Early Childhood Governance

Shifting our approach to governance

Children with access to high quality experiences early in life do better in school and are more likely to be employed, be healthy, and earn a higher income later in life.

As understanding of the importance of the early years has grown, bipartisan efforts to support young children and their families have also increased over the past several decades. These investments are now spread across agencies, divisions and offices within Alaska leading to fragmentation in policy, funding, and programming and missed opportunities to better support young children and their families in Alaska.

Since 2019, A2P2 and its partners have actively participated in a national movement to improve early childhood governance, joining other states in recognizing that a patchwork of early childhood programs and investments is not efficient, effective or easily accountable.

Creating a new mechanism for early childhood governance is a priority in the current strategic plan:

Alaska is Part of a National Movement to Improve Early Childhood Governance

States have started to recognize that that the patchwork of early childhood programs is not efficient, effective, or easily accountable. Across the nation, nearly 20 states have already redesigned their early childhood governance to provide more clear authority and lines of accountability, and many more are currently considering changes like Alaska.

Seven states have created new cabinet-level agencies:

Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Washington.

Thirteen states have consolidated some services for young children into a single office or division:

Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

Many other states have a coordinated system, where accountability and authority to coordinate programs across multiple parts of government rests within a Children’s Cabinet or Early Childhood Office, located in the Governor’s Office, or is designated to one agency.

Alaska Early Childhood Environmental Scan

Baseline Report on the Condition of Young Children

This report is a resource for policymakers, program managers, service providers, and anyone who cares about Alaska’s young children and families. It is not intended to define the system as it should be, but to start a conversation about how to achieve a shared vision of healthy, thriving young children and families in Alaska.