The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) was established in 2013 to coordinate and improve the various early childhood programs and components in the state to create a cohesive high-quality early childhood system. The OEC oversees a coordinated system of early childhood care, education and support. Their mission is to support all young children in their development by ensuring that early childhood policy, funding and services strengthen the critical role families, providers, educators and communities play in a child’s life.
The Connecticut State Board of Education is committed to ensuring that all of the state’s preschool-age children, including children with disabilities, are afforded an opportunity to participate in a high-quality preschool education. Such an experience fosters a child’s overall development, including literacy and readiness for the public school kindergarten curriculum. The Board’s focus on preschool education is a cornerstone of the state’s school reform efforts, with attention to high expectations and the assurance that preschool-age children will demonstrate performance and proficiency at each age and stage of development and will enter school ready to learn.
The Early Childhood Cabinet was originally created in 2005 to reflect the cabinet’s renewed interest in all areas that impact young children and their families. Previously, the Early Childhood Education Cabinet was reformed in January 2010 and designated to be the State Advisory Council specified in the Head Start Act of 2007. The purpose of the Early Childhood Education Cabinet was to develop a high-quality, comprehensive system of early childhood education among the wide array of early childhood programs in the state (including Head Start, child care and School Readiness). The Early Childhood Education Cabinet played a key role in advancing the integration of services to young children and families.
The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide membership and advocacy organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security, for children ages birth to eight.
The Birth to Three System assists and strengthens the capacity of families to meet the developmental and health-related needs of infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities. The Birth to Three system was created by federal legislation known as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Part C of IDEA is the Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities. This is a federal program that assists states in operating a comprehensive statewide program of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities, ages birth up to age 3, and their families. The mission of the Connecticut Birth to Three system is to strengthen the capacity of Connecticut’s families to meet the developmental and health-related needs of their infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities. As determined by a national task force, the mission of Part C is to assist families and caregivers to enhance children’s learning and development through everyday learning opportunities. Key principles for providing Early Intervention services expand on the mission and include best practices for supporting families.