resource sharing: ECD provides resources to states and communities to facilitate cross-service and cross-sector coordination.
Katie Hamm joined the Administration for Children and Families at HHS as the associate deputy assistant secretary for early childhood development in February 2021. She is also currently the acting deputy assistant secretary for ECD. Before joining the Biden Administration, Hamm was the vice president for early childhood policy at the Center for American Progress, where she oversaw the organization's early childhood program to advance child care, preschool, Head Start and home visiting investment.
2019-2020 Goal: ECD is known as the “Go To” Office within ACF for interagency and public-private partnerships that improve the early care and learning environments for children and their families.
Outcome Measures: 1) To prioritize early childhood development across ACF programs through collaboration and leveraging partnership opportunities through programs, policy and technical assistance from two programs to 12 programs by December 31, 2020. 2) To increase early childhood collective impacts that connect federal early childhood programs and at least two external public and private partners to influence and leverage resources to improve early childhood development outcomes by December 31, 2020.
The Early Childhood Federal Partners Workgroup is a federal staff-level group comprised of more than 70 representatives from across 9 federal agencies and Departments who are focused on sharing resources and improving federally funded early childhood programs.
To provide guidance for interagency efforts, ECD also convenes the Early Childhood Health and Well-being Federal Leadership Group, which is comprised of political and career leaders from ACF, HHS, ED, DOL, and USDA.
The goal of these interagency workgroups is to improve the collective impact of early childhood federal programs by supporting integrated early childhood systems that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services and result in equitable health and well-being for young children and their families.
We developed an overarching Early Childhood Federal Partners Logic Model (coming soon) to guide our work which is focused on shared learning and shared action for shared impact. In 2020, we established subgroups to respond to leadership priorities and advance early childhood interagency efforts in critical areas:
- Technical Assistance
- Needs Assessment
- Outcomes/Indicators/Performance Measures
The Office of Early Childhood Development (ECD) has been focused on strengthening internal and external coordination, collaboration, and communication across ACF and with federal partners around early childhood to improve the health and well-being of young children and their families. In 2019 ECD established the ACF Early Childhood Collaborative, a group comprised of representatives from every program office within ACF. The purpose of the collaborative is to ensure that ACF prioritizes and enhances early childhood development across ACF programs to strengthen families and promote economic mobility. This group has developed information to further prioritize early childhood development.