Hall-Long to chair Delaware Office of Early Learning advisory committee

Delaware News Desk
Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long is set to chair a panel of early childhood stakeholders in support of the Delaware Department of Education’s newly created Early Childhood Support Team, which includes the Office of Early Learning and Office of Childcare Licensing, which relocated to the department from another state agency.

Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long is set to chair a panel of early childhood stakeholders in support of the Delaware Department of Education’s newly created Early Childhood Support Team, which includes the Office of Early Learning and Office of Childcare Licensing, which relocated to the department from another state agency.   

The process convened with support from The Hunt Institute, a North Carolina-based education policy think tank, which will assist with the recent transition of OCCL.   

The effort to consolidate Delaware’s early childhood programming and governance has been a priority for Gov. John Carney’s administration and supported by advocates and leaders from across Delaware. In October, the governor joined with Department of Education leaders to announce the hiring of Yvette Sanchez Fuentes in the role of associate secretary for Early Childhood Support.   

“Our hope is that by bringing the oversight of these programs together we can not only achieve greater efficiency and alignment, but also create a stronger set of supports for Delaware’s young children, families and preschool providers,” said Hall-Long. “I’m grateful for the support of The Hunt Institute and confident that a strong stakeholder feedback process will help Associate Secretary Sanchez Fuentes in guiding the newly expanded work of her office.”   

“The consolidation of services into one department not only makes it easier for childcare providers and families to navigate the informational system and find supports but also helps educators better coordinate between early childhood and K12 services,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting. “This alignment helps us support a consistent birth to high school graduation continuum.”   

The committee, which includes state lawmakers, agency leaders, early childhood providers and representatives of Delaware’s business community, will meet virtually between March and June. The Hunt Institute has recently supported similar early childhood governance transitions in New Mexico, Alabama and Missouri. 

“Particularly at points of major transition, the opportunity to bring key stakeholders together to advise the process is a tremendous asset to incoming leaders,” said Javaid Siddiqi, president and CEO of The Hunt Institute. “We’re so pleased to be able to offer our support to Delaware and the Committee.”    

Across four monthly meetings, the committee will hear from national leaders, explore best practices, and provide the department feedback on goals, outcome measures and the operationalization of a recent state strategic plan for early learning.