The Early Childhood Advisory Council has the following responsibilities pursuant to the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110-134:
a. Conduct a periodic statewide needs assessment concerning the quality and availability of early childhood education and development programs and services;
b. 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;
c. Develop recommendations for increasing the overall participation of children in existing programs, including outreach to underrepresented and special populations;
d. Develop recommendations regarding the establishment of a unified data collection system for public early childhood education and development programs;
e. Develop recommendations regarding statewide professional development and career advancement plans for early childhood educators;
f. Assess the capacity and effectiveness of two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education toward supporting the development of early childhood educators; and
g. Make recommendations for improvements in state early learning standards and undertake efforts to develop high-quality comprehensive early learning standards, as appropriate.
5. The Early Childhood Advisory Council has the following responsibilities under Minnesota Statutes 2008, Section 124D.141, Subdivision 2:
a. Make recommendations on the most efficient and effective way to leverage state and federal funding streams for early childhood and child care programs;
b. Make recommendations on how to coordinate or colocate early childhood and child care programs in one state Office of Early Learning;
c. Review program evaluations regarding high-quality early childhood programs; and
d. Make recommendations, including proposed legislation on how to most effectively create a high quality early childhood system in Minnesota in order to improve the educational outcomes of children so that all children are school-ready by 2020.
The Early Childhood Advisory Council will submit a statewide strategic report addressing the activities described in Paragraphs 4 and 5 to the Governor, the Legislature and the State Director of Head Start Collaboration. The report should be submitted on or before June 30, 2009.