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, Executive Order 21-02 created the Office of Childhood within the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in furtherance of this goal; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education established the State Interagency Coordinating Council in 2005 pursuant to section 160.905, RSMo, for the purpose of maintaining compliance with 34 C.F.R. Part 303 Subpart G; and
WHEREAS, the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, 42 U.S.C. § 9837b(b)(1)(A), requires the governor of each state to designate or establish a state advisory council on early childhood education and care as part of a parallel federal effort to ensure coordination and collaboration within the states; and
WHEREAS, the Missouri Coordinating Board for Early Childhood (“Coordinating Board”) was created in 2004 in section 210.102, RSMo, prior to the creation of the Office of Childhood, to serve as a coordinating body for interagency early childhood programs and services under 42 U.S.C. § 9837b(b)(1)(A); and
WHEREAS, the Office of Childhood integrated nearly all state early childhood programs and services into one agency, thereby necessitating a repurposing of the Coordinating Board; and
WHEREAS, the Governor is further required by 42 U.S.C. § 9837b(b)(1)(A)(ii) to designate an individual charged with coordinating the activities of the state advisory council; and
WHEREAS, for the efficient functioning of government, the state advisory and coordinating responsibilities should be integrated into one body to avoid duplication of efforts and streamline support staff activities.
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, hereby establish the Missouri Early Childhood State Advisory Council (“Advisory Council”) and designate the members of the State Interagency Coordinating Council to serve as the Advisory Council.
The Advisory Council shall consist of the following members, as required by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1431–1444, and 42 U.S.C. § 9837b(b)(1)(C), and as appointed by the Governor:
- One representative from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- One representative from the Missouri Department of Social Services.
- One representative from the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
- One representative from the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance.
- One member from the Missouri General Assembly.
- One individual involved in personnel preparation.
- One representative of a local educational agency in Missouri.
- One representative of an institution of higher education in Missouri.
- The State Director of Missouri Head Start.
- One early care and education provider.
- One representative designated by the Office of the Coordination of Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
- Four First Steps providers.
- Four parents of children with disabilities age twelve or younger, with knowledge of, or experience with, programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities. One of those parents must be a parent of a child with a disability age six or younger.
The membership of the State Interagency Coordinating Council shall now be modified to be identical to the Advisory Council. However, the Advisory Council shall act as a distinct entity for the purpose of fulfilling the responsibilities outlined here. Each member of the State Interagency Coordinating Council shall be considered a voting member of the Advisory Council. The State Interagency Coordinating Council minutes shall explicitly distinguish actions and votes of the Advisory Council, and the Advisory Council must officially adjourn prior to acting as the State Interagency Coordinating Council. Each Advisory Council member’s term shall be concurrent with his or her service to the State Interagency Coordinating Council.
The Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Childhood is designated to coordinate the activities of the Advisory Council.
The Advisory Council shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
- The Advisory Council shall meet the criteria and carry out the duties and function prescribed by relevant federal law, in addition to any responsibilities assigned to the Advisory Council by the Governor, including:
- Conduct a periodic statewide needs assessment concerning the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services for children from birth to school entry, including an assessment of the availability of high-quality pre-kindergarten services for low-income children;
- Identify opportunities for, and barriers to, collaboration and coordination among federally-funded and state-funded child development, child care, and early childhood education programs and services, including collaboration and coordination among state agencies responsible for administering such programs;
- Develop recommendations for increasing the overall participation of children in existing federal, state, and local childcare and early childhood education programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations;
- Develop recommendations regarding the establishment of a unified data collection system for public early childhood education and development programs and services;
- Develop recommendations regarding statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educators;
- Assess the capacity and effectiveness of 2- and 4-year public and private institutions of higher education toward supporting the development of early childhood educators, including the extent to which such institutions have in place articulation agreement, professional development, and career advancement plans, and practice or internships for students to spend time in a Head Start or pre-kindergarten program;
- Make recommendations for improvements in state early learning standards and undertake efforts to develop high-quality comprehensive early learning standards, as appropriate; and
- Perform all other functions, as permitted under federal and state law, to improve coordination and delivery of early childhood education and development to children.
- The Advisory Council shall hold public hearings and provide an opportunity for public comment on the activities as described in paragraph 1 and shall periodically submit a statewide strategic report addressing the activities described in paragraph 1 to the state Director of Head Start Collaboration and the Governor, under 42 U.S.C. § 9837b(b)(1)(D)(ii).
Members of the Advisory Council shall serve voluntarily. Members of the Advisory Council shall not receive compensation for performance of their duties, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses associated with performance of their duties, subject to the availability of funds. Officers or employees of state agencies who are appointed to the Advisory Council as part of their duties shall be authorized to participate on the Advisory Council and may claim subsistence, allowance, mileage, or associated expenses from their respective agency budgets as permitted by law.
The Advisory Council shall be subject to Chapter 610, RSMo.
In order to facilitate the work of the Advisory Council, Missouri’s public agencies shall, to the extent permissible under state and federal law, assist in providing all data necessary to fulfill the Advisory Council’s duties.
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 7th day of January, 2022.
[Michael L. Parson’s signature]
MICHAEL L. PARSON
[Jay Ashcroft’s signature]
JOHN R. ASHCROFT
SECRETARY OF STATE