New Jersey Department of Education

DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Council for Young Children »DECE Home

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the New Jersey Council for Young Children?

The New Jersey Council for Young Children (NJCYC) is an advisory group that provides recommendations to the Inter Department Planning Group, who reports to the Early Learning Commission, to enhance the coordination and quality of early childhood systems from pregnancy through age 8.

I have heard about an Inter-Department Group and Early Learning Commission regarding the Council, how are they connected?

The New Jersey Council for Young Children, the Inter Department Planning Group and the Early Learning Commission work together to move the early education and care agenda forward. The Council is the group that collects the background information about optimal programs and services, develops materials, makes policy recommendations, and sets the early education and care agenda. The Council is made up of the state's early education and care stakeholders across disciplines of education, health, labor, human services, children and families and Head Start. The Inter Department Planning Group consists of the administrators from each of the state's departments with oversight of programs and services for children from pregnancy to age eight, including the Head Start Collaboration Director. The group considers the feasibility of each recommendation, makes plans for implementation and ultimately carries out the plan, in collaboration with other state organizations and agencies. The Early Learning Commission is made up of the four Commissioners of the Departments of Children and Families, Education, Health, and Human Services, and the Council Chair. The Chair brings Council recommendations to the Early Learning Commission for its consideration. Ultimately, the Commission makes the final decision about funding allocations and significant policy decisions.

Do other states have a Council for Young Children?

Yes. All states had the opportunity through the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act to apply to the federal government for funding to create a State Advisory Council (SAC).

How can you become a member of the NJCYC?

If you are interested in becoming a member of the NJCYC, please put your request in writing and send it to, who will bring it to the attention of the Chair and Co-Chair.

I don't understand how the NJCYC and its committees/workgroup operate?

The work of the Council mostly occurs in the committees and workgroup. For example, the Early Care and Education Workforce Committee is in the process of revising the NJ Early Childhood Core Knowledge and Competencies.  The same is true for other projects that have been generated by the Council. Another example is the Birth to Three Early Learning Standards, these standards were created by the Early Care and Education Standards Workgroup (formerly the Learning and Development Standards Committee).

Who can serve on the committees/workgroup?

Anyone who feels they can contribute to the work of a particular committee and/or workgroup  can serve on any of the NJCYC committees/workgroups. Interested individuals should either email the Chair/Co-Chair of the committee/workgroup or email  

Is the NJCYC now the Council for Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge?

No, the New Jersey Council is not the Council for Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge. However, the Council does support the efforts and activities of RTT-ELC through work being done by the various committees and workgroup: Communication Committee, Data Committee (Intergrated Data System), Early Care and Education Workforce (revision of the NJ Early Care and Education Core Knowledge and Competencies), Family & Community Engagement Committee (development of Parent Standards), and the Early Care and Education Standards Workgroup (alignment between the Birth to Three Early Learning Standards and the Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards).

Is the Council involved in Grow NJ Kids?

Grow NJ Kids is a state-sponsored initiative to raise the quality of child care and early learning throughout New Jersey. For more information, visit: Grow NJ Kids.