What We Do

The earliest years of a child’s life have a huge impact. They shape who that child will grow up to be, affecting their future health, education, and success.

That’s why the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) focuses on children from birth into grade school. Helping young children learn, develop, and overcome barriers will have benefits that last a lifetime.

OEC is a state agency that oversees a network of programs and services that help young children and families thrive. And a key part of that work is supporting the providers, teachers, and other professionals who’ve dedicated their careers to caring for and educating children.

We help children and families

OEC works hard to support and strengthen families in Connecticut. At OEC, we:

  • Help parents find and pay for high-quality licensed child care and camps
  • Inspect and license child care programs and camps, so parents can trust that their children are in good hands 
  • Offer trainings and resources to help parents build their parenting skills 
  • Oversee programs for families with children who have developmental delays and disabilities 
  • Help protect children and prevent child abuse

We help early childhood professionals

No job is more important than caring for and educating children. To support our partners in the early childhood field, we: 

  • Guide providers through the licensing and background checks process
  • Offer training, scholarships, and development opportunities to professionals to build their careers
  • Provide funding to programs that offer services to families
How can we help you?

Take a look at our contact page to find staff and programs.

Learn more about us

Find out what we believe — and how we got here

Read about OEC’s foundational beliefs and goals. Check out our mission, vision, and history page

Read about our plans for the future 

At OEC, we’re always working on better ways to help children and families. So we hold public meetings, survey families, talk with advocates, conduct provider focus groups, and gather data to help us understand what children and families in Connecticut need and how we can help.

To map out our future, we developed a Strategic Plan to identify broad goals through 2020. And to help prioritize our work toward those goals, we’ve also collaboratively created an Action Plan with four short-term, targeted, areas of focus. Learn about our plans.

Last updated July 9, 2021