Executive Order Creating the Office of Early Childhood Development
WHEREAS, the achievement gap that often impedes children living in poverty from attaining the same academic and life successes as their more affluent peers is persistent from birth; and
WHEREAS, policies that narrow the achievement gap are critical components of an education system that meets the needs of all children and prepares them to compete in the global economy; and
WHEREAS, research shows that high-quality early learning programs that help infants, toddlers and preschoolers to develop the cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills necessary for school success represent a powerful strategy to strengthen education and close the achievement gap; and
WHEREAS, the creation of the Illinois Early Learning Council (hereinafter the “Council”) by members of the General Assembly is a major step toward establishing a statewide high-quality early childhood system; and
WHEREAS, the vision of the Council is that all children in Illinois start school safe, healthy, eager to learn and ready to succeed; and
WHEREAS, the Council is charged with working to meet the early learning needs of children from birth to age five and their families by establishing a high-quality, accessible, and comprehensive statewide early learning system; and
WHEREAS, the Council has been designated as the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care, making it eligible for federal funds available to support State Advisory Councils; and
WHEREAS, the Council in June 2009 recommended the creation of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development to coordinate the work of the Council and its committees, support collaborative efforts to coordinate, improve, and expand existing early childhood programs and services, and signal the importance of early learning in the State of Illinois; and
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, pursuant to the supreme executive authority of the Governor as set forth in Article V, Section 8 of the Illinois Constitution, do hereby order as follows:
The Office of Early Childhood Development (hereinafter the “Office”) is created within the Office of the Governor, as of May 1, 2010. This Office shall be responsible for guiding the efforts of the Council as it works to advance a comprehensive, statewide early childhood system.
- The purpose of the Office is to coordinate the work of the Council and its committees, and support collaborative efforts to coordinate, improve, and expand existing early childhood programs and services for children from birth to age five and their families.
- The Office will be responsible for reporting annually on the work of the Council as required by the Illinois Early Learning Council Act (Public Act 93-380), and will be responsible for ensuring that the Council continues to meet the requirements for State Advisory Councils as outlined in the Head Start Act.
- The Office will develop initiatives that address and promote access, quality, and accountability in early childhood services.
- The Office will work across state agencies to assist in the implementation of recommendations of the Council, and analyze and discern policy challenges and opportunities in Illinois.
- FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
The Office shall use federal funds and existing state resources and employees, with no additional cost to the State.
In addition to whatever policies and procedures it may adopt, the Office will be subject to the provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.) and the Illinois Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.). This section shall not be construed so as to preclude other statutes from applying to the Office and its activities.
- SAVINGS CLAUSE
Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to contravene any state or federal law.
If any provision of this Executive Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Executive Order which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Executive Order are declared to be severable.
Issued by the Governor: June 7, 2010
Filed with the Secretary of State: June 7, 2010