Policy Resource

Connecticut Office of Early Childhood

Nov 13, 2017

In June 2013, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy established the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) by executive order to help close the achievement gap and prepare children for the future.

On May 28, 2014, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Public Act 14-39, formally establishing the Office of Early Childhood in statute. The agency provides a comprehensive, collaborative system for delivering services to children ages 0 to 5 and their families. The OEC brought together programs from five different agencies - the State Department of Education (SDE), Department of Social Services (DSS), Board of Regents (BOR), Department of Developmental Services (DDS), and Department of Public Health (DPH). Staggering the OEC’s implementation in phases enabled the new agency to account for the complexity of consolidating multiple programs without weakening the intended impact of such a move. Policymakers hoped that bringing these programs together in one cabinet-level agency would improve both the continuity and reach of early childhood programs.

Agency commissioners, early childhood education and development advocates, parents, caregivers and other stakeholders played a role in designing the structure and focus of the new agency. The agency has a staff of 107 employees with an operating budget consisting of federal, state and bond funds totaling over $273 million.

The planning of the OEC was made possible by support from the William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund, the Early Childhood Collaborative funders, and the Early Childhood Alliance. It will strengthen programming and provider training as well as improve access to early care and education programs for young children and their families.

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