EXECUTIVE ORDER
21-02

WHEREAS, early childhood is the most formative developmental period of life, with ninety percent of brain development occurring by age five, and early brain development linked to social and emotional development, health, and academic performance well into adulthood; and

WHEREAS, early childhood education, home visiting, and child care programs are critical to Missouri families in raising safe, healthy, and school-ready children; and

WHEREAS, early childhood education, home visiting, and child care programs are currently housed in three different state agencies, with varying visions and goals for the programs and services they provide; and

WHEREAS, integrating, aligning, and coordinating Missouri’s public and private childhood education, home visiting, and child care programs will lead to better outcomes, improve the overall effectiveness of the state’s early childhood support and services, and improve access for Missouri families; and

WHEREAS, early childhood education, home visiting, and child care programs are also critical to the stability and strength of the overall workforce; and

WHEREAS, safe, healthy, and school-ready children have the greatest opportunities to participate in the workforce later in their lives and to meaningfully contribute to a thriving, sustainable economy; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Health and Senior Services is created pursuant to section 192.005, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Early Childhood Comprehensive System, Safe Sleep and Safe Cribs program, and Home Visiting Unit within the Section for Healthy Families and Youth, and the Child Care Health Consultation Program within the Section for Women’s Health, within the Division of Community and Public Health of the Department of Health and Senior Services are created pursuant to section 192.050, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Section for Child Care Regulation within the Division of Regulation and Licensure of the Department of Health and Senior Services is created pursuant to sections 192.050 and 210.221, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Social Services is created pursuant to Article IV, Section 12, of the Missouri Constitution and Chapter 660, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Home Visiting Program within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services is created pursuant to section 161.215, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Purchase of Child Care Program within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services is created pursuant to sections 161.215, 208.044, and 208.046, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Child Care Subsidy Program within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services is created pursuant to sections 161.215, 208.044, and 208.046, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Early Childhood Section within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services is created pursuant to Chapter 207, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the State Board of Education is created pursuant to Article IX, Section 2(a), of the Missouri Constitution, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is created pursuant to Article IV, Section 12, of the Missouri Constitution and section 161.020, RSMo; and

WHEREAS, the Office of Early Learning is located within the Division of Learning Services of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; and

WHEREAS, federal law establishes public assistance programs, separately, that fund numerous programs within the foregoing departments, divisions, and sections; and

NOW, THEREFORE I, MICHAEL PARSON, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri, including Article IV, Section 12, the Missouri Constitution, Chapter 26, RSMo, and the Omnibus State Reorganization Act of 1974, hereby establish the Office of Childhood within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and order the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri Department of Social Services, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to cooperate to:

Carry out the mission of the Office of Childhood by working together to ensure that Missouri children are safe, healthy, and successful learners; and  

Transfer the authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Early Childhood Comprehensive System, Safe Sleep and Safe Cribs program, and Home Visiting Unit within the Section for Healthy Families and Youth and the Child Care Health Consultation Program within the Section for Women’s Health within the Division of Community and Public Health of the Department of Health and Senior Services to the Office of Childhood, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and

Transfer all authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Section for Child Care Regulation within the Division of Regulation and Licensure of the Department of Health and Senior Services to the Office of Childhood, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and

Transfer or share the authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Home Visiting Program within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services to the Office of Childhood, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and

Transfer or share the authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Purchase of Child Care Program within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services to the Office of Childhood, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and

Transfer or share the authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Child Care Subsidy Program within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services to the Office of Childhood, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and

Transfer or share the authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Early Childhood Section within the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services to the Office of Childhood, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and

Transfer all authority, powers, duties, functions, records, personnel, property, contracts, budgets, matters pending, and other pertinent vestiges of the Office of Early Learning within the Division of Learning Services of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to the Office of Childhood, by Type I transfer, as defined under the Reorganization Act of 1974; and

The Office of Childhood is charged with coordinating these early childhood education, home visiting, and child care functions to ensure seamless alignment, equitable access, and effective service delivery; and

The Office of Childhood shall take the steps necessary to maintain compliance with federal requirements, such as filing any necessary state plan amendments, so as not to jeopardize federal financial participation.

This Order shall become effective no sooner than August 28, 2021, unless disapproved within sixty days of its submission to the First Regular Session of the 101st General Assembly.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 28th day of January, 2021.

[Michael L. Parson’s signature]
MICHAEL L. PARSON
GOVERNOR

ATTEST:

[Jay Ashcroft’s signature]
JOHN R. ASHCROFT
SECRETARY OF STATE

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