Originally created in 1997, Wyoming’s 20-member Early Childhood State Advisory Council (ECSAC) supports collaboration and coordination across the state’s early education agencies and programs. A 2019 executive order outlines the Council’s duties:
- Conducting a periodic statewide needs assessment, broadly considering the community context and data indicators that reflect the well-being, health and success of young children and their families;
- Identifying opportunities for, and barriers to, practice and policy coordination and collaboration among federally funded child development, child care, and early childhood education programs and services, including collaboration and coordination among state agencies and partners responsible for administering such programs;
- Developing recommendations for the governor, state agencies, statewide and local early childhood initiatives, and/or direct services providers who work with young children and families;
- Working with state agencies to harness the expertise of early childhood providers and stakeholders in implementing state and federal grants, including the development of early childhood policies necessary for the Federal Child Care Development Block Grant Fund, and;
- Reporting once per year to the governor on the needs of Wyoming’s youngest children and the impact of the state’s early childhood programs, including recommendations and collaborative actions that would increase that impact. Members of the council include state agency administrators, elected officials, governor’s office staff, educators, parents, advocates, and others.
Wyoming Department of Family Services. (1997). Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council (ECSAC).
State of Wyoming Executive Department. (2019). Order 2019-4: Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council.
Wyoming Department of Family Services. (2019). Wyoming Early Childhood State Advisory Council Roster.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn more about ELS@H Findings
Strong infrastructure and systems – including governance structures and data systems – are key aspects of high-quality early education and care. And research suggests there is a need for more accessible, affordable, and high-quality early education within a mixed-delivery system; strengthening infrastructure and systems is one important way states and cities can take action to address these needs and accomplish these goals.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) that connect to the need for more robust infrastructure and systems, including data systems:
- Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
- But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
- No one early education setting type is inherently of higher quality than another; children develop and learn well in every setting type, and in the study, all setting types showed room to grow in quality.
- We have learned a great deal from this groundbreaking, large-scale study. Nevertheless, there is still much to learn about what children, families, and educators need, and about what “works” – for whom and under what circumstances – across all the diverse settings where young children learn and grow.