The State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care (SACs) are charged with developing a high-quality, comprehensive system of early childhood development and care. The SACs ensure 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.
ACF awarded nearly $100 million of ARRA funding to 50 State Advisory Council grants. These awards were given to 45 States, DC, PR, VI, Guam, and American Samoa. Required Activities of the State Advisory Councils include:
- Conducting periodic statewide needs assessments on the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services from birth to school entry;
- Identifying opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination;
- Developing recommendations on increasing participation in child care and early education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations;
- Developing recommendations on the development of a unified data collection systems for public early childhood and development programs and services;
- Developing recommendations on statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educations;
- Assessing the capacity and effectiveness of institutes of higher education supporting the development of early childhood educators;
- Making recommendations for improvements in State early learning standards and undertake efforts to develop high-quality comprehensive early learning standards, as appropriate; and
- Facilitating 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.