When the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) met on September 7, the members were invited to inform the development of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Early Childhood Action Plan. Governor Cooper issued an executive order at the end of August directing DHHS to create and lead such a plan. Senior administration officials reminded the ECAC members that strengthening early childhood is one of the Governor’s top DHHS priorities, along with addressing the opioid crisis and transforming Medicaid.
Much of the meeting was dedicated to outlining the emerging Early Childhood Action Plan and collecting the members’ feedback. Members divided into working groups that reflected the three goals of the emerging plan—that all North Carolina young children from birth through age eight will be healthy, safe and nurtured, and learning and ready to succeed. ECAC members reacted to draft data indicators for each section and brainstormed related strategies for action.
The Early Childhood Action Plan is being developed in close collaboration with the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading work. The plan should be ready for public comment by November 1.