Issue Two
March 2011

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Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates  

In This Issue
ECAC Framework

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This issue of the ECAC newsletter focuses primarily on exploring the Early Childhood System Cost Model being developed by the Finance Work Group with assistance from the consulting firm of Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, Inc. (APA). Want to design your own system for NYS and find out what it would cost? Wondering how much a particular program or service for children costs? Where the domain names came from? See below for an easy guide to understanding the Early Childhood System Cost Model. Also in this issue are Announcements of new publications or upcoming events. As always, your feedback is welcome. Send your comments to

ECAC Framework: Consistent with the Cost Model Domains

ECAC Framework 

Does this graphic look familiar?

The ECAC Early Childhood Systems Framework consists of four focus areas or Domains which shape our early childhood systems-building efforts.The Finance Work Group is also using the four Domains to form the foundation for the architecture of the Cost Model. Click here to open up a link to the Cost Elements under each of these Domains. For each of the above Domains, the cost model will report the current funding, total funding that is required to achieve a given level of quality services based on demographic information, and the funding gap.The current twelve months of funding that is available for each service element and the total funding is computed based on the number of children projected to participate in the service, based on the cost per child. 

Do the Walk!

The architecture will continue through to each Cost Element. If you are wondering how the Cost Model will work, see the illustration below or click here. In this case, the example given is in the Early Learning Domain and the Cost Element is Early Care and Learning.

Cost Model Architecture Let's Walk It Through......

Johnny Jones, who is 4 years old, goes to the Happy & Learning Child Care Center (H&LCCC) a licensed center. He is there all day. Let's say (hypothetically) H&LCCC has a four star rating (in QUALITY starsNY). If we are looking at cost for Johnny, we need the unit cost for high quality early care and learning. To determine that cost we would need to know expenses of the service such as qualified staff, management and H&LCCC's occupancy costs as well as the system costs for professional development, operating QSNY, licensing, and so forth.

Let's say we wanted to know how much it would cost for all the children in New York State age four to receive Early Care and Learning. To do that, we will need to gather current financing information on the following:

  • Preschool Special Education
  • Universal Prekindergarten
  • Head Start
  • Professional Development
  • Child Care Licensing
  • QSNY

We could then apply Johnny's cost for "early care and learning" to the total population of children age four in New York State.  Click here to see the architecture of this particular scenario.

Johnny Jones Cost Model 

Why Is This Important?

Our Cost Model will allow the user to modify the population and the programs and services to estimate the cost for the area of the early childhood system they choose.   


Save the Date!

The Quality Improvement Work Group will host a statewide videoconference to provide an overview of QUALITYstarsNY for stakeholders and policymakers on May 24th 2011 from 2 pm to 4 pm. Using a network of as many as 100 downlink sites, panelists and presenters will discuss the latest findings of the recently-completed Field Test and share with interested colleagues around New York State how the quality rating system is developing and what we can do to get ready for future statewide implementation.  Please join us!  More information coming soon to 

New Publication  
The National Center for Children in Poverty has just published a new report,   "State-level Indicators for Social-emotional Development: Building Better Systems"  by Elizabeth A. Isakson, Leslie L. Davidson, Louisa B. Higgins and Janice L. Cooper. 
Unlike other health indicators, social-emotional development data for young children is not easily available, due in part to a lack of universally accepted indicators and infrastructure for its collection. The report details the process of creating a system of indicators for social-emotional wellness, highlights states' experiences, and addresses key issues for policymakers.

Check It Out

Opportunities in Public Policy to Support Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: The Role of Psychologists and Policymakers is a new paper by Florence Nelson, PhD, of ZERO TO THREE and Tammy Mann, PhD, of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Published by the American Psychological Association, the paper emphasizes the importance of the creation and integration of services for parents and caregivers of young children so they can recognize mental health issues in infants and young children and are able to find help.

Conference Highlights Available

Last year, members and staff of the ECAC (Mary McHugh, Dr. Dina Lieser, MD and Susan Perkins) attended the national BUILD Initiative meeting,

Healthy Mental Development in Young Children: Policy Strategies to Ensure School Readiness.  The meeting provided an opportunity for 14 states from across the country to discuss the multidimensional facets of healthy child mental development as related to policy and practice. The conference offered peer-to-peer learning and sharing between national leaders of child health planning and policy and state teams as well as opportunities for state level planning and networking. Materials from the meeting are available on the Build website. 

Thank you for your interest in the Early Childhood Advisory Council. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me at:


Regina Canuso

Project Manager 


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