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BYLAWS FOR THE NEW JERSEY COUNCIL FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
January, 2016

SUBCHAPTER 1. AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

Procedure
These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the NJ Council for Young Children, hereinafter referred to as the Council, by a vote of the majority of the whole number of the members of the Council, provided that notice of the proposed amendments shall have been sent to each member at least two weeks before the date of such vote.

Code of Ethics
The public members of the Council and its components shall submit to New Jersey Uniform Ethics Code, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:13D-23.

Non-Discriminatory Policy
The New Jersey Council for Young Children does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members, staff, volunteers, subcontractors and vendors.         

SUBCHAPTER 2.  PURPOSE, MISSION AND MEMBERSHIP

The New Jersey Council for Young Children was created through an Executive Order signed by the Governor, pursuant to Federal Legislation and is the state entity responsible for assuring collaboration and coordination among all the early childhood programs in the state.

(a) The mission of the Council is to strengthen state-level coordination and collaboration among all early childhood programs. 

(1) The Council shall develop a Strategic Plan that addresses the following areas: needs assessment, data, collaboration (systems and participation), learning standards, professional development, health and higher education.

(2) After the submission of the strategic plan, the Council shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Governor each July.

(b) The following officials, or their designees, shall serve on the Council, ex officio, and with a vote:

(1) the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services;
(2) the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education;
(3) the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health;
(4) the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; and (5) the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and  Families.

(c)  The Council also shall consist of the following public members:

(1) a representative of a local educational agency in the State;
(2) a representative of an institution of higher education in the State;
(3) a representative of a local provider of early childhood education and development services in the State or an organization representing such providers;
(4) a representative from Head Start agencies located in the State, including migrant and seasonal Head Start programs and Indian Head Start programs;
(5) the President of the New Jersey Head Start Association;
(6) the State Director of Head Start Collaboration;
(7) the State Director of Title 1;
(8) the State Homeless Education Coordinator; and
(9) at least six other members who either represent entities or interest groups or constituencies determined by the Governor to be relevant to the Council's work, such that their participation will be of assistance to the Council, or who have expertise or significant experience in early childhood education, preschool education, Head Start programs, child development, child care, health expertise and the education and training of early childhood teachers, regardless of their organizational affiliation.

(d) The public members of the council shall serve for a term of three years. Ex officio members that are reappointed or replaced will be considered effective until the date of the prior term expiration. There will be an optional renewal of two years.

(e) Council vacancies from among the members shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the remainder of the unexpired term.  Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council is to be filled in the same manner as an original appointment and the vacancy is not to affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council. 

(f) The Council members shall serve without compensation.

(g) The Council will provide new members with information about the Council including the following:

  • History
  • Terms, Bylaws and Procedures
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Subcommittee options

(h)  Each Council member shall attend at least 50% of all annually scheduled council meetings.  Attendance for the year will begin in September and will end in August of the following year. 

Every effort should be made to attend the meeting. However, in the rare occasion where it is impossible for the Council member to attend, one consistent alternate can attend in his/her absence. The alternate is required to report back to the Council member and ensure that the Council member is apprised of the issues covered during the meeting.  In the event that a vote is required during the Council meeting, the alternate will serve as Council member's proxy vote.  To ensure continuity, the appointed designee shall remain the same throughout the year.

If council member misses more than 50% of all annually scheduled council meetings, the Council member shall reconsider their association on the council.

(i)  The Council members shall attend scheduled meetings pursuant to (f) above; serve on and participate in committee meetings and fulfill all responsibilities as outlined in Executive Order 162.

(j) The Council members shall join at least one subcommittee and will actively participate.
It was determined that a Council member's "active participation" can include participating in person or using alternate technology, such as a conference call,  Skype, or Gotomeeting.

Council Membership Terms

(a) Members will receive written notification about their term expiration.

(b) Members will notify the Chair of the Council in writing whether or not they would like to serve on the council for an additional term. This notification must be received three months in advance of the expiration.

(c) The Chair will ask the Council for recommendations for replacement members after receiving expiring members' intentions. Recommendations will be narrowed through electronic correspondence.

(d) The member recommendations for continuing terms or replacement members will be submitted to the Governor's Office two months in advance of the expiration.

(e) Department representatives will be determined by each Department Commissioner.

(f) With the exception of Commissioners or their designees, all members will be approved by the Governor's office.

Steering Committee
The chairs and co-chairs of the subcommittees will serve on the Steering Committee which will convene in between regular Council meetings. Duties of the Steering Committee will include:

  • Creating the agenda for the Council meeting.
  • Overseeing the implementation of the membership bylaws by making recommendations for additions to the Council, approving term extensions, evaluating participation of the members to ensure that they meet their roles and responsibilities.
  • Make recommendations for any immediate issues that need to be addressed.

Council & Subcommittee Membership

Title and terms
Each Committee Co-chair will serve in that position for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of two years.  In the event one of the Committee Co-chairs is unable to fulfill his/her 12-month term, he/she should notify the Council about Co-chair resignation at least two weeks before the next Council meeting.  An interim Co-chair can be elected until the above election procedure can be followed.

(a) Recommendations may be made by Council members to the Chair of the Council for additional individuals to serve on subcommittees of the Council, if necessary, in order to assist with the work of the council. 

(1)  Upon receiving recommendations, the chair will send a letter of invitation to the individuals requesting their participation on a particular subcommittee. 

(2)  The Chair will advise the chair of the subcommittee of the individual's decision to participate as soon as it is known.   

(3)  Once the Chair advises the chair of the subcommittee of the individual's participation status, the chair of the committee shall be responsible for informing subcommittee members of all meeting dates, times, and locations of the subcommittee meetings.

(b) Membership on a subcommittee shall terminate once the work of the subcommittee is completed. 

(1) Upon completion of the work of any subcommittee, subcommittee members will receive a letter from the Chair of the Council thanking them for their participation on the subcommittee.

County Councils for Young Children

(a) Each County Council will have a member that serves on a statewide county council.

(b) Two of these individuals will be selected to serve on the NJ Council for Young Children to ensure local representation and parent voice

SUBCHAPTER 3. MEETINGS

Parliamentary procedures

Parliamentary procedures in meetings of the NJ Council for Young Children shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 10th Edition.

Regular meetings
Regular meetings of the NJ Council for Young Children shall be held at such time, place and on such dates as established by the Chair.  These meetings are open to the public. The Council shall meet at least four times per year to review the implementation of the recommendations in the strategic report and consider any change to state and local needs.  In addition to regular meetings, the council shall hold one public hearing per year.

Order of business at regular meetings

(a) The normal order of business at all regular meetings shall be:

1. Approval or amendment of minutes of the previous meeting;
2. Report of the Chair of the NJ Council for Young Children;
3. Report of the Executive Director of the NJ Council for Young Children
4. Report of special committees;
5. Consideration of action items for discussion or vote of the voting members;
6. New business.

(b) The order of business may be rearranged at any regular meeting for the purpose of expediting and facilitating the functions of the Council.

Quorum
A quorum shall consist of a majority of the number of voting members of the NJ Council for Young Children. By order of Executive Order 162 the NJ Council for Young Children shall not exceed 25 members.

Special meetings
Special meetings may be called by the Chair at any time.

SUBCHAPTER 4.  CHAIR OF THE NEW JERSEY COUNCIL FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Title and terms
The Chair of the NJ Council for Young Children shall serve as the official officer. The Chair shall serve until a respective successor is appointed by the governor. The Council will also have a Vice Chair, who will serve in tandem with the Chair. Council members may submit Vice Chair nominations for this elected position. The Vice Chair will be selected by a majority vote of the active members in attendance at that Council meeting. A Department of Education staff member shall serve as Secretary of the NJ Council for Young Children.

Duties of the Chair

(a) The Chair shall preside over meetings of the full NJ Council for Young Children to ensure that its business is carried out fairly and efficiently. The Chair shall perform all duties incidental to such office. The Chair or his/her designee shall serve as an ex officio member of all committees.

(b) The Chair shall present to the NJ Council for Young Children recommendations for its action in all matters requiring its approval or subject to its jurisdiction.

Duties of the Vice Chair

(a) The Vice Chair will support the Chair and attend each Council meeting.  Vice Chair will be responsible for facilitating Council meetings with the Chair. 

(b) The Vice Chair will serve for three years.  In the event Vice Chair is unable to fulfill his/her three-year term, he/she should notify the Council about his/her resignation at least two weeks before the next Council meeting.  An interim Vice Chair can be elected until the above election procedure can be followed.  Vice Chair may be reelected.  Three months prior to expiration of Vice Chair's term, Vice Chair must send written notification to the Chair requesting that the Council vote to reelect the Vice Chair.  Council shall vote at the next scheduled Council meeting to reelect the Vice Chair or accept nominations for a new Vice Chair.

Duties of the Secretary

(a) The Secretary of the NJ Council for Young Children shall attend its meetings, keep a record of its proceedings and has custody of its books and papers.

(b) The Secretary will notify the members of all meetings and shall notify the members of each committee of any matter referred to it.

Appointment of the Chair

The Chair of the NJ Council for Young Children shall be appointed by the governor and serve for the term prescribed by Executive Order 162.

SUBCHAPTER 5.  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW JERSEY COUNCIL FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Title and terms

The Council may appoint an Executive Director to serve at the Council's discretion and to carry out whatever duties the Council decides.  The Executive Director shall be paid an annual salary approved by the Department of Education.  Subject to such supervisory powers as are vested in the Chair, the Executive Director shall supervise, direct, and control the business of the Council and actively manage its business, and shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Chair or by these bylaws.

Duties of the Executive Director

The Executive Director shall fulfill all duties set forth in the Executive Director's job description. The Executive Director shall be expected to attend all meetings of the Council and its committees. The Executive Director shall be the Chair of the Steering Committee, which comprises all the chairs and co-chairs of the Council committees and workgroups.