Our Mission, Vision, and History

updated April 18, 2021

Our mission

To partner with families of young children to advance equitable early childhood policies, funding and programs; support early learning and development; and strengthen the critical role of all families, providers, educators, and communities throughout a child’s life.  We will assertively remove barriers and build upon the strengths of historically disenfranchised people and communities to ensure fair access to OEC resources.

Our vision

All young children in Connecticut are safe, healthy, learning, and thriving. Each child is surrounded by a strong network of nurturing adults who deeply value the importance of the first years of a child’s life and have the skills, knowledge, support, and passion to meet the unique needs of every child.

Our guiding principles

  • Intentionally frame our organization’s policies, practices and resources through the lens of advancing equity and anti-racism
  • Partner with families and communities to create family-driven programs that honor diverse languages, values, strengths and experiences
  • Conduct our internal and external relationships to promote respect, collaboration, and team growth
  • Inform decisions and policies by utilizing high quality inclusive research and data interpretation 
  • Deliver excellence and innovation in all aspects of agency work
  • Foster an efficient, coordinated, caring and professional culture throughout the agency  
  • Value early childhood as a critical time of learning through play and positive social and emotional connections to promote optimal development of the whole child within their family and community
  • Engage in continuous quality assessment to improve outcomes for children, families and early childhood providers
  • Advocate for funding and promote partnerships to support early childhood services
  • Ensure equitable access and respect for parent choice within all early childhood services

Our history

The OEC was created to improve the delivery of early childhood services for children in Connecticut. It’s a distinct, cabinet-level agency, incorporating early childhood programs previously from the Departments of Education, Social Services, Board of Regents, Developmental Services, and Public Health.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Public Act 14-39 establishing the Office of Early Childhood on May 28, 2014. 

Last updated April 8, 2021