Virginia’s Early Childhood Advisory Council, (ECAC)
In the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 Congress authorizes the Governor of each State to designate or establish an Early Childhood Advisory Council. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included funding to support, State Advisory Councils on Early Childhood Education and Care. The goal of the state councils is to help strengthen statewide coordination and collaboration among the wide range of early childhood programs and services in the state, including child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, IDEA preschool and infants and families programs, pre-kindergarten, and other early childhood care and education programs.
The ECAC is chaired by the Secretary of Education and co-chaired by the president of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.
Consistent with section 642B(b)(2)(A), the States shall use the funds to carry out activities to 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 readiness of children birth to five; supporting professional development, recruitment and retention initiatives for early childhood educators; enhancing existing early childhood and development programs and services in existence on the date of the grant award; and carrying out other activities consistent with the State’s plan.
The funding appropriated by ARRA to support the work of the State Advisory Council are for one-time startup grants to develop and implement the plans of the State Advisory Council. These funds can be used over a three-year period. The funding period for Virginia is August 1, 2010 through July 31, 2013.