An effective early childhood system must ensure that parents can provide the nurturing and stability young children need to grow and develop, that children’s health care needs are addressed, and that early care and education settings meet children’s supervision and developmental needs.
In the United States, more than 60% of all children from birth to five spend time in the care of someone other than their parents. Early care and education services are provided by a wide range of programs with varying designs, purposes and oversight. States have increasingly sought to develop new governance structures that align authority and oversight of early childhood programs and services.
No single answer exists. The “right” governance structure will vary from state to state and even within a state for a different system-building purpose. In most instances, multiple planning and governance structures are needed to construct an early learning system at the state level, at the community level, and over time. BUILD helps states by sharing helpful governance models and factors to consider in developing planning and governance approaches.