oec: About Us

About Us

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) was established in 2013 to coordinate and improve the various early childhood programs and components in the state to create a cohesive high-quality early childhood system.  
The OEC oversees a coordinated system of early childhood care, education and support. 

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 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 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 Work:


The Office of Early Childhood:

  • Provides funding, standards, regulations, training and oversight to ensure that early care and education programs for young children
    • are safe, healthy and nurturing;
    • effectively support children’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development; and,
    • are accessible to all children, particularly those facing barriers, risks or challenges to their healthy development and success.
  • Provides home visiting services, funding and training to support families raising young children to ensure the children’s health, well-being and positive growth and development and to prevent child abuse or neglect.
Organizational Chart:

The OEC is organized into four divisions:
The OEC is made up of programs that were originally housed in the following agencies:
  • Board of Regents
    • Connecticut Charts-A-Course
  • Department of Developmental Services
    • Birth to Three System
  • Department of Public Health
    • Child Day Care and Youth Camp Licensing
    • Home Visiting Program
  • Department of Social Services
    • Care 4 Kids
    • Children's Trust Fund
  • State Department of Education
    • Bureau of Teaching and Learning Early Childhood Activities
    • Early Childhood Special Education - IDEA Part B-619 (TBD)
Our History
Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Public Act 14-39, establishing the Office of Early Childhood, on May 28, 2014.
On June 24, 2013, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed Executive Order No. 35, recognizing the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) as the office responsible for coordinating and improving the delivery of early childhood services for Connecticut children. The new agency builds on work done in 2012 when Connecticut invested $9.8 million in early childhood initiatives, created 1,000 new spots for early learners, invested $3 million for a tiered quality rating and improvement system, and sought collaborative partnerships for Office of Early Childhood Planning.
The legislature passed a bill in 2011 that established a planning process to design a comprehensive early care and education system with the aid of a planning team. The team worked to create a plan that would address issues such as improving data collection, implement a quality rating and improvement system, streamlining licensing and funding sources, and coordinating between programs and entities. The planning team developed, "A Plan for an Early Childhood System for Connecticut: The Office of Early Childhood."
In 2005, the Early Childhood Education Cabinet was established. The Cabinet brought together representatives from the various state agencies and commissions which serve young children, as well as legislators and representatives from Head Start and School Readiness.
Commissioner's Office
  • All studies involving human subjects or records pertaining to them should be assumed to require IRB review until determined otherwise. In accordance with federal and state regulations and OEC policy, investigators must obtain approval through the Office of the Commissioner Institutional Review Board (IRB) for their research proposals.

Content Last Modified on 6/5/2017 9:21:34 AM