Our Mission, Vision, and History

Our mission

To support all young children in their development by ensuring that early childhood policy, funding, and services strengthen the critical role families, providers, educators, and communities play in a child’s life.

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

  • Build family-centered and family-driven systems for all children in Connecticut
  • Prioritize children facing barriers, risks, setbacks, or challenges to their healthy development
  • Foster a deep respect for cultural differences in child rearing practices
  • Honor families’ diverse languages, values, strengths, and needs
  • Consider the whole child, his or her family, and his or her community setting
  • Value early childhood as a time of learning through play and building positive relationships
  • Ensure equal access to and parent choice within all early childhood services
  • Operate in an efficient, coordinated, caring, professional, and effective manner
  • Confront and eliminate institutional racism and disparities
  • Engage in continuous and system quality improvement
  • Utilize current best practices, available research, and data
  • Nurture and value collaborative partnerships, innovation, and self-reflection

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 January 10, 2020