Issue Six

July 2011

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Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates  

In This Issue
NY Enters Early Learning Challenge
Progress Report Unveiled

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Greetings!  This issue includes the Governor's press release announcing New York's entry into the competition for the Early Learning Challenge Grant, unveils the ECAC's Progress Report, and reports on QUALITYstarsNY and Work Group developments.


As always, please send ideas or comments to  We want to hear from you! 

It's Official: New York in the Running for the Early Learning Challenge

On Friday, July 15th, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York intends to compete in the federal Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge. New York is eligible to receive up to $100 million to improve the quality and access of early learning programs that provide a solid foundation for all of New York's children.


ECAC Co-chair Bob Frawley remarked that we "are ready to take the next step in establishing a high quality system of early care and education that meets the needs of our youngest citizens", and ECAC Co-chair Sherry Cleary stated that "New York state is poised to lead the nation in building a system of services that ensures improved outcomes for children. This grant opportunity would provide the support needed to build that system." To read the entire press release, click here.


Background: In May, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the new $500 million Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge "to encourage states to develop bold and comprehensive plans for raising the quality of early learning programs across America."

This unprecedented federal grant competition for states presents the early learning field with a unique opportunity to help state leaders strategically leverage a new significant federal investment into practices and policies that can help close the achievement gap for all children.  The Challenge is an incredible opportunity for states to make strategic advances in early education reform, and to plan early learning systems with a coherent vision for providing services to young children in ways that improve child outcomes and maximize the efficient use of resources. New York is ready to meet the Challenge!

ECAC Progress Report: Mapping the Road to Success for Children and Families


The ECAC is pleased to unveil its Progress Report, which charts the course of the ECAC in providing direction and leadership on implementing the early childhood agenda for New York's young children and their families.  The Progress Report demonstrates the ECAC's commitment to achieving its goals of Healthy Children, Strong Families, Quality Early Learning and Coordinated and Responsive Systems.  Click here to read the Progress Report and learn more about the ECAC's work in building a statewide system to ensure success for our youngest citizens.



Getting the Message Out!

In response to a Times-Union editorial, Still Failing After All These Years,, letters were written by ECAC Quality Improvement Work Group Co-chair Anne Mitchell and by Winning Beginning conveners Kate Breslin and Marsha Basloe, to underscore and expand on the message of the editorial regarding the importance of the early years. Check out the letters at: and .

Thank you to all our ECAC members and friends for continuing to get the message out!


We're Growing! Two ECAC Work Groups Welcome Representatives from Afterschool Programs

The Quality Improvement and Workforce Development Work Groups now include representatives from New York's school-aged child care community.  Sanjiv Rao, Executive Director of the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) and Lynn Siebert from AfterSchool Works NY recently joined the Quality Improvement Work Group (QIWG).  The QIWG has begun to draft standards for this group, with the expertise and assistance from our newest members. Workforce Development now includes both Sanjiv Rao and Candace LaRue of NYSAN, whose expertise and experience in supporting the professional development of the afterschool workforce will be invaluable to this Work Group.


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 

NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council

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